Open late, sometimes you’re in the mood for some wine and charcuterie and there is no better place in the Plateau than Le Chien Fumant, a place that we use to frequent quite regularly. But when you review restaurants, you end up getting caught up in trying new places and you forget about the old places that you loved when you were just going out to eat for fun and not to write about it in the morning. So when our favourite Foodie Guy planned a night at Le Chien Fumant we were thrilled, he finished work late but us girls weren’t deterred. This restaurant is known for its late night eats, it was the perfect choice, so Diva #1, Sweet Pea and Peaches went there to meet him.
We started with a charcuterie plate and plenty of wine, as if we wouldn’t? As always there was plenty of cured meats, each one had a unique flavour and was more delicious than the one before it. Our waitress offered us a more than reasonable group menu price, 45$ for a little bit of everything from the night’s chalkboard menu. We were quite excited to start eating; our only request was that they include the tripe dish that was on the menu!!! She exclaimed that the tripe is so rarely ordered that the kitchen staff will be happy to comply.
The pickled vegetables arrived with the charcuterie; red onions, pickles, eggplants, etc. They were the perfect accompaniment to the charcuterie plate. Toast and homemade mustard were also presented with the charcuterie platter and we were soon polishing off the plate. Le Chien Fumant offers some serious cured meats; you need to order their charcuterie plate when you go!
The tripe arrived first, a table packed full of Greeks and Italians only meant excitement with this dish. It was made into a stew; the tripe itself was fried and crispy and sat in a thick broth filled with white and green onions, and carrots. It was delicious; the offal was cooked well and didn’t smell which is often the case when tripe isn’t prepared correctly.
Le Chien Fumant created a fabulous group menu with tons of dishes. They started us off with the marinated mackerel with a green herb sauce, greens, crème fraîche, mustard seeds,caviar and greens. The mackerel was very fresh and paired well with the crème fraîche and caviar. The “sauce verte” was perfect with the fish by adding freshness.
The deconstructed Korean beef tartare was very interesting. The well-seasoned beef tartare was in one corner of the plate, coriander and green onions were to its right and pickled vegetables on its left. Fried crispy onions were across the seasoned beef and other vegetables and Asian herbs were tossed in the bowl. A raw yolk sat on top of the dish and we mixed it all together to finish off this interesting beef tartare. Different from the more typical French tartares, it was bursting with flavour and the Asian influence was apparent.
One of our favourite appetizers at Le Chien Fumant is their Chinatown calamari. As a group of Greeks and Italians we know what calamari tastes like, but this one is rather different. This restaurant knows how to impress; they put a twist on the traditional by tossing the lightly fried calamari in a sweet and sour Asiatic sauce. Served in a salad of greens, we love this appetizer that tweaks the traditional Mediterranean way of serving calamari.
Our last appetizer was the shrimp stuffed ravioli in a simple and fresh tomato sauce with parmesan. We would have expected a cream based sauce with shrimp stuffed ravioli as opposed to a tomato sauce, but it was quite good. Stuffing ravioli with shrimp gave it that won ton feel, it was an interesting appetizer and the tomato sauce could rival many an Italian restaurant.
Then the mains arrived, guinea fowl on an oatmeal ragout with Brussels spouts wrapped in bacon and fried to crispy perfection. Guinea fowl is very similar to chicken but more tender like the brown meat of chicken rather than the dryer white meat. When brined and prepared properly it becomes gourmet poultry. Oatmeal ragout sounds strange but it was very good with the guinea fowl. The Brussels sprouts wrapped in bacon were amazing, but that’s cheating – add bacon to anything and it becomes amazing 😉
The pappardelle stroganoff with milk fed veal cheeks was a real treat. The veal cheeks were so tender and they were quite the delicacy when made into a stroganoff. They simply melted in your mouth. Stroganoff is a type of Russian stew, the juice from roasting beef or veal are made into a sauce with cream, often sour cream, for added richness. Le Chien Fumant impressed us with their veal stroganoff; we were soon licking the plate clean.
Our least favourite of the mains was the bar de la Méditérranée which is similar to a Mediterranean sea bass. Made with agnolotti which was a nice touch, and a gribiche sauce, the dish had a lot of dimensions. Gribiche sauce is a French mayonnaise-mustard egg sauce made at Le Chien Fumant in its traditional manner with pickles, parsley, tarragon, etc. A halved egg lay on top of the fish for added decadence, and crispy bits for textural pleasure. It was our least favourite but not because it was not prepared well, it simply wasn’t our style
Last but not least we were served an amazing duck dish. Not the duck dish that was described on the menu, but simple sliced duck breast with a ring of fat around the tender pink meat was placed before us. So simple and cooked to perfection, it came with a side of fried pickle chips. We were in heaven, and we loved the simplicity of the dish.
The night wore on and in all honesty we were completely drunk. Not bad for a random Wednesday night that was meant to be just about good wine and charcuterie and ended in a multi course meal and tons of vino. The restaurant offered us a round of shots, as if we hadn’t drunk enough? Plotting ensued and soon Diva #1 was texting or should we say sexting an old friend. With prompting and comments from her favourite Foodie Guy, they were in fits of giggles reading the screen. When will we grow up?
And then came dessert, the mille feuilles Paris brest wins points for originality. Crispy layers of choux pastry separated dollops of praline pastry cream. There is nothing more to be said, it was divine, we fought over the remaining bites.
Last but not least we enjoyed the chocolate mousse prepared into a creamy chocolate bar. Decadent dark chocolate topped with meringue and chocolate crumbs made for the perfect counter dessert to the mille feuilles Paris brest. You win Le Chien Fumant, you win!
We were impressed. We got a lot of food for an amazing price, and the restaurant is open late for those in Montreal who love their gourmet late night eats. We aren’t talking about pizza and poutine! Whether it is for some charcuterie and wine, or to try their complex dishes, on this visit we were reminded why we love Le Chien Fumant so much.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 4710 Rue de Lanaudière, Beef Tartare, Calamari, Calmars Chinatown, Chalkboard Menu, Charcuterie, Duck Breast, H2J 3P7, Le Chien Fumant, Le Chien Fumant Montreal, Mackerel, Montreal, Montreal Food, Montreal Restaurant, Pappardelle Stroganoff, Paris Brest, Plateau, Plateau Restaurant, Shrimp Ravioli, Tartare de Boeuf Coréen, Tasting Menu, Tripe, Veal Cheeks