Story and photos by Manos Angelakis
Les Enfants Terribles Brasserie
1 Place Ville Marie, 44th Floor
Montréal, Québec H3B 4S6
Located practically at the center of Montreal’s Golden Square Mile, on the 44th floor of a building towering over most of the city, is the restaurant Les Enfants Terribles Brasserie (The Terrible Children’s Brasserie). The view is fantastic, allowing for spectacular city views – for an even better view one can go to the observatory on the 46th floor for a 360 degree panorama. The story of Montreal’s settlement by First Nation tribes in the early 14th century is depicted and other educational information is available for all ages
The brasserie is part of a group of 6 restaurants in Québec; the group is family owned and we were lucky enough to actually meet one of “les enfants terrible” Virginie Bruneau, now a lovely young woman, who welcomed us to the brasserie. It seems that on a family vacation the four Bruneau children, Virginie and her three brothers spent a lot of time enjoying themselves, especially with late night parties. This caused the parents many sleepless nights and the children affectionately became known as “The Terrible Kids”. Voila! the name stuck and set the concept for the restaurant that was then under construction. The walls have many pictures of the children and the atmosphere is young, friendly and fun. This feeling has contributed to the restaurants almost instant popularity, along of course, with their insistence on the highest quality ingredients and a changing menu to encourage repeat visits. Happily there are several favorite items that steady clients won’t allow to be removed from the menu and after tasting a few of them, we agreed.
The restaurant is great for brunch; the Apple Confit French Toast is topped with pure maple syrup and Chantilly cream and studded with hazelnuts; a Pâté de Campagne terrine slice is placed on an oak plank and is accompanied by charcoal toasted peasant bread, apple mustard, cornichons, pickled wild onion bulbs and French fries; the poached Eggs Benedict were covered with Hollandaise sauce made from scratch.
And, in our opinion, the most spectacular of the egg dishes is the Merguez Shakshouka – eggs sunny-side up on a bed of roasted fresh tomato and pepper cubes covering slices of a North African lamb sausage, topped with chives and accompanied by garlic bread - I was full from the previous evening’s exceptional meal (see XVI XVI Restaurant) so I asked for a single egg. A really good local specialty was the Breakfast Poutine - poached eggs, roasted potatoes, onions, bacon, cheese, pork shoulder and a tangy Foyot sauce.
There are very nice cocktails including traditional Mimosas and Bloody Maries and the moctails include an Aloe Mojito. The espresso was well made with lots of crema and the café au lait was comme il faut; whoever made the coffees knew what they were doing.
The brasserie was quite full when we arrived, mostly 30 something locals and a few families, enjoying their weekend brunch. Unfortunately it was a rather cloudy day; the weather did not allow for the spectacular views we had hoped for. Be that as it may, the brunch was lovely, the food was very good to exceptional, the drinks were ample… what else does one need?
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