[Critique] The Flamingo, everything to make you laugh

A menu that pushes the tone of know-how and eclecticism, high-flying culinary performances simmered with refreshing candor: a whole show unfolds in Hochelaga.

We had read somewhere that Le Flamant deserved a note in the notebook at the reopenings of the year. A show at Salle Denise-Pelletier was enough to send us out of this friendly address on the corner of boulevard Pie-IX and rue Ontario. And when we say pretty, it’s not to look pretty. The restaurant of chefs Pascal Bolduc and David Hibon and mixologist Maximilien Jean – three collaborators who have been developing for several years in the Montreal culinary scene – is truly a welcoming and beautiful place of simplicity.

Sitting at the bar we have plenty of time to observe the space. The open kitchen in the middle sets the tone for the relaxed atmosphere. The decor, created by the Hemera Group, is modern and dark, embellished with a multitude of playful and colorful objects – including, of course, flamingos. The very inspiring menu of the moment, written on the wall with magnetic letters for children, confirms that the brigade takes cooking to heart with a good dose of fun!

Reviewed and Corrected Classics

Around a sparkling Orange Is The New White (Alsace) we build our evening plan. We have an hour and a half of top time and an endless hunger to explore.

The menu is made of nods to the classics, revised and skilfully reinterpreted. We also see the desire of chefs to push certain boundaries. A pull that resulted in blood gnocchi that night. During our visit, the duo played with Scandinavian flavors for a few more days. He had just returned from an express trip to New York to find inspiration for the next menu. A detail that is launched on-the-fly by our server and that translates the story of the Flamingo even better. Here there is no specific cuisine except that of the whole world. During the theme of the month, we use different culinary techniques to create unique and visually delicious dishes. Be warned, you won’t come close to a “wow”!

The proof: this Anna potato layer topped with veal tongue pastrami and pickle, with mustard seed and smoked sour cream. It’s as simple as it works. The search for depth is there, especially with the tenderness of the potato, the saltiness of the meat, the smoke and the softness of the cream.

Impossible not to mention the sublime dish of candied sturgeon and cabbage in a memorable mushroom sauce. Hot, very tasty, the fish cooked to perfection tasted like there was no tomorrow. The guest was very happy to recommend focaccia for proper plate cleaning. A piece of bread that confused us about the definition of focaccia, but finding ourselves in the den of joyful transgression, we just shrugged and bit into it. The only real let down were the raw beef roulades with fermented cabbage and oyster mushrooms in a wild rice vinaigrette. Yes to daring and the multiplication of flavors, but sometimes less is more.

New and delicious proposals followed in good tempo until dessert, an opera cake enhanced with a touch of foie gras. Applause felt for the friendly and relaxed service without being slack. We enjoyed the moment without feeling rushed and then made it to the theater on time. This is a nice series to repeat.

Le Flamant has all the qualities of a neighborhood restaurant, in addition to the creativity and technical mastery of a great table. A culinary show offered à la carte or in sharing options for a complete immersion in the theme of the moment. Without a doubt a destination to write in the notebook without hesitation.

Excellent Quebec! improve programming

The Flamingo

$$$ One red ticket per person. Meal for two, excluding taxes, tips, and alcohol: $173.61 (six courses, a side dish, and a dessert).

4043 Ontario Street East, Montreal, 514 439-0740.

To be seen in video

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