We are not exactly morning people. Yes, Diva #2 gets up early for work but give her at least an hour before saying hello if you don’t want to be maimed. And Diva #1 doesn’t wake up before noon on weekends. We can’t help it. Our majestic Sensei, on the other hand, loves brunch and loves waking up early. He’s always reluctant to plan a brunch with us but does his best to accommodate our weekend schedules.
The Divas had been to Le Richmond for dinner but when we saw photos of their new maple brunch, we told Sensei that he had to take us. And while we don’t normally review brunch, our Sensei gave us the ok to tread on his domain, after all, he is the King of brunch in Montreal. He really does love us!
Le Richmond is in the ever popular Griffintown, on Richmond Street. This is the first time that they offer a maple-themed menu which runs every Sunday until April 13th. It’s a very relaxed vibe with the brick walls, large customized lighting, giant clock on the back wall and a DJ providing jazzy but soft background music on the first floor. The Divas were on time, meaning only 10 minutes late, considering we went out the night before. We were seated at a table with a clear view of their Bar à Tire on their terrace, complete with maple taffy and maple cotton candy.
We started with coffee and Sensei, who is always on a health kick to impress the ladies, had a smoothie with bananas, pineapple and other fruity goodness. If you want to impress the Divas, order cocktails, not smoothies! But Sensei doesn’t trust our advice or our eagerness to be his wing women, so he opted for the smoothie and deemed it average.
Before our order came to the table, our waitress brought us the Viennoiserie dégustation. The plate consisted of very delicious, buttery croissants, chocolatines, brioche and cinnamon raisin swirls. It was served with three condiments, all made in-house: a blood orange marmalade, a berry jam and a delicious crunchy homemade peanut butter. They were all mini so we could try a little bit of everything!
We decided to start our meal with the French toast for two to share amongst the three of us, or as the French call it, pain perdu. Served with a very maple ice cream, the bread had a good crust and the inside was soft and buttery. A little extra maple syrup to drizzle over top would have been perfect because it was a touch too bready and missing a certain element of sweetness, but the creamy flavourful ice cream served well to add another dimension to the dish.
Le Richmond’s maple menu offers diverse mains, many of which can easily serve as lunch, including the porchetta, steak and eggs, beef tartare or the ham dish.
Diva #2 ordered the lemon ricotta pancakes. Perfect for those who love lemon, three medium sized pancakes are served with a healthy amount of tangy lemon curd on top and paper-thin slices of candied lemon. It really did taste like lemon meringue pie, minus the meringue. The pancakes were light and satisfying and we thought some berries would have been a great addition. This is not a large brunch plate, perhaps ordering one of the many sides is a must, but the taste was perfectly lemony!
The Divas were surprised with Sensei’s French toast dish. It’s not something either Diva would have ordered on her own but the combination of ingredients worked well. And it was sweet, just like our majestic Sensei! The French toast was topped with lots of dried apricots, cranberries and raisins; the sweetness of the sugar cream sauce was slightly off set by the salty pancetta. It was an interesting combination of flavours and textures and we were quite impressed with the dish. We are certainly glad that the brunch expert brought us along!
The best dish was the lobster benedict, no doubt at all. Served on toasted polenta bread which added to the heartiness of the dish, the eggs were poached perfectly and the sweet lobster balanced the saltiness of the generous amount of pancetta. One ingredient did not overwhelm another. There was plenty of lobster for every bite, even Sensei was impressed, and the tarragon jelly was pesto-like in consistency. The caviar added the final touch, along with the impressive presentation. Diva #1 licked the plate clean! Unlike most eggs benedict dishes, this one did not come with potatoes, but fret not, we ordered them as a side. God forbid that we skimp out on the extra calories!
We were hesitant when we saw the potatoes, served in a small cast iron dish. They did not look promising but we loved them with their smoky and very subtle taste. Even Sensei was impressed and from the picture they look quit ordinary but the smokiness was aromatic and perhaps it was paprika that added to their flavour. We also ordered the maple-flavoured ham sausage which had great grill marks on it for extra taste. It was fatty and moist, not your typical breakfast sausage, and you could definitely taste the maple. When we cut open the sausage we even noticed some sort of addition within, who knows, but it was lovely!
We were eager to go outside and indulge in more maple goodness in the form of tire sur la neige, also called maple taffy, and maple cotton candy though our Sensei feared what an overdose of sugar would do to us. This assortment of maple delights is available on their terrace and Le Richmond even offers shawls to keep you even warmer. First we had the maple taffy, poured over the trough of snow, and we expertly twirled it on the sticks provided. Without fail, Diva #1 got some in her hair and turned to Diva #2 to get it out! Sensei shook his head in his usual scornful manner.
We also had a shot of Sortilège, something we’ve grown to love since we went to Renoir en Sucre, Chalet Urbain Sortilège. Whiskey was also an option, but if we start drinking Jameson that early… well we may never stop. Even we know our limits! The cotton candy was made to order and peppered with bits of maple crunch. The Divas got their sugar fix, went soaring on a sugar high, and while Sensei was chatting with someone he knew, we headed out to do some shopping.
We aren’t going to lie, we were a little disappointed that he didn’t introduce us to his friends as the loves of his life… but Sensei is a fickle little man! The maple brunch at Le Richmond is worth a visit to Griffintown, it isn’t your typical inexpensive brunch, but Le Richmond is a fabulous place! The food is delicious, the atmosphere is great to keep you in denial that Monday is slowly approaching and the bar à tire is fun. But hurry, it ends April 13th!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 377 Richmond, Beef Tartare, Brunch, French Toast, Griffintown, H3J 1T9, Ham, Le Richmond, Le Richmond Brunch, Le Richmond Maple, Le Richmond Montreal, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Lobster Eggs Benedict, Maple, Maple Cotton Candy, Maple Menu, Maple Taffy, Montreal Breakfast, Montreal Brunch, Pain Perdu, Porchetta, Reservations Needed, Sortilège, Steak and Eggs, Sud-Ouest, Tire sur la Neige, Viennoiserie Pastries