Monday, 11 June 2012

Panache- A Review

I'm very surprised by how pretty Quebec City was. I didn't expect much since Montreal seemed to be the IT city in Quebec. It's very European with many patio restaruants and bars along the streets. Small alleys made out of stone lead up to Chateau Frontenac and it reminded me of the walkways in Zurich.

Panache is located on St- Antoine street, one of those small alleys that you would miss easily. I'm starting to see a pattern with the location of good restaruants here.

I'm gonna have to apologize for the picture quality here. My camera ran out of battery and I had to opt out for my iphone instead. The picture above is taken from a window made out of a special glass. I'm guessing that it's a one way window or it would be too distracting for the staff. You also have to be standing in front of the glass to see into the kitchen; can't see anything from an angle.

 I was expecting some pretty amazing food when I saw the prices. I was disappointed. They didn't create any amazing flavours that made my pallet go "wow. The only herb that stood out was mint and they used it as the prominent flavour in 2/3 of our dishes. They closed the gap a little by serving "freebies" throughout dinner though. They presented us with a great bread basket containing 5 varieties of bread including brioche, sour dough, ciabatta, and another 2 I couldn't name.

Then came an appetizer of smoked sturgeon with roasted tomatoes and orange syrup. The sturgeon reminded me of smoked salmon. It was crispy on the outside and flaky inside. This may have been my favorite dish of the night.

I ordered raw shrimp with ravioli and chive flowers. It was served cold in a shrimp broth. The heads were fried and also served in the same broth. It was one-noted for me; I could only taste the mint and the salty broth.

My dad ordered the "piglet". It was cooked 3 ways: grilled tenderloin, roasted pork shoulder, and seared ham with a brioche crust, all served with a black currant sauce. The ham and tenderloin were both dry and everything ended up tasting the same with the black currant sauce. The pork shoulder had higher fat content so it was moist and perfect. 

The lobster was fresh, but once again overpowered by mint. 

We didn't order dessert but we got a complimentary from the chef. The big ones are toffee covered in chocolate then coated in peanuts. At first I thought it was a nut brittle but it doesn't cling to your teeth the way a brittle does. I could be wrong but I think it must be the use of a ton of butter. 
The candies wrapped in parchment paper were pieces of homemade caramel with lemon and ginger. It was very soft and sticky but I was extremely impressed by the choice of flavouring. The lemon cuts through the sweetness and adds a layer of complexity to the caramel. 

It's a nice restaurant but I wouldn't recommend it for the price. The dishes we ordered were good but clearly didn't meet the expectations for a $45-50 meal. 

1 comment:

  1. i love love love Quebec City. favourite city in Canada. hope you had a good time!