Normand Laprise's nouveau-Quebec landmark attracts gourmets from across North America for its adventurous and artistic cuisine. Reservations should be ... More
Normand Laprise's nouveau-Quebec landmark attracts gourmets from across North America for its adventurous and artistic cuisine. Reservations should be made weeks in advance, and diners should be prepared for a truly astronomical bill—the five-course gourmet menu may be your best option. The Warm Foie Gras à la Toque is the most famous appetizer, while the Slightly Sauteed Longue-Pointe de Minmgan Sea Scallops are a tempting main course. The superb wine list is actually quite reasonable in price.
It's a beautiful restaurant, yes. The service is excellent, yes. But I have eaten at some of the finest restaurants in the northeastern US and Montreal and found this to be the most overhyped dining experience I've ever had.
The menu is small, and while the first courses are inspiring, the second courses were...boring. Chicken. Halibut. Pasta.
My entree, cavatelli with broccoli rabe, was tasty, but it's also something I've cooked myself 100 times, and certainly not worth $32.
It's a lovely place, indeed, but our dinner was a $75 meal, not the $245 price tag we ended up with (this is without a bottle of wine, even).
In short, high on atmosphere, low on value and inspiring menu.
First of all, when I read the negative reviews on this site, they make me smile. Who would go to such a restaurant, be willing to pay the price (that you know will be high from looking at the menu) and then drink all the degustation wine in a few sips, before the food is even served? Not very clever...
I was there last night. Yes, it is costly. But seriously, every part of the 70course degustation dinner was extremely well thought of, excited all the different papillae and taste buds, and was beautifully presented. The wines were excellent matches for the most part (one of them was an Ok choice at best). The service was efficient, not snobby, not exuberant.
In the end some reviewers are right: do not go there if you like huge portions of food served rapidly with large glasses of wine. But then if that is what you want, there is still TGIF... Long life to Toque!
Well, where to begin? I live in Alberta, love Montreal and talk about Montreal restaurants all the time....to the point that friends of ours decided to hop on a plane and come with us for a weekend. Toque was first on our list to experience. I was so excited by the reviews i'd read.
When we got there we all agreed that the atmosphere was somewhat cold. All 7 of us took the degustation menu with wine pairing and that was the beginning of the end....
We were served the first glass of wine...or I should say the first 1/3 glass of wine - if that much 10 to 15 minutes before the first course it was to be paired with. That's a long time to nurse 3 drops of wine. By the time the food was served the wine was gone...this was way the entire 7 course meal went.
The service was awful. We were constantly short of utensils, the waiters snooty!!!!
No explanation about the food or the wine being served.
The only thing they were quick with was the serving of our designer bottled water. We actually managed to drink $50 of it.......the meal took over 3 hours and at the end of it we were given a bill for nearly $2,000.00. As someone at the table observed "I didnt feel a lot of love for this kind of money".
The food was good but not worth the money and certainly lost of lot of its appeal since we never had wine to drink with it.
I feel so distressed by my experience at Toque that it will be my mission from now on to discourage everyone from going there!
Well, first of all, my wife and I were actually charged $8 each for the little appetizer offered at the very beginning (which is offered free in other establishments), before ordering; this being some sort of raw, pureed seafood in a very small champagne-shaped glass, a slightly disgusting actually. When I enquired a while later why we were not told that they charged for this, the manager of Toqué responded that it was because people did not want to know the price of appetizers. How's that for arrogance, not to mention dishonesty (a bit typical of Quebec)? I'll leave that up to you. Following this, the food served was fine, very fresh but stricly regaular fare (rack of lamb). At the end, desserts included extremely fat creme brulee, which does not help with digestion. We came out of the restaurant more drunk than anything else..and problaly a little less healthy. One good thing about our visit, it cured us of fancy restaurants for good.
I should mention that I have lived in Montreal all my life, so it's not like I suffered some sort of cultural or gastronomical shock. Speaking about shock, the price was astronomical: more than $325 for two. And the ambiance, well, the tables are set extremely far apart, giving the place very cold feeling; a bit like Soviet Russua style restaurants with their wide imperial atmosphere. Service was attentive, but very, very impersonal; I had the feeling that the waiters wished they were someplace else. The sommelier, however, was the one exception, he obviously loved his profession and loved to share his knowledge with patrons...but he was from France, were people know that talking is not just for making business trasactions.
Awesome culinary experience. Normand's creations are out of this world. I have been to his restaurant many times (old place and new) and I have never been disappointed. Service is attentive (Vincent is my favourite) and so professional. The ambiance is magnificent. I am planning another visit. Do plan a visit, SOON!!!!
I thought Toque was a nice restaurant, however for the price (almost $500 USD with the tip) it was definitely not worth it. We had the 'mystery' tasting menu, which has several courses each paired with a wine. I did not care for several of the courses and was not given a chance to substitue them. I thought the service was o.k., but not excellent. If you go, I'd suggest ordering from the regular menu and not the tasting menu. I find there are many other restaurants in Old Montreal that are just as good, but much less expensive.
My spouse & I found culinary ecstasy with virtually every bite of the "tasting menu" (and every sip of the five wines served therewith). I felt I was experiencing the genius of chef Normand Laprise; how he must 'think' flavors the way you & I think words -- what we tasted truly was that varied & idea-rific. Compared to our "big nights out" in NYC, Paris, and some superb places on Long Island, Toque! sets the highest bar now. I cannot imagine affording to dine-out so well, so frequently, that I could know better restaurants -- unlike one of the reviewers here. Service was appropriately gracious & attentive; we do not rue our three hours & $400 (generous tip) at all!
I don't understand the negative remarks about this restaurant. I have been twice with my family, and each time the food and service were excellent. I find that there is a distinct lack of haughtiness or superiority complex at this place--maybe that is what is throwing some snobby people off. The decor is classy, with space and privacy being the goal. I feel like I could show up in jeans and the service would still be attentive.
The food portions are not small. They are small compared to gigantic American portions, which are obscene anyway, but they are appropriate for a six-course meal and everyone in my party left satisfied on both occasions.
Yes, it takes 3 or 4 hours to eat the meal--the way it should be done. I am not going to pay that much money to be rushed through my six-course meal in 1 hour.
My one complaint is that one evening a party was seated near us and one of the women was wearing so much perfume you could have smelled her a mile away. My mother is allergic, and while we should have requested another table immediately, it would have been nice for the waiter to offer it to us--I think he sensed something was wrong but didn't know exactly what it was. Oh well, partly our fault.
The food was more artistic than anything we have ever eaten. Each bite was a perfect medly of flavors, and the wines paired with each course were perfect! We were there for almost 4 hours, so make sure you are ready for a long meal if you get the chef's menu - and the service can be a little slow, as each course is prepared as you are ending your current course - but the service, everything was exquisite!!!
This place is a joke. We have eaten in some of the best restos in the US and Canada. We were excited to finally try "One of the best restaurants in Montreal" a couple years ago. The food came in remarkably small portions in painfully long intervals. Much creativity went into producing the long line of mediocre bites that eventually made it to our table. We were puzzled as to how this place got such a rep, it actually worried us with MTL being such a great food city. The general quality of MTL restos is very high,but maybe the city is not capable of carrying a "world class" restaurant. This place would have long been shuttered if it were in NY or any other great food center. I am sorry to write such a negative review but I am a native montrealer (since moved to US) and this place is an embarassement. Don't get me going on what it ended up costing.
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