Restaurant: Café Souvenir
Restaurant type: café, brasserie, French, Asian, dinner, breakfast, lunch, brunch
Prices: $10-$14 entrées, $16-$20 mains, $9-$10 desserts, wine bottles starting at $38
Date: Tuesday August 27th 2019
Table of: 2
My favorite dishes: endive salad + beef ribs
Last week, I had the pleasure of trying le Café Souvenir’s brand new dinner menu, as their guest. The new menu has been developed by new chef Tom Allain and the invitation came from Marie-Annick Boisvert PR. Le Café Souvenir is a long-standing establishment on the popular Bernard Avenue in Outremont and is surrounded by many other restaurants and cafés. The dinner menu features very simple and classic dishes of French and Asian inspiration, like coq au vin and tartares. Although the dinner menu may be new, the café continues to serve breakfast, brunch and lunch the rest of the day and offers a very extensive menu too. Here are the dishes we had the pleasure of trying:
- Fried razor shells, raiffort mayo, lemon
- Endive salad, Provence herb vinaigrette, walnuts, parmesan
- Cucumbers and radishes from Québec, garlic, herbs, shallots and estragon yogurt [menu du jour]
- Coq au vin: red wine braised chicken thighs with bacon, carrots, celeri, pearled onions and potatoes
- Braised beef ribs, vermicelli salad with carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, mint, peanuts and fish sauce vinaigrette [menu du jour]
- Caramelized white chocolate mousse, raspberries, peanuts
- Salted caramel pot de crème with hazelnuts
- L’Arpent des Vendons, Sauvignon blanc 2018, Tourraine
Overall, we enjoyed a nice and filling meal at Café Souvenir. I really liked the endive salad, which resembled an elevated and French-style version of a Cesar salad. The mix of ingredients was very nice and took away from the natural bitterness of endives and the vinaigrette was excellent; light and fresh. Of course, you can’t go wrong with heaps of shaved parmesan! I also really enjoyed the braised beef ribs, which appealed to my Asian taste-buds. Definitely more on the Vietnamese side of things in terms of seasoning – a lot of star anise was used – but they were excellent and fell right off the bone. A real delight!
I also very much enjoyed the coq au vin, a dish I’d never had before, but found the sauce to be very salty. With that said, it was still a very flavourful dish and we ate it all. I love anything cooked in red wine, so this chicken was great, even the vegetables cooked in the red wine were very nice. I’d never had razor shells before either, so I was definitely happy to finally try some. They tasted very nice and the preparation method (fried) was great too; it reminded me a lot of fried clams. I was a bit disappointed with the desserts, as all three dessert options on the menu were basically some kind of mousse form; a nice lemon tart or chocolate fondant or just anything else “solid” would have been nice and would have catered to more diverse palates. We also chose to accompany our meal with a glass of L’Arpent des Vendons, Sauvignon blanc 2018, Tourraine which was very nice, fresh and light, not too fruity.
*This restaurant post does not contain my usual restaurant review criteria of restaurants, as this is a sponsored post where I was invited to the restaurant as a guest.
*All photos and comments are mine