Dining in Montreal is always an adventure, each neighbourhood has its own style and vibe and you never know what delicious treats await you. So when we were invited to experience the fine dining delights served at Restaurant Osco! in the Intercontinental Hotel we were intrigued. The hotel has been a luxury destination for visitors to the city for many years, situated in the Old Port section of the city, the hotel resides in one of Montreal’s most beautiful historical buildings.
After a quick look around the hotel, we located Restaurant Osco! just off the main lobby. Upon entering we met out host for the evening, the amazing Sylvain! Not only did he walk us through the menus, both food, and drink, but he also regaled us with stories of the location. Restaurant Osco! came to be, only a short eight years ago, and under the tutelage of Chef Matthieu Saunier has become a prime location for tourists and locals alike.
The dining establishment prides itself with accommodating groups of any size, from dinner for two, to business meetings in a private room. There is something for every taste and occasion. Although we were there for dinner, Restaurant Osco! also offers breakfast and the very popular lunch. If you just want a snack or a drink. The Sarah B is right next door and also offers private rooms for larger groups or quieter affairs.
After a quick peak at the menu, Sylvain offered us a cocktail. The cocktail/wine menu can be found on each of the staff’s iPads. There is a full explanation of all the libations offered but the recommendation for us was one of the many types absinthe served with sugar and a water fountain.
The drink was delicious and this was a new experience for us, we highly recommend you try the absinthe at Restaurant Osco!. In fact, we liked it so much we tried a second one, this time with a little higher alcohol content.
A quick check back on the iPad for the wine list, we were advised the wine is separated by country and region. We took the time and read through the entire list. Not only does Restaurant Osco! offer a nice array of wine choices, but we found the prices remarkably reasonable.
With the cocktails finished and the wine on the way, Sylvain was there with a recommendation of the best dishes. We started our meal with the shrimps kadaif and the beet carpaccio. The shrimp were large and flavourful, served with veggies in a shellfish sauce. The beet carpaccio was a melange of goat cheese, hazelnuts, watercress and nut vinaigrette and was a refreshing way to start our meal.
For the mains, the rib eye steak and halibut were the choices for the evening and they did not disappoint. The steak, presented with your choice of sauce, was cooked to perfection. The dish was served with both potato and salad, it was a meal to satisfy the hungriest of patrons. The Halibut was divine and each bite melted in our mouths. It was served with a delightful mushroom risotto.
Finally, it was time for dessert, the menu is the inspiration of pastry Chef Muriel Ong and it was beyond delicious. We opted for the pears in red wine and coconut and lemon parfait topped with pistachio. It was the perfect ending to a superb meal.
But our meal was not over yet, for a final cocktail, Sylvain escorted us to the Sarah B and we sampled one more glass of absinthe. Although the bar boasts a wide selection from all over the world, our last drink was an amazing absinthe from right here in Quebec. Once more we went for a little higher alcohol content. We agreed that this one was the best of all three.
Whether you are visiting Montreal for the weekend or you have lived here for your entire life, you have not lived until you have tried the amazing creations of Chef Matthieu Saunier and astounding service at Restaurant Osco!. By sure to ask for Sylvain, he is waiting for you.