ManAboutMTL

S Cuisine and Bar

In our books, versatility is one restaurant feature that never goes unnoticed. From creating a space that is equally inviting all year ...


In our books, versatility is one restaurant feature that never goes unnoticed. From creating a space that is equally inviting all year around, to a well-edited menu which yet appeals to many tastes, to a great bar offering and ambience when late-nights drinks are what you’re looking for, all of it points to a certain commitment to sustaining an investment in a highly fickle business. After attending a recent press dinner we’re glad to report that the new S Cuisine + Bar is one that fits the bill on all counts.

The latest addition to the tourist-heavy area surrounding Place Jacques Cartier, the space sits nestled in Old Mtl’s Marché Bonsecours, greeting customers with an inviting street-side terrasse outfitted with both table and lounge seating. It was here that we gathered for a pre-dinner welcome cocktail and oysters, and heard that heat lamps will be used to extend the patio season - and no doubt make for some romantic al fresco Fall dining. From here it’s down a flight of steps to the main restaurant below.


Now basement restaurants are always a challenge to avoid feeling like you’re in a hole and yet, while the space is windowless and subterranean, owners were able to take advantage of the natural stone and concrete elements to inject some hip, organic design using wood accents, not to mention a sleek bar that acts a focal point for the entire space. 


Of course, how a bar is stocked is just as important as how it looks, and here you won’t be left wanting with an extensive selection of scotch, wine list made up exclusively of private imports, and must-have bubbly for summer-sipping on the terrasse upstairs.

Settling in for a blind tasting of three starters and three mains, we scanned the menu conceived by partner and chef Steve Priest and, while not what we’d consider low or even mid-priced on some items, found that the kitchen backs it up with talent that knows how to execute on quality.

Of particular note was a salt roasted beet salad with strawberries, goat cheese, and hazelnuts, dressed in fig balsamic vinaigrette, and a salmon tartar coming with a raw quail egg (still in shell) that one is supposed to break into the mixture. A fresh lemon aioli and mixed green salad work well to complement. 



Rounding out the starters was popcorn shrimp crusted with sesame seeds and panko and served with buffalo mayonnaise - fun finger food, but rather standard fare. Overall though it was a pleasant and promising start to the meal that only got better with the mains.


First up was the pan-seared gnocchi with lobster and green peas in a white wine and cream sauce perfumed with tarragon, lemon, and capers. The bite-sized gnocchi were tender, while the sauce had just the right consistency, thick enough to coat the gnocchi but not the least bit cloying. 



Confit duck wings make for a crowd-pleasing, sticky and sweet sharing dish, but the real star was the braised short rib in a porto jus served on marinated red cabbage garnished crispy shallots and served with a watercress and radish salad.  I generally shy away from ordering short ribs as I actually find them difficult to nail. These however were outstanding – neither too fatty and stringy, nor tough and dry, their texture was right on with the jus as a fantastic flavor-enhancer.



Rounding out all of S’s neat tricks is a Thursday 5 à 7 when selected cocktails are 2 for 1, Oyster and Mojito Wednesdays, with a DJ for ambience, and tailored private events for 15-50 – cozy holiday parties anyone?

D.G.

S Cuisine and Bar
350 St. Paul East Montreal


Photo Credit (1 & 3) : S Cuisine and Bar

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