Basing their excitement on super-hits L’Orignal and Gros Jambon, Old Port regulars were anxiously awaiting the opening of the Magdalen restaurant in Montreal, another restaurant by the same crew. Verdict? In line with our expectations, this place is as cool as its sister restaurants – nothing less to be expected of Travis Champion and Monica Terlecki. It’s now open for both lunch and dinner, and it just received its liquor license. Partay!
So, why “Magdalen”? The restaurant is named after the Magdalen Islands – where most of Montreal’s seafood comes from. Fitting, seeing as Magdalen aims to be known for its brasserie-styled menu that also focuses on seafood.
No matter what you order, you’ll enjoy your meal. We started with a 100% homemade charcuterie platter that included some sinfully delicious items we had never heard of (this doesn’t often happen when you’re sitting with a fellow foodie that has worked in the restaurant industry even longer than you have). Spreadable sausage, anyone? Oh yeah, I said it. We had s-p-r-e-a-d-a-b-l-e sausage. Among other delectably meaty things.
Next came the starters. Fresh and super-refreshing, the endive and radicchio salad is a sure and delicious bet to start your meal. We also had the onion soup. More of a purée of sautéed onions than a broth, it came with a slice of knowck-out onion bread pudding at the bottom of the bowl instead of regular cheesy croutons floating at the top. If you like onion soup, you’ll be completely blown away by this one. But like, completely.
Foodies are easily intrigued by each other’s meal choices, so we split both mains too. We had the confit pork with boudin noir, red eye gravy, potato puree and Brussels sprouts. The confit pork was delicious, with crispy skin on the top and melt-in-your-mouth meat at the bottom. The potato puree was thick and creamy and perfectly complimented by the gravy. The Brussel sprouts added a necessary dash of “healthy” to the dish. YUM.
The sturgeon with braised radish, apple, fennel and a light curry emulsion was also a hit. The meaty fish was well-paired with fresh and crunchy pieces of apple, fennel and braised radish, and topped with a very thin sauce – a nice, delicious, light meal option.
I couldn’t wait until it opened for dinner, so this review is about Magdalen’s lunch menu. Let me tell you – here, a full midday meal is a real steal. The table d’hôte includes a fine starter & main, and ranges from $20-$25, and you can even get a quick one-course bite if you’re in a hurry. Having loved their lunches, I can’t wait to check out the restaurant at dinnertime… It seems I’ll be there often – come by, say hi.
Food 9/10, Music (superfunmix-oldies&newbies) 8.5/10, Service 9/10, Pretty people 8.5/10