Dining al fresco in Montreal on a warm summer evening has always put me in a wonderful mood. Le Local is situated in a gentrifying post-industrial area not far from downtown and Old Montreal, but not touristy. The indoor area is spacious and trendy looking, with a crowded bar on a Thursday evening. The outdoor area was partly surrounded by plastic curtains to protect against the wind, but our table was in the open. In fact, an apple fell from an adjacent tree unto our table just after we were seated!
The wine list is extensive and priced on the high side, even for Montreal. The menu is focussed with less than a dozen appetizers and a similar number of main courses, with variations of some items appearing on both lists. The lobster roll with a small asparagus salad was an excellent appetizer, as was the grilled octopus salad. The beef tartare lacked capers and onion, but was nicely spicy and delicious. The accompanying fries were limp. In general, the chef seemed to be aiming for bold, aggressive flavors, and succeeded.
Service was knowledgeable and attentive, but the kitchen was slow. With a bit more wine, the techno background music became almost soothing. This restaurant is a 4 now, but in November will be a 3. Ah, summer in Montreal!
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