On the quiet little street of St-François Xavier, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of St. Paul street in Old Montreal, you can find the fabulous French cuisine of Le Bourlingueur. Loosely translated the name means adventurer or traveler and the meal was an adventure for the palate.
Upon entering you are presented with the option of two dining rooms, with one a little more formal. We chose the casual area as it was less crowded. Pleasant and inviting both are decorated for the holiday season with large seating arrangements set for groups or small little tables ready for a tete-a-tete.
With the exposed brick walls, tiled floors and large windows that reach all the way to the ceiling, diners get the feeling they are not in the middle of the city but enjoying a meal at a French mountain chalet. The sconce lighting and red table cloths give the restaurant a warm and welcoming ambiance.
After a Our host and co-owner Christine greeted us and we discussed the cuisine and a little of the history of the establishment we were treated with a perfect glass of wine. Opting to try both the red and white, we let the staff choose from the available wine list. If you are not a fan of wine, the drink menu boasts something for every taste. From whisky to beer, cocktails to champagne Le Bourlingueur has something for everyone.
Our meal began with the typical French dishes of escargot and French onion soup. The escargot was served swimming in butter with just enough to soak up with the accompanying baguette, and topped with a generous helping of garlic. The French onion soup was hot and hardy with the cheese topping still bubbling, it was enough to warm anyone on a cold winter’s night.
The specialty of the house is the stew, made from the recipe of Christine’s grandmother this dish surely fed many generations of Montreal diners. Customers are given a choice of three stews, each designed around a different meat. You can pick from pork, beef or lamb. We went for the lamb and it was in our opinion the best decision of the night. Made with cubes of the tenderest lamb and new potatoes, it is understandable how this recipe stood the test of time.
The second meal we chose to sample from the menu was one of the staff recommendations, the fillet of sole served on a bed of rice. The fish was prepared to perfection and melted in your mouth as we enjoyed each bite.
For afters we just could not resist the profiteroles, made with ice cream and dripping with chocolate and almond slivers. Not to be outdone we also had to try the homemade baked apple, made with just enough sweetness to complement the tartness of the apple. Being a fruit lover it was the perfect end to the perfect meal.
As a brilliant sendoff, just before leaving each customer is presented with a bottle of water to drink on the trip home. A simple gesture but also so unique. We recommend you stop by for a delicious meal or just dessert but either way you will be pleased with the result.