On my first visit to Montreal I went to Le Mas des Oliviers twice, once with a group from work and then on my own over the weekend. Both visits were outstanding in their own peculiar way.
With the large work group we were attended by the Maitre d'hôte who made the dinner a memorable one with his dry wit and impecable timing. He catered for our largely American croud unfamiliar with the subtleties of french food and made sure that everybody had a great meal and a great time. I had the terrine maison, lamb chops and an apple pie with coffee, and they all were very good.
On my second visit I was alone and without a reservation. I was seated next to the entrance, which turned out to be a great vantage point to enjoy the work of the Maitre d´hote and his waiters. They welcomed a good deal of dinners by their name, which shows how many repeat customer they have and how good they are at remembering (or making believe they remember) their names. This was a rather slow Sunday night, but everything was impecable. They didn't have my selection of apperitive, but offered options and although what I ended up with wouldn't be my usual choice, I'm all for expanding horizons. I ordered a feuillete with snails in a curry sauce, which was a good discovery, having never had snails in anything but butter, garlic and parsley (a la bourgingnone). I was offered a good house Chardonay to go with it. Then I had the foie gras terrine with a glass of Sauterness, which is what the canons mandate, and it was all good. The real star of the night though was the main dish, consisting of beef filet and beef rib, each in its own sauce. The filet was perfectly cooked to a medium rare point on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes and with a pepper sauce. The rib was braised in a wine sauce with carrots, very tasty and bringing back memories of my mother's kitchen. The house red was a good match for this. I wraped it all up with an expresso and a digestive offered by the house, whose name escapes me and then bounced happily back to my hotel, a few blocks away.
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