Thursday, February 7, 2013

Happening Gourmand - Aix Cuisine du Terroir

So the 6th edition of Happening Gourmand ended last weekend, and unfortunately I didn’t get to take much advantage of it. For all you who aren’t familiar with Happening Gourmand (hello fellow Americans!), it’s Montreal’s version of New York Restaurant Week, and it’s held in January each year. Basically, a bunch of participating restaurants offer up their table d’hôtes for a fraction of the price. For a foodie with caviar tastes on a tuna fish budget, this event is more than ideal. 

Over the past three weeks, I had been taking part in an advertising challenge, and therefore, getting over to the Old Port, where majority of the participating restaurants are located, hadn’t been easy, till finally last Friday, I called up my love, Elisa, who was down for some good grub. Elisa is my beautiful Haitian friend that I met on the Brazil Study Abroad Program last summer. I’m sure you’ll be seeing her quite a bit on here.

So we analyzed a few of the table d’hote menus and settled on Aix Cuisine du Terroir.  It’s a French restaurant that I’ve passed by several times but never gone in. It’s located beneath Suite 701 near the Notre-Dame Basilica. Walking in and seeing the cozy restaurant full to capacity, further heightened our expectations for a scrumptious meal. The hostess greeted us asking if we had made a reservation, which we hadn’t, but luckily she was able to find us a table. 

We ordered a red wine from Spain, suggested by our waitress. It was fantastic, and it’s a shame we didn’t get the name. As an entrée, we both took the cream of artichoke soup. The other option was a fennel and arugula salad with clementine dressing and roasted sunflower seeds. I myself am not a fan of fennel…

The cream of artichoke was quite tasty and oh-so-comforting after our long, cold walk to the restaurant.  For our main course, the waitress was insistent we take the fortified wine braised beef palette, with root vegetables and barley risotto.

This seriously warmed my soul. No need for a knife because it was so tender it pulled apart effortlessly. It was mouth-watering, as was the risotto with the braised beef juices poured on top.  The dessert was the chef’s choice. It was a cookies n’ cream shot glass. Two layers of vanilla whip cream separated by a crumbled chocolate chip cookie and topped off with milk and white chocolate.

Nothing fancy, but still yummy, and it’s not like we needed much more after the huge meal. After dessert, we waited a little more than necessary to get our bill...I’m not one to complain, but it really took a while. Finally, as the lunchtime crowd cleared out, we asked the hostess if we could pay. Our new waiter (Ben...he told us his name and asked me to write down the name of my blog…Hi Ben!) took our cards, and realizing how long we had waited, kindly brought us a digestif, some Quebec cider wine (which I also didn’t get the name of). Yeah, I know… we went big for lunch, and we were quite the drinkers, but guess what?! It was Friday, and it only cost us $17.25! Impressive, right?
Overall, we had a wonderful experience at Aix Cuisine du Terroir (p.s. you should hear me try to pronounce this…just a tip: the first word is not pronounced like a pirate...) and would definitely recommend it. Apparently, their lunch table d’hôte is regularly $17 (as opposed to HG’s $15)…so still worth it. You know you want to ;) xo

Aix Cuisine du Terroir
711 Côte de la Place d'Armes
Montreal, QC H2Y 2X6, Canada 

Aix Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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