November 6, 2012

Lunch at Toqué! Restaurant in Montreal

Toqué! is one of the more well-known restaurants in Montreal and has been on the dining scene for years.  Until recently, though, I had not yet eaten there.  I finally decided to see for myself if it lives up to the hype.  Since the price point at Toqué! is on the higher end, I decided to try out the more reasonably priced lunch instead of going all out for dinner.  Drawing in potential evening customers is most likely one of the reasons Toqué! offers lunch, and in my case it worked.  It ended up being such a pleasurable experience that I can't wait to go back for dinner.

What's for lunch?

Lunch is priced mostly in the $25 to $30 range in a 2-course format of an appetizer and a main dish.  A cheese course and dessert are available as add-ons, and suggested wine pairings are also listed, so it is possible to have everything from a lighter meal over a business meeting to a complete dining experience.

The food is well-portioned, well-presented, and mostly importantly tastes great.  The menu is adjusted according to season.  Current offerings include duck tartare, sliced lamb shoulder, and sea snails as appetizers and main courses of ravioli stuffed with squash, quail, and roasted scallops.

My dining partner and I especially enjoyed the cheese course, in which the 3 cheeses offered all came from a single local producer.  Very clever idea.  The desserts are also worth the relatively small additional cost.  My rice pudding was superb, and my partner loved his upscale version of Eton Mess.

Any drawbacks?

The service is friendly, but from my point of view is delivered too casually for the caliber of the food presented.  The other minor negative aspect is the ambience.  Although the space has been designed with thought, it feels cold and uninviting.  It is less of an issue at lunch, though, especially given the emphasis on business clientele for the noon service.

Despite these small weaknesses, I very much enjoyed my experience at Toqué!.  The high quality of the cuisine at this lauded Montreal star lives up to its reputation.

900 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Metro: Square Victoria or Place d'Armes
Parking: $15 valet parking (evening only) or $9 tickets on sale at the restaurant for parking at the Caisse de Dépots et Placements (CDP) - contact the restaurant for more information

Dress: Business or smart casual

Price: $35 - $40 per person for a 2-course lunch without drinks, including tax and tip, or around $75 per person with the additions of a glass of wine, cheese course, and dessert, including tax and tip

Highlights: Expertly prepared food.

Toqué! on Urbanspoon

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