When living in the remote wilderness (off island) restaurant choices are somewhat limited. I was asked to attend a dinner with friends at a restaurant called “Le Balnéo” which is located in the heart of Ile-Perrot, approximately 30 minutes from the downtown Montreal area. This quaint yet trendy restaurant seats around 50 people excluding the bar which can accommodate people who would simply like to enjoy a drink in a less rowdy and causal environment. Established in 2006 “Le Balneo” has been catering to all different kinds of “nights out”. Glancing across the restaurant I noticed that their clientele was heterogeneous. From “girls’ night out” to causal couple’s dinner or friends getting together.
We began our meal with a very generous selection of fine cheeses; Riopelle de l’Isle a soft cheese with a very creamy texture, le Bleu d’Elizabeth a semi-soft cheese with blue-veined interior and finally le Ciel de Charlevoix a semi-firm cheese with a sharp taste which simply melts in your mouth. These decadent cheeses were accompanied by crispy green apple slices and crunchy red grapes, but the best part of this was without a doubt the warm baguette which kept coming from our wonderful waitress. These amazing cheeses were all washed down with a Sauvignon Blanc which was light and fruity perfect for a hot summer day.
Derek suggested the following four entrees: the sautéed shrimps and scallops in Pernod (anise flavoured liquor), beef carpaccio, warm goat cheese toasts and a Mediterranean style calamari sauté. The portions were generous allowing us to share and experience the different tastes and textures.
For our main course we chose to share four different items which are popular at “Le Balnéo”. The roast duck confit was very succulent; the meat was falling off the bone. It was served on warmed mesclun salad, with apples, walnuts, goat cheese and dried cranberry sauce. These flavor profiles were obviously thoughtfully planned out. Next up was the grilled beef Bavette steak which was well seasoned and served with Belgian fries. What a wonderful homage to a traditional dish “Steak Frites”. On to the steak tartare. I always love to see a good interpretation of steak tartare on a menu. This one was served with homemade mayo–always a crowd pleaser. Finally the Sautéed scallops in Thai curry, served with rice and vegetables; an unexpected twist on the menu.
Although we were fully satiated by then, we decided to let our gluttony show by ordering a chocolate lava cake. Lets face it a good meal isn’t complete without something sweet at the end. This chocolate lava cake was sinfully moist, nevertheless, it was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. As soon as it was set on the table, we all dug in, it was a feeding frenzy!
On behalf of Montreal nightlife, I’d like to thank everyone at “Le Balneo” for a wonderful night which featured good food and great service. In addition, I’d also like to thank the three gentlemen which invited me to partake in this evening because it’s not only the food and ambiance which makes the night a success it’s who you‘re breaking bread with. So grab your friends and family and treat yourself to a nice night out.