Old Montreal’s restaurant scene has been on an explosive boom for the past year and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down anytime time soon. It’s great news for foodies everywhere, as well as locals, considering winter time in Montreal relies solely on either snow sports or cozying up inside our city’s establishments.
When we wrote about Brasero’s opening, it was impossible to get information…as if there was a sort of mysterious allure surrounding it. The game goes today. Little has been written or covered about St.Paul’s newest swanky go-to, Brasero Hardi.
Judging by its name, its clear that there is a cool feel to the place, so we decided to finally take it upon ourselves and discover what the word of mouth hype has been all about. The ambiance and interior is eclectic and refreshing, covered with a variety of different pictures, paintings and shapes on the walls for depth and character. Our eyes wandered to the gallery of nude women from the 1920s and 1930s; it made the place feel a tad Cotton Club-esque. You can tell that Brasero’s proprietor has immaculate taste. It’s not easy mixing such bold pieces in a smaller space and make it work so immaculately as it has been done here.
At the entrance point sits the bar, which is long and lit up, making it the point to spark up a conversation and grab one of their delicious drinks. We indulged in the “No Country For Weak Men” and “Slap And Tickle,” – drinks names are just as fetching as their taste. If you’re not fancying a large meal, you can order from their bar menu consisting of the Montreal essentials like oysters, chips, etc.
The central stunner of Brasero, however, is the inner courtyard. It’s a breathtaking space that is styled to take your imagination to cities far and beyond Montreal, creating a moment to escape if you will.
After an hour of socializing and having a few too many, we were brought to the large dining room. Somehow the place surges with warmth that you sometimes forget you are even in a public space. We ate springily that day, as we really wanted to dive deep into the menu after hearing praise regarding the food here.
We started with the iceberg lettuce with pecorino pepato and walnut vinaigrette and the cold smoked duck with grilled peach, green apple and vino cotto…sounds odd but the cold gave it a different spin and worked for us. We kept the appies small as we heard legends and myths about their Tomahawk Prime Rib and had to try it. Since there were only two of us, we ordered one Tomahawk at a whopping 38 oz. A side of roasted mushrooms and grilled veggies were purely ordered to make us two little ladies feel less gluttonous. To even describe this perfectly done up art of meat is impossible, we can truly say we have never had anything even half its size on our plate before. Considering the enormity of it, it was exquisite in taste, a true experience for die-hard meat eaters. We of course couldn’t polish it all off, so we had some male friends “offer” themselves up to help us out…and boy did they ever. Not being able to eat another teaspoon of food, we asked other diners about what dishes deserve honourable mention; here are the top three: the grilled Llamb chops, the wwordfish with tarragon butter and the crispy pork belly with squash puree.
After a long night of eating, laughing and sharing cleverly titled cocktails, we concluded that this was definitely not the last time we will be seen around here. Hooray for the Tomahawk!