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Suite 701

I am always looking for any excuse to go out to restaurants so when the sixth edition of Happening Gourmand started, I couldn't wait to hit the ground running, or eating for that matter.  My first, and sadly only, stop this year was at Suite 701.  Happening Gourmand is a great excuse to try some of Old Montreal’s greatest hot spots at a discounted price, there is even a small selection of discounted wines.  Three course menus start at $23 and go up to$37, while wine was $8/glass or $38/bottle, I thought this was very reasonable. 

Drinks, left to right; clear sangria, bloody Mary and Gin and tonic w/lime

I had glanced over Suite 701’s menu before deciding to dine there, the bison Carpaccio caught my eye immediately.  I called early one afternoon for an 8:15pm reservation and was told that would be fine as long as we knew we would have to leave by 10pm. I found that last comment to be a bit weird since it was a Wednesday night, but thought nothing of it and gladly accepted the reservation.  My fellow diners and I arrived at Suite 701 just in-time for our reservation and were seated immediately in the empty restaurant, ok there were three other tables but besides that the place was empty.  This just added to my curiosity as to why we had to leave by 10pm.  We took our seats and our friendly waiter brought us menus and took our drink orders.  Bloody Mary for my best friend’s boyfriend, I know a breakfast drink at dinner (I made fun of him), Gin and Tonic with a lime for me and clear sangria for my BFF, I would have been happy with a bottle of wine but my friends insisted on drinks.  The gin and tonic was perfectly mixed,refreshing and crisp just the way I like it. The clear sangria was delicious with a touch of sweetness and the bloody Mary was just right. 

I can’t remember our waiter’s name but he made our night perfect; he was friendly, cute and super funny, he even gave me an extra dessert ;)!!  We’ll call him Jimmy as he reminded me of Steve/Jimmy from Shameless – you all know that show, right?  Jimmy came over and took our orders; two bison Carpaccio plates, one vegetarian poutine, two chicken supreme dinners and one veal burger. 

Bison Carpaccio

We did not wait long at all for our first course, I had the bison and it was absolutely delicious. The crispy homemade chips were an excellent contrast to the tender thin slices of the bison and the delicious mustard emulsion and sweet chutney blended so well together and made the dish sing in my mouth.  All the flavours in this dish complemented each other perfectly; I really wish I had ordered a second. 

Vegetarian poutine

The Vegetarian poutine was such a fun innovative dish, I loved that they used authentic cheese curds keeping it along the lines of a classic poutine.  I didn’t expect to enjoy the polenta fries as much as I did; they were delicious, soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside mimicking a French fry in gravy.  The tomato based gravy was flavourful and went perfectly with the polenta and cheese curds; the crispy fried onion on top finished the dish perfectly.  It was a deliciously fun play on the classic Quebecois dish. 

Veal burger

Our lovely “Jimmy” cleared our plates, only after I finished licking them clean, and re-filled our drinks.  While watching other diners enjoying their mains, we sat discussing how delicious the first course was and how anxious we were for our mains.  A waiter carrying a plate with the veal burger caught my attention, oh did it look good.  A few moments later we were served our mains and dug right in.  The veal burger was huge!  So big, I could barely hold it in my hands.  The burger was very good however I got the impression that it was pre-frozen or pressed into a patty then frozen but I could be wrong.    I know it was veal and I have worked with minced veal a lot, the texture of this burger reminded me of frozen burger patties and was lacking in flavour.  The crispy onions and pancetta/bacon (not sure which was on the burger) were absolutely the perfect touch to flavour the burger. Oh and how can I forget the deliciously melted cheese?   There was a very generous portion of Délice des Appalaches cheese melted all over the burger - so good!  The burger was not the most flavourful, but it did not disappoint either. 

Chicken supreme

My friends really enjoyed the chicken “supreme” dish that was served with a potato latkah/pancake and a delicious sauce.  I remember liking the dish but cannot remember the flavours for some reason. The potato latkah/pancake needed work though; we all found it to be a little on the bland side.   After eating all of our food, it was time for the chef’s choice dessert; a chocolate mousse or cookies and cream mousse with a cookie in the center.  I couldn't decide so our lovely waiter brought me one of each – spoiled!  The chocolate mousse was light, fluffy and chocolaty – yumm!  The cookies and cream dessert was even better, the cookie center was such a delicious contrast to the delicious vanilla cream mousse.  Both desserts were a perfect ending to a delightful meal.  We finished our meals before our 10pm cut off and couldn't help but notice that the restaurant was still quite empty.  Not sure why we had to leave by 10pm since their website says they're opened until 11pm,  but it didn't bother us either way!  


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