Before visiting Montreal this past week with my boyfriend, we researched the best restaurants in the city and one name that kept coming up in every guidebook and website we consulted was Toque. We knew it was expensive, but we wanted to have a speacial meal and thought it would be worth it. Let me tell you- It was NOT worth it at all. We ordered the 7 course surprise tasting menu- course after course of disappointment. Some of the courses consisted of of sea urchin with corn ice cream, a fishy tasting mackeral dish that my boyfriend could not even stomach, and "suckling" pig that was undercooked and accompanied by a steamed carrot. There was not one course where I said, "Wow, this is good." Furthermore, the portions were very small and we left hungry. It was like we were judges on Iron Chef eating the loser's food. At a total of $265 for two people, we expected much, much more. It put us in a horrible mood and almost ruined our trip. If you're thinking of going to Toque- don't. You'd be better off buying 10 meals at a random bistro in Old Montreal for the price you'd pay for one night at this place.
Best restaurant and most innovative chef, Normand Laprise, in Montreal for many years now. Still manages to be up-to-date. The service is not at all snooty. In fact it is rather informal and the food is to die for. Ask the waiter for information and suggestions. Great wine list and table d'hôte. Reservations essential! NOW in a new location! Recent (July 2007) review still rates this restaurant #1 in Montreal.
Favorite Dish: Foie gras entrée (at least once a year) as it is so rich and delicious. Treat yourself to a piece of heaven.
When we asked on VT about somewhere to go for a special meal in Montreal, one name kept being mentioned - Toqué!
It is not often that we make a transatlantic telephone call to book a restaurant table two weeks in advance, but that is just what we did.
When we booked into our hotel we asked them to confirm our reservation, which we had been asked to do. The receptionist seemed genuinely impressed that we had got a table there.
As it was a birthday meal, we splashed out and had the seven course taster menu. It wasn´t cheap, but it was certainly good value. We enjoyed it all.
OK Toqué is not for everyday, but if you want a really special time, we can thoroughly recommend it, based on our experience!
Coming from NY I'm used to some wonderful dining experiences. Toque! holds it's own favorably against the best restaurants I've ever been to in NY or anywhere. The lovely dining room seems to not have a bad table anywhere. The color scheme is a muted palate of saturated pastels that welcome you to the restaurant. The service was impeccable and friendly. Little details like the unique silverware that was replaced promptly following each course and tasteful flatware only added to the enjoyment.
And then there was the food, perfectly prepared, delicious and startling.
We chose the tasting menu with a nice bottle of wine and after the third dish came out I started to feel like we were eating food on the set of Iron Chef. Everything from the amuze bouche, to the tea made from fresh herbs at the end the of the meal was done with the highest attention to detail and freshness. The plates were decorated with edible delicacies that augmented they came with. Whether it was quail, or the foie gras, or incredibly savory lamb with homemade pasta or the amuze bouche with scallops everything was delicious and surprising.
My girlfriend doesn't like beets but I love them. Only one mention of this at the beginning of the meal and every dish was prepared to suit our tastes and the every one of the wait staff that brought our food was aware of my girlfriend's unfortunate non-beet loving predilictions.
One caveat, some of the dishes were a little heavily salted for my taste. If you don't like too much salt you might ask them to go a little easy on the shaker for you. They will no doubt be glad to accomodate you.
Favorite Dish: My favorite that night was the Quail. Beautifully prepared and reminiscent of some of the best duck I've ever had in France. It came garnished with local ingredients that were in season.
One thing I might have done differently if we hadn't ordered the Tasting menu was to go for the Truffle dishes. Every time one of them came out and went to a different table the scent practically made me swoon.
In a modern, gorgeous new space that showcases the incredibly elegant cuisine, Toque is without a doubt one of Montreal's top restaurants if not the best. The artistry of the kitchen is evident in every dish created. The food is uniquely presented and tastefully prepared. Service is warm, professional, and without pretention. The wine list is extensive and unique with many bottles coming from small relatively unknown producers. This is special occasion dining.
Favorite Dish: Both the meat and fish preparations are superb and will meet the desires of the most demanding gourmand.
By far, the best restaurant in town. Altough expensive, it's wrth every penny. Great culinary experience where every thing seem to be a work of art. Service was informative, polite professional and efficient. Terrific place, memorable experience!
Favorite Dish: tasting menu with suggested companion wines. Modern french cuisine.