L'Orignal in Old Montreal

My former roommate and dear friend Stacy suggested L'Orignal, which means "the Moose" in the quaintness of Old Montreal to have dinner while I was in town.   This restaurant felt like it was a hidden gem off the beaten path as the entrance is just off Rue Notre Dame, on a narrow side street. It was very intimate as you walk in with its candlelit dark interior and original stone walls and woodsy cabin-like feel.  The menu featured traditional Quebecoise cuisine (fish, game meats and top local products) and a fresh oyster bar.

There cocktail menu was very creative and featured items like a white grape and vodka martini with cucumber which was refreshing and delicious.  There was also a 'red russian; that had a combination of apple and beet juice which had a great flavour, a punch of colour and felt also very healthy. 
As Stacy knew all the folks who worked at this restaurant, service was amazing!  A couple of us started with a plate of oysters which included my favourite west coast oysters - Kushies and we slurped them all up. The restaurant has a pro shucker on staff - Daniel Notkin and it was a pleasure to make his acquaintance.
Other starters included the squash and roasted red pepper soup which was perfect and hearty for a cold Montreal day as well as a yellow and red beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts.  There was also the 'spicy' tuna tartare and while the plate was very colourful and the tuna was fresh, it lacked a punch that was expected.  My colleagues around the table had the bacon wrapped scallops, brussel sprouts and mashed potato that was very well executed and the scallops melted in your mouth.  Stacy had the braised pork shank so tender it fell off the bone.  Nathan - the man of the table had the fish tacos which was heavy on the corriander but still very flavourful.  I had the creamy duck gnoochi which was rich and sweet all at the same time.  It was very easy to finish.  

Unfortunately my ultimate goal was to try the poutine but it is only on the late night menu after 11pm and it was a school night for the gang of us and we wouldn't have lasted that long.  However the later it got, the busier the resto/bar became.  I will just have to return to try it with another one of their inventive cocktails!

**** stars (off of Rue Notre Dame)
479 Saint-Alexis, Old Montreal
Phone: 514 303 0479
L'Orignal on Urbanspoon

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