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Le H4C Place St.-Henri

For the last 15 years, a group of 10-15 New Englanders have traveled to Montreal to celebrate our loves of great music, food, and drink. The Jazz Fest has taken care of the first. And Dany Bolduc has helped us sate our appetites. We discovered him at Reservoir and have waited patiently for his next stop. Le H4C Place St.-Henri is an easy subway ride from anywhere in Montreal and once you’ve arrived, you’ll see a welcoming familiarity in the new place:

Many of the people who did such fine work at Reservoir have followed their chef to this airy, crisp, sophisticated, and comfortable modern setting in a stately old building. They’re a friendly, skilled crew that does justice to Dany’s food. And there really can be no higher compliment: Every aspect of our meal dazzled us.

Among our number, we sampled sweetbreads, octopus, halibut, ricotta, sockeye salmon, and chicken-liver mousse. Every detail is important—from the homemade bread to the homemade pickled onions and fennels thoughtfully sprinkled through our dinner. The sauces were complements to every entrée, letting the main ingredient be the star. The octopus was grilled to moist and tender perfection. Bolduc’s halibut did justice to an often-underappreciated fish. The sweetbreads were the best we tasted in Montreal. And a wine list with a comfortable variety of price points helped us through our evening.

We only had five days—and a lot of music—on this trip, but we made time to come back for Sunday brunch at H4C. Whatever you think of donuts, you’ll come away with a new appreciation of that breakfast staple when you take even the smallest bite of this sugar-coated cake confection. And you’ll be missing out on one of the highlights of indulgent cuisine if you pass up the brioche and the companion four homemade fruit preserves and sauces

Dany Bolduc has a new home in Montreal. So do we.

Dany Bolduc

Darn. We're going to miss him. Leaving Montreal on July 2. He's not interested in a very, very soft opening, is he? We'd be a willing test audience.

Dany Bolduc

We're coming up next week. Any idea if Dany will be open?

Sunday evening, early dinner, Vieux montreal. Any suggestions?

Coming in for the Jazz Festival and have a 7 p.m. curtain at Club Soda. Would like to find a comfortable 5:00-5:30 meal with great friends.

Dany Bolduc

I can already taste the bacon caramel sauce.

Dany Bolduc

Coming in late June, early July. Please let me know when you have an address. Don't want to wait another year!

Dany Bolduc

Any idea where he landed after he left Reservoir?

Neka

I'm trying to get to Manhattan and see what Michael Ammirati has done with Restaurant Neka--the old Hanhatty's on Madison 97th/98th. The buzz on Yelp sounds good, but would appreciate any Chowhound input. Ammirati worked with Michael Lomonano for years at Windows and, more recently, Porterhouse. The result, I'm hoping, will be Porterhouse food at Carnegie Hill prices. Will be in New York in mid-February.

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Neka Kitchen & Bar
1410 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10029

Jan 19, 2011
gprecourt in Manhattan

Montreal -- Where's the great food hiding?

For the last several years, since we had the meal of our lives at James James MacGuire's Passe-Partout, my wife and I have been looking for a comparable Montreal value--a cobnination of price and quality in our favorite dining city.

Every summer, Every summer, a dedicated band of food/music enthusiasts from New York, Boston, and Philadelphia joins us for a trip to Montreal and the Jazz Festival. We plan long in advance for music and meals and have been lucky enough to regularly enjoy world-class entertainment and food.

Last week, we came upon Reservoir (9 Duluth E.) and a truly astonishing lunch experience. One of our members runs one of the U.S.' largest and most successful beer festivals: The menu of beers in this intimate brew pub dazzled him (and the rest of us as well). And, among the seven entrees we ordered that afternoon, there were seven satisfied diners.

Recommendations? Tough to call, as the food seems be prepared with market-fresh ingredients, but were were scallops and baby vegetables on a wonderfully imaginative parmesan biscuit and gnocchi served over a comparably fresh vegetable setting. We blew apart our plans to come back on Saturday for brunch. (A pork braised short rib that has to be eaten to be believed.)

Entrees were around $15. The jaw-dropper could have been an appetizer, an entree, or a dessert: Foie-gras served with a dollop of chocolate ganache accompanied by a black-olive caramel sauce I"m not even sure if it was on the menu, but it clearly was in the chef's imagination, along with one particularly memorable dessert: a strawberry-rhubarb confit served on a thin chocolate muffin with a drizzle of bacon-caramel sauce.

The restaurant was humming during both visits: From our experience, reservations are smart during the week and be prepared to wait in line if you show up much past noon on Saturday. And, yes, the wait staff was every bit as pleasant as the food.

Michael Lomonaco's new restaurant

Visited Porter House in the Time Warner Center a few weeks ago with my wife and a group of four friends. Gave the menu--and the wine list--a thorough test. Our entrees were excellent--way beyond what we would have expected from a restaurtant still in its shake-down stage (just a few weeks old at the time). And our choices were varied--two strip steaks, one rib-eye, one monkfish, one trout, one lamb chop. Six very happy customers. The sides were imaginative and even whimsical (the macaroni and cheese was a real hit). The desserts were good enough to be outlawed in states that are uncomfortable with the concept of unexpected delights. And the wine selections--good price mix with good selections--kept pace throughout the. Gourmonster's comparison with Grill 23 was valid with one exception: Oddly, though Porter House is much larger than the Boston restaurant, it is also much quieter. Wait staff in both places very attentive.

Nov 24, 2006
gprecourt in Manhattan