BYOB’s are, I believe, unique to Quebec and Montreal definitely has its fair share offering a wide selection of cuisines. Their obvious attraction is that they allow us to cut down on the size of our bill and let us splurge on that special bottle of wine we’ve been eyeing and longing to try without the painful restaurant mark up.
Over the years I have eaten at a number of these establishments resulting in mixed results, both in terms of the food and the service.
With this skepticism lurking in the back of my mind I decided none the less to venture out again with my expectations high and my ‘special’ bottle of wine tucked tightly under my arm.
My skepticism this time was rewarded with the discovery of a BYOB gem, one that I immediately entered into my best list and one that I definitely plan to return to, again and again
Le Pegase is a cozy dining oasis tucked away on the lower floor of a duplex on residential Gilford St in Le Plateau area just east of Papineau. Le Pegase is by no means large, but its design and ambiance belies its size. It is cozy beyond belief and the entire team of staff are all friendly, informed and keenly professional.
For ordering purposes their menu is offered in two categories and price ranges. The first being the Petite Table that includes a choice of soup or salad, main course and regular coffee. The second is the Table Gourmande including soup or salad, entree, main course, dessert and regular coffee.
Creativity is up front in all their dishes with entrees covering the gamut of arctic char gravlax to profiteroles with goat cheese, honey and braised veal cheeks. The plats principales are equally ambitious with selections featuring, among others, bison, deer, lamb beef and fish.
Each dish served to us was beautifully presented with impeccable and complimentary flavors and textures.
Deciding on the Table Gourmande westarted with a velvety smooth and exquisite beet soup lightly drizzled with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil and their fresh green salad lightly dressed in an addictive citrusy vinaigrette. Both were excellent!
For entrées we chose gravalax d’omble chevalier and pieuvre et calamars. The gravlax was perfectly marinated with a wonderful toothsome mouth feel. It was served with a warm and savory baby potato salad dressed in a vinaigrette all sitting atop a rich and luxurious roasted garlic spiked sour cream sauce.
My dish of perfectly cooked and tender morsels of octopus and calamari rings was served atop a cold couscous salad and drizzled with a scrumptious lightly spice addictive roasted sweet red pepper sauce. I could have made a meal out of this one .
For main courses we chose the medallion de cerf and the chef’s suggestion of the evening, pintade.
The medallion, a large portion, was perfectly cooked medium rare and beyond fork tender. It was napped with a rich and divine Madagascar pepper sauce and was served atop a mound of sweet potato puree and accompanied with roasted baby asparagus and baby carrots. Yum!
My roasted pintade consisted of a succulent half pintade moist inside with perfect crispy skin and was served with the same sweet potato puree and accompanied with sweet caramelized roasted baby carrots and brussel sprouts, all sitting on top of a delicious and savory pan jus . I lapped up every bite!
The care and service at Le Pegase extends even to the bread and homemade melba toasts they offer with ramekins of creamed butter and a composed liver pate (all refilled without question by the way, half way through our meal!)
Portion sizes at Le Pegase are perfect and leave comfortably leave room for their fabulous desserts. We chose the mouelleux au chocolat tiède et sa glace and the tarte tatin avec sauce caramel a la fleurs de sel.
The molten chocolate cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a standby at a lot of restaurants, was perfect, rich, but not overly sweet, as is often the case.
My tarte tatin was also not too rich and the ambrosial caramelized apples were perfectly complemented by the fleur de sel flavored caramel sauce.
Regular coffee is also included.
Le Pegase’s homey atmosphere, service and wildy inventive and delicious cuisine not unexpectedly plays to full houses and reservations are a must, especially on the weekend It is definitely at the top of my ‘return to list’
Congratulations to the whole team
We brought along a bottle of Otazu, a full bodied Spanish red wine, ($19.05)that complimented our meal perfectly
Our meal, including taxes, came to $102
1831 Rue Gilford (cor Papineau)
Mon to Thurs opens at 17h30
Friday & Saturday: two sittings 18h00 and 21h00