Diva #1 went to high school with a group of pretty amazing guys that now, long after graduation, she still loves to go out with. When we were in high school no sweet 16 was complete without them, in CEGEP they made clubbing fun, in university house parties weren’t complete without their insanity and now they make any restaurant or bar night a great goddamn time. Conflicting schedules make getting JB and the boys a little hard to get together but Diva #1 loves bringing the gang together for good times, a lot of drinking and trips down memory lane.
A late celebration of JB’s birthday brought us to Burgundy Lion, a British pub on Notre Dame in Griffintown. Besides being a restaurant, it has a full bar including whiskey blends, highlands, a whiskey tasting menu and of course the usual variety of cocktails, wines and champagne. Pretty popular, it is often hard to find a seat in this large pub that is two floors and has both a terrace on Notre Dame and a coveted courtyard terrace in the middle of the restaurant. Sadly it was pouring rain when Diva #1 and the boys decided to go celebrate JB’s birthday, so we were cozy inside.
Having heard only delicious comments about their food, Diva #1 followed A’s advice and ordered the cod fish cakes. More interesting than the usual crab cakes, these fritters were rolled into balls and deep fried without losing their fish flavour. Served with a curry mayonnaise, the Indian influence in British cuisine is evident in many menu items at Burgundy Lion. This appetizer comes with a lemon wedge, perfect for dressing these cod fish cakes before digging in.
JB was feeling adventurous and decided to try the trout mousse that came perfectly molded and had a pâté like texture. The trout mousse was topped with an anchovy cream and julienned spinach leaves. The mousse came with about ten toasted baguette crisps to enjoy this dip-like appetizer. Very fishy, this dish isn’t for everyone. Though it was tasty, Diva #1 isn’t sure if she would order this again. The trout flavour is fresh but too apparent, especially when coupled with the anchovy cream. It sort of smelled like something Diva #1’s cat would eat… Diva #2 was once over for an unfortunate incident with some microwaved canned cat food for Bob the female cat, but that’s another story for another time. This is what this fishy dish reminded her of.
One of the boys ordered the English poutine which we were explained was a twist on the traditional poutine by the addition of blue cheese and caramelized onions. Picture the usual crispy fries, gravy, cheese curds and then the addition of caramelized onions and blue cheese. We weren’t too sure if the blue cheese would be overpowering so we ordered it on the side but this was a really interesting twist to the traditional Quebecois poutine. Zeus, a lover of poutines, would love this new variety.
As for the main meals, JB ordered the Lancashire pot which is very similar to a shepherd’s pie, which is also on the menu. Braised lamb with vegetables arrives in a porcelain pot; the dish is then topped with sliced roasted potatoes. This main meal comes with a side salad and is the perfect English comfort food for a rainy day. Other English favourites on the menu include fish and chips, Yorskshire pudding, bangers and mash, etc.
Diva #1 had heard of two main dishes from A and was happy to oblige and order one of them herself and get one of the boys to order the other one. The colonel’s rabbit is a mac n’ cheese served with four deep fried rabbit shoulders and a tart dipping sauce. The mac n’ cheese was cheesy and delicious, topped with green onions; it was a fun treat. It was not the best mac n’ cheese that the Divas have ever tasted but coupled with the very original concept of deep fried rabbit shoulder, it was a success. This was a very big main meal that was heavy and that the Divas had trouble finishing…a rare occurrence indeed. The rabbit was messy to eat but delicious!
A second dish that A had recommended was ordered by one of the boys. The Fisherman’s pogo was the winner of the night. Two large Lobster and scampi pogos were amazing, especially when dipped in their mustard sauce that came with the plate. The anchovy coleslaw was particularly delicious and a unique spin on the typical coleslaw variety. This dish was the winner of the night, truly delicious, the lobster and scampi pogos made up the best main meal.
At this point in the night Vegan Vixen texted us asking us where we were so that she can show up. That’s what Diva #1 loves about Vegan Vixen, she knows that she has a standing invitation on Thursday nights and can show up whenever she wants. She decided to order two appetizers instead of a main. Being a “vegetarian,” she was intrigued by the vegetarian samosas. Our buddy A had raved about these as well so Diva #1 “allowed” her to order this vegan dish. Once again the Indian influence is apparent in this English pub, the samosas were wonderful. They were delicious, not too spicy but seasoned perfectly and served with a delicious spicy yogurt. Another successful entrée at Burgundy Lion.
Her second appetizer was also impressive and Diva #1 could not help but assist her in eating it. The melted cheddar, Portobello and leek dip was like a hearty fondue. It only came with a few baguette crisps for such a big appetizer, so we were soon ordering more, but the cheddar was aged and we were very pleasantly surprised by its strong taste. Loving cheese, the table was happy with this appetizer, though there could have been more leeks, but happily there were many Portobello slices.
Burgundy Lion is a pretty fabulous English pub that is perfect for a bite to eat and a good drink. Unpretentious, you can come in your jeans and tee, and have a great night, with a good drink, without all the bells and whistles of an upscale bar. Lately everyone has been recommending Burgundy Lion in some capacity. That night, Diva #1 even ran into her two cousins and their friends at Burgundy Lion, and Diva#1 was texted by Dr. Body Shots who also almost came that same night with her gang.
Burgundy Lion also serves an English breakfast and more importantly, according to A, has an amazing sticky toffee pudding that we had unfortunately drunk too much to order. Dessert and too much alcohol always end up in disaster. Happy Birthday JB, I am glad that the boys and Vegan Vixen came out to celebrate your birthday and reminisce about old times.
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 2496 Notre Dame, Bangers & Mash, Breakfast, British, Brunch, Burgundy Lion, Burgundy Lion Griffintown, Burgundy Lion Montreal, Burgundy Lion Notre Dame, Champagne, Cocktails, Cod Fish Cakes, English Poutine, Fish & Chips, Griffintown, Griffintown Notre Dame, Griffintown restaurant, H3J 1N5, Indian, Lamb, Little Burgundy, Lobster Pogo, Mac n' Cheese, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Notre-Dame, Pub, Rabbit, Samosas, Sandwiches, Sausage, Scampi Pogo, Scotch Egg, Shepherd’s pie, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Trout Mousse, Whisky, wine, Yorkshire Pudding