I have a tendency to opt for French restaurants when I want a more sophisticated supper. So, I was happy to branch out for once and try a Greek restaurant. I saw a Tuango offer for a discount on a 6 course supper, so, I was excited to see how this restaurant would compare to my usual experience with more classic Greek offerings.
The supper started out well. The interior of the restaurant was bright and airy, and very reminiscent of pictures of a breezy, sunny greek island - a perfect setting in the summer, but still a welcome atmosphere on this somewhat dreary spring evening. And, the restaurant was quite full. We were received at a table near the back of the restaurant, with a view on the fish bar and the kitchens.
We were promptly offered some grilled bread and a choice of olive oil, one sweeter and fruitier, the other one more subtle. We chose the fruitier choice and it was good, though not exceptional.
The next service was a selection of 1 oyster each, with a beet and goat cheese topping, and some small bites of creamed fennel topped with caviar. The beet & goat cheese topping was slightly unusual for the fresh oysters, and not one that I would generally recommend, I prefer the taste of fresh oysters with lemon, but given this isn’t the season for oysters, I though it was an interesting option. Both amuses-bouche were excellent and seemed to indicate that this meal was going to be excellent, we were off to a good start.
Next, we were served a cold cucumber soup topped with a shrimp and tomato salsa, which was delicious and very fresh, a perfect summer soup! At the same time, we received another plate with a thin wafer like cracker topped with a white fish tartar flavoured with fennel, also very refreshing and light, perfect for a meal with several courses.
We were then served two plates of sardines. They were large sardines, served whole (skin and bones included) and grilled to perfection. One was served atop a cauliflower purée with capers, and the other was served over a different base. Both were perfectly cooked, and the mix of flavours from the accompanying elements were very complementary.
Next came two more plates, the first was a plate of clams served with porc, small potatoes and a creamy butter sauce. This was one of the less impressive courses, all the elements were good, but it wasn’t as delicate in its mix of flavours as the previous courses. At the same time, we were served a lightly seared piece of codfish atop some fried polenta with a light tomato sauce. This was definitely one of the best courses, with the crispy outside of the fried polenta, warm creamy center, fresh fish and tomato flavours all combined perfectly, without one taste overriding the others.
The main course, or meat course, came next. The first plate was a lightly browned seared magret, cooked to perfection, served with a fig purée. While the separate elements of this plate were delicious, together, they didn’t quite fit, and weren’t complementary. The other meat course was a roasted pork foreloin. I wasn’t used to having pork foreloins, so I was surprised to see them, but excited to see if I would like them. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the worst plate of the entire meal. The pork was still bloody and was not edible. While pink porc is acceptable, and keeps the porc moist, this was not the case and we barely touched our plates.
However, after having mentioned the problem to our waitress, and seeing our uneaten plates be presented to the chefs in the kitchen (since this was an open concept cooking area), we were very disappointed that no amends were offered. While we did not complain too heavily (we were already pretty full at this point), for a restaurant with this price tag and this sophisticated an offering, I was expecting better attention to service.
Finally, the last service was the dessert service. This turned out to be one of the best services. Two plates were brought out, one of a pumpkin cake and the other a chocolate ganache. The cake was topped with cream cheese and the cake was spicy with hints of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon and very moist, a delicious and surprising dessert, one doesn’t expect pumpkin in Spring. The chocolate ganache was served with small pieces of orange confit and a side dish of mocha mousse. The chocolate ganache was delicious as well, not too sweet with just the right amount of cocoa bitterness,and the orange added just a hint of originality to the dish. The mocha mousse topping however seemed a little superfluous and I admit I left it practically untouched. Finally, I finished everything off with a cup of english breakfast tea.
Overall, I was in parts impressed and in others disappointed at this restaurant. The fish courses and dessert were delicious, well balanced and well executed. The meat courses, however, were not up to par. The restaurant had a nice wine selection, and we were able to try a greek wine from their private imported selection, which added to the authenticity of the meal. The service, while good, was not noteworthy in any way. So, my recommendation would be to try this restaurant if you’re looking for a sophisticated greek option, as there aren’t that many high-end greek options available in Montreal. Yet, I would choose from the fish selections as much as possible, as that is this restaurant’s strong point. With that, bon apétit, enjoy!
Tasso Bar a Mezze
3829 Saint-Denis, Montréal H2W 2M4 (514) 842-0867