Thursday, April 26, 2007

Le Jolifou

I always feel a touch of pride when I dine at Le Jolifou since the chef/owner, David Ferguson, is a friend of mine and I've watched his beautiful restaurant evolve literally from the ground up.
As I was between jobs around the time he was planning to open, I gave him a few months of work as his sous-chef and enjoyed every minute. Some describe his cuisine as French techniques with a Latin twist, but you really have to try it to understand why this place is unlike any other restaurant in town. If you like memorable, bold flavors, totally reasonable prices, and a fun, hip atmosphere, this is a place you need to try out now! I can't count how many times I have eaten there and it never gets old.

Shrimp Tempura with Avocado and Mango Curry Sauce
I had this toothsome appy and it really hit the spot; then again, I could eat pretty much any combination of mango and avocado! Toss in some jumbo shrimp and I'm sold!

Grilled Calamari with Mojo Sauce
This smoky warm salad is a burst of flavor with the intense citrus, garlic and cumin sauce coating the calamari. Just remembering it makes me hungry again.

Grilled Salmon with Balsamic Reduction, Seasonal Vegetables and Basil Tagliatelle
I'm always a sucker for homemade pasta and I am happy to report Dave's is stellar.

Veal Chop with Guajillo Chile Sauce
This was Danny's dish which I didn't get to taste, but I know he was very happy with it, especially the portion size! Guys and their meat...

Duck Confit, reduction of Sherry vinegar, with Pazole and roasted Parsnips
This is a hugely satisfying dish. The rich duck melts in your mouth and is paired nicely with Dave's pozole with a fire-roasted salsa chuck full of tomatillos, blackened tomatoes and cilantro.

The menu: Table d'hote or fixed price. So you pay one price for your main dish and an appetizer and dessert are included. Again, really affordable prices.

Lavender Panacotta

I only got to shoot one of the desserts, but we enjoyed lemon tart, chocolate and cranberry bread budding, chocolate tart, and creme brule. Not usually one to steal the show, the lavender panacotta was my dessert of choice for the evening. A smooth, simple and a perfect finale to a decadent meal.

With his laidback style and simple yet bold presentation, Dave makes it all look effortless; I, for one, know it's not. Too many places around Montreal miss the mark for the combination of affordability and titillating taste to be an easy target.
Fortunately for us, we have Le Jolifou!


Zaak said...

Not a good idea to read this when hungry. I hope I can sleep tonight.

[please, no one infer that I didn't eat supper tonight - I was well fed, just no jolifoued!]

Unknown said...

My friends took me here this past August for my farewell dinner treat- and what a TREAT! I'm from the Phillipines - it's food is a hybrid of Spanish, Chinese, Southeast Asian & American cuisines - in my book the original fusion cuisine since its been around for 400yrs! I've lived here in NYC for more than 25 yrs & have just left a blog on NY Times dining section about it to Frank Bruni, NY Times Dining critic on his Diner's Journal. This is a great Fusion place - you're right, its not just French fusion, and you have to eat there to get it.


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