Log In / Join Now

Travel Tip: Montréal Hot Spot

Past and future on a plate

Esther Mobley
Posted: December 16, 2013

Note: This is an excerpt of an article, "Hot Spots in Houston, Montréal and San Francisco," that originally appeared in the December 31, 2013 issue of Wine Spectator.

1227 Rue de la Montagne, Montréal
Telephone: (514) 398-9229
Website: www.europea.ca
Open: Lunch, Tuesday to Friday; dinner, daily
Cost: Entrées $41-$47; tasting menus $67-$95
Credit cards: American Express, MasterCard, Visa

Like Montréal itself, Europea navigates gracefully the boundary between Old World and New World. Alongside the foie gras course comes a cannelé—the traditional Bordelais pastry—filled with Québec-sourced cloudberry jam. Once the foie gras finishes its sear on the table on a glass dome-enclosed hot stone, the server dresses it in a caramelized ice-wine sauce—the Québeçois answer to foie-friendly Sauternes.

The restaurant's Languedoc-born chef and owner, Jérôme Ferrer, has built something of a culinary empire, but Europea remains his flagship. Nearly every dish in the 10-course tasting menu relies on an innovative technique. A prop resembling a leather-bound book opens to release a heady rush of Québec maple wood smoke, beneath which lies a tartlet of just-smoked gravlax. At times, the form of the dishes overwhelms their content, and the sheer volume of food will intimidate even a famished diner. But the meal hits many high points.

Wine director Jack Grimaudo curates an impressive list of 950 selections, with special depth in Bordeaux and serious selections in Burgundy. Grimaudo's import business provides selections unavailable elsewhere in Canada, as well as familiar bottlings, such as Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009 ($173). La Terre de Mon Père Cartagènes 2012 ($60)—a late-harvest Grenache that Ferrer produces from his vineyards in Corbières—is a plush, extracted wine whose dark berry and mocha flavors harmonize well with the dark chocolate mousse dessert.

More Helpful Information:

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.