Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Eating on the road: Steak Frites at Liverpool House in Montreal

 In November, I took a long weekend to enjoy a few days in Montreal. It's so near to Ottawa but I'd never really had time to just explore and enjoy the city. Every other visit had been to catch a flight, go to a hockey or football game or attend a political convention. So this would be a trip to relax and enjoy some fine dining.

At the top of my list were the famed sister restaurants Joe Beef and Liverpool House, which are well known Montreal institutions but which I, like many, had become familiar with via the late Anthony Bourdain. Liverpool House is also where Justin Trudeau once took Barrack Obama for dinner once. 

Joe Beef was filled up a few weeks in advance but I was able to snag a reservation for one at the bar on a Thursday evening at Liverpool House. And I figured, if it's good enough for Obama it should be OK for me.

They have an often-changing menu that varies with the seasons, as well as some regular specialities. They are known for the lobster spaghetti so I had my mind on that going in, but seeing the market price on this day I decided it was just too rich for my blood. I considered the Pork Belly Normandy briefly but, in the end., went with the French bistro classic of steak frites, medium-rare.

As an aside, I have decided to try to switch my steak preference from medium to medium-rare, and this as the first time actioning this. While waiting for my dinner I accepted a recommendation for a nice glass of red, made small talk with my neighbor who seemed to  work in the restaurant industry and know the staff here, and politely declined the offer to do a shot with them. My neighbour lamented the chef refused to make him a ham and cheese sandwich; I suggested he order it as a Croque Monsieur instead and he thought this may work.

I'll handle the sides first. The beg was a wedge of lettuce dressed with a light vinaigrette. The dressing was good but, while it's popular in fancy restaurants, I find this a lazy way to make a salad. Im not a big fry guy. These had some crisp and were well-salted, and with the mayo I enjoyed them.

The steak was served sliced and in a sauce, and was cooked as ordered. It was flavourful and tasty and I savoured every bite. The simple things done well are enjoyable indeed.

I'll try to be back my next time in Montreal for sure. A good meal to start my culinary long weekend.

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