We had dinner at Europea; one of the finest restaurants in Montreal and the experience was everything one could ever imagine of a gastronomic restaurant, and more.
Owned by the reputable chef Jérôme Ferrer, who’s nurtured his passion for making delectable cuisine ever since he was a child, as he’d help his grandmother prepare family meals; and two of his childhood friends, Ludovic Delonca and Patrice De Felice, all hospitality management graduates; Europea is listed among the world’s best restaurants.
Upon entrance, the contrast between the red bricks wall, punctuated by a fireplace, and the bar’s subdued blue lights, its modern and refined design, contribute to creating a chic, cozy and romantic ambiance all at the same time. The restaurant’s hostess kindly asked to take our coats, before escorting us upstairs, to our beautifully arranged table. All around us, elegantly-dressed couples had already kicked off their evening.
The dinner menu comprises two tasting menus: the Discovery Table D’Hôte (6 courses) and the Signature Tasting Menu (12 courses – Yes ma’am, you read well, twelve courses).
We had the Discovery Table D’Hôte and we were in for an incredible culinary experience that suddenly awoke our taste buds, pleasantly surprised our palate and deeply marveled our mind; thus leaving us in a state of blissful contentment that we are not ready to forget.
Our waiter brought to our table appetizers: delightful beef jerky, sliced so thinly it could have melted upon tongue contact; Cheese sticks brought on what looked like a cigar box.the most delectable pop corn I had ever tasted in my life, made with truffle oil and parmesan; and lollipops made with pesto, goat cheese and coated with parmesan. It was so original and tasted heavenly.
For starters we first had scrumptious truffle scented arranchinis rolled in croutons, on top of celeriac;
And second, we had what they call the lobster cappuccino. Now let’s mark a pause here for a minute so I can describe the divine goodness of this creamy “drink”. Made with two layers: at the bottom, truffle purée, cream and lobster bisque; and on top, crème fraiche, truffle and espelette chili. Upon consumption, the contrast between the unexpected cold and hot textures that succeed each other makes for an explosive sensation that truly feels like the doors of heaven have just opened and angels are singing for you.
We then had the lemony calamari tagliatelle, with poached egg, squid ink and garlic butter croutons, which tasted absolutely delicious. Paired with a glass of white wine, chosen to perfection by the sommelier.
And the foie gras au torchon, crispy langoustine with fresh herbs; citrus caramel; and a carrot, green apple, ginger smoothie served with two brioches; perfectly paired with a sweet red wine.
We then had what they call the Yusu Freesy Mist, that we did not have time to photograph as our waiter advised us to consume it right away. Here again, not knowing what to expect, the texture combination of the refreshing lemony mist and the ice cream was as good as it was surprising.
The waiter arrived with this huge pot, just to show us the dish and came back a few minutes later with the fish on a platter, as seen below.
It was sea bass filet cooked in hay-lined pot; beetroot spaghetti, grapefruit juice poached sorrel leaves and blood veined sorrel. The fish was perfectly cooked; and mixed wonderfully with the sweetness of the beetroot; the grapefruit juice and the sorrel.
We had this slowly braised veal cheek the Chef’s way with citrus flavored sauce; sliced potatoes and Jerusalem artichoke. The meat was so tender it frayed and the potatoes so thinly sliced and lightly baked on top it brought you both the satisfaction of a purée and what could be a deluxe version of potato chips, all at the same time.
We then proceeded with what they call “My Passport To Sweetness”: dessert.
The Saint Culpability Tree; with bubblegum flavored cotton candy, meringue, chocolate hanging from the branches. Coconut coated citrus flavored marshmallows, macarons, a box of madeleines; blue crumble, lemon cream, whipped cream, raspberry sorbet and crystalline sugar; two praline chocolate lollipops that fizzed upon tongue contact. To die for.
There were so many things to try for dessert that we couldn’t finish it all and took the box of madeleine home with us, which was perfect to savor with coffee the next morning.
To conclude this review, I’d say that our dinner at Europea was an exceptional culinary experience, that measured up to the restaurant’s acclaimed reputation. The decor was beautiful; and the staff, extremely professional and efficient.
We will end this article with Chef Jérôme Ferrer’s life philosophy, which also happens to be our motto at Ze Square: “Don’t dream about your life, live your dreams”.
Note the address: 1227 Rue de la Montagne, Montréal, QC H3G 1Z2