Thursday, May 21, 2009

Le Steak Frites St. Paul : Montreal

On vacay with my family in Montreal and Quebec City. It's no warm, sunny beach, but I'm excited not only to have some good French food again, but also to introduce it some more to my parents.

First stop on the trip was a Steak Frites place, called Le Steak Frites St. Paul.

It's a fairly classy place with a bunch of people seemingly coming there after work, catching us a little off-guard with us in our t-shirts and jeans.

But no less, they seat us without a hitch and we proceed ordering off of their chalkboard menus...

Starting off with a few appetizers, we were quite impressed. The buns were quite good, enough probably to stand on their own (with some butter) as snacks.

Saumon Fume (Smoked Salmon) - So long as smoked salmon is fresh and tender, I'm a pushover. Bring me another of these please.

Calamars Frits (Calimari) - Looking at the Chowhound boards post our dining experience, it looks like others at this Chowhound boardsimilarly enjoyed their calamari. This was a real treat. The calamari was lightly battered, lovingly cooked and tasted great. The texture of both the calamari and the batter was perfect. Addition flavor was salt and I want to say a few specks of paprika. It came with a home-made tartar sauce, which was quite nice but the calamari was good with or without sauce.

The salad seemed meant as a palette cleanser, so let's move on...

Le Steak et Frites (9 oz) Hmm, this was a touch disappointing (then again perhaps with unfairly high expectations). My steak, while flavored decently, ordered medium rare, was a little tougher than I expected. (A side note: I'm a bit confused. Is steak frites generally associated with a particular cut of meat? When in Paris, the steak frites was a patty of ground beef, but every time I've ordered afterwards in the US and now here, it's been a cut of meat. And even then, it seems to be varying cuts. Is it more anything goes?) Anyhow, the accompanying sauces were quite good. I got the dijon mustard sauce and my mom got the mushroom one, both of which were homemade and quite lovely. Lastly, while it was great that we had unlimited shoestring French fries, they were heavier than I expected, seemingly baked in some oil, which gave it a definitively not-airy texture. They weren't oily, but they just weren't anything special.

Duck Confit - Probably our family's favorite meat dish of all. (Fyi, here's a link to wikipedia's duck confit page My brother and I had forgotten what exactly confit meant when we were explaining to our parents) The duck meat was just tasty throughout the entire leg, having that distinctive preserved duck (almost sausage-like) flavor. My only complaint was that it ran a bit on the drier side, but overall the great flavor won out.

Brochette de Fillet Mignon - fillet mignon skewered and grilled. This was kind of in between. A decent tasting and texture meat, but I can't say that this was that different than grilled steak and vegetables that we could find in the states.

Overall, the appetizers were really the most impressive of our dishes, but all of us certainly walked out of the restaurant quite satisfied. Hopefully, our dining experiences will only improve here on out.

PS. If anyone has any recommendations for Montreal or Quebec, give me a shout in the comment section within the next few days.

Steak Frites St Paul
12 St Paul oues Montréal, QC H2Y 1Y7, Canada (Map)
(514) 842-0972
($Canada, $French, $Montreal)

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