We have always been big fans of wine bar Bocata nestled on the rustic street of St. Paul. Cozy, warm and full of atmosphere it really is the ideal go-to for a date, a night out with friends, or if you’re just in a mood to enjoy a lovely glass of wine alone at the bar. In comparison to their next-door cousin Barroco, Bocata was always more known to us for their wines and casual plates to nibble on. When we were asked to join some of Montreal’s top food bloggers and writers to taste their new Autumn menu, we wondered if their foodie side has emerged further to bring something different to the table. The verdict: flavour, flavour and more flavour. The sampling menu consisted of the chef’s picks, so let’s break it down with a brief summary of our top four dishes and some photos to tantalize those taste buds.
Let’s start with the Pata Negra Iberico. This was a great charcuterie to start off with. It is specially fed through the muscle pork as we were told by the chef, which gives them an exquisite taste melting away in our mouth. It was served with toasted bread, fresh tomato and olive oil alongside a very soft sparkling Cava wine from Les Mestres, Spain (a private import, of course).
Next on the menu was the Duck & Arugula Salad, our personal favourite. The story here is that a family from France moved to Quebec a long time ago but brought the traditional way of raising ducks with them. The meat tastes sophisticated and very tender, quite different than the usual duck we have had before. The salad came with confit, pancetta and apple vinaigrette and walnut praline, drizzled with 25-year-old Jerez vinegar. The wine pairing was also our top pick of the night, a Sole Vento from Marco de Bartoli in Sicily – Dry, fresh and floral!
Lobster Lasagna! Was this ever an unexpected treat; chestnut lasagne, anis-pumkin puree, apple and sweet potato chutney topped with wild mushroom sauce. Okay, if we can have two favourites this would be our other one…we lied. The cleverness of blending lasgana with lobster turned out to be creative perfection with distinct taste and texture. We think the food disappeared off everyone’s plate in record breaking time. To accompany this, we were served an Arbois Savagnin from Domaine de la Pinte, a thicker wine with a nutty flavour to it. The added bonus? No sulphites, meaning headache-free the next morning!
To finish it all off we have to give honourable mention to the desert platter. We are known for our sweet tooth and this satisfied it quite well indeed. The homemade brownie with salted caramel and season sorbet was a complete knockout, creating quite a mess on our plates and faces…needless to say, gluttony at its finest.
Overall the menu had spice, variety and just enough dishes to satisfy most. The wines were truly noteworthy, most private imports and each paired to the tee with the dishes. A notable mention goes to Bocata’s wine manager Malcolm Roberts for his immaculate storytelling accompanying each glass.