I am feeling very lucky today because I have had an excellent few days of eating. In the past four days I have eaten at Bistro Bienville (post coming soon!), had dinner at Bistro Isakaya (and fell in love with the food there!) and today I had the pleasure of lunching in the sun at Tagada Bistro. It’s a new little place that just opened not far from where I work, with a cute and sunny little terrace. I have been intrigued by the construction that’s been going on in there for a few weeks now and was looking forward to the opening. Patricio, the charming owner of this little gem, is no stranger to the restaurant business since his family owns La Hacienda, my favourite Mexican restaurant in town and located about a block away from this new place. For those of you who don’t know, Tagada is a very widely sold candy in France, invented by the same company that invented the gummi bears. It’s made to look like a strawberry, has a very specific scent and is covered in hot pink sugar. It is not hard to see that the Tagada candy was the direct inspiration for the decor, which is white, clean and airy with bright bursts of hot pink. Very charming but is the food good?
Tagada has a lunch menu consisting of 2 appetizers and 4 main courses. We ordered both appetizers, a lentil salad with arugula and Parmesan cheese and a gazpacho. Both were perfect. The lentils in the salad had a nice bite, was mixed with finely minced french shallots and perfectly seasoned. As for the gazpacho, it was just what I was craving on this sunny day, refreshing and well seasoned, served with a dollop of sour cream.
For our mains, we ordered the beef tartare and the salmon tartare but then quickly changed our minds when we saw the burger plate go by! There was no way we were going to let such a beauty go by so the burger it was then for my dining companion while I held on to my order of salmon tartare. It arrived with a side of perfectly seasoned croutons and some sour cream. I could taste the freshness and fattiness of the fish mixed with some dill and chives, tangy but not overly seasoned, just the way I like it.
However, what I have written so far in this post were the preliminaries to this burger I am about to describe. I think the search for the best burger in Montreal can now stop because this, my friends, is it! It starts with 200 grams of Tagada’s secret mix of best quality minced meat topped with a generous portion of 6-hour braised short ribs meat, sautéed oyster mushrooms, tomatoes, home-made spicy ketchup and Parmesan cheese, served in a slightly sweet bun with a side of red cabbage and lardons coleslaw as well as new potatoes fried in duck fat. Are you salivating yet? Have you fallen off your chair? It was absolutely scrumptious! The only thing I kept thinking of is how close to the office this place is and how dangerous for my health that could be!
But that didn’t deter me from asking about the desserts, which included basmati rice pudding with caramelized peaches and, of course! a strawberry-flavoured pot de crème topped with Tagada jello and served with slightly roasted Tagada candy! It all tasted very… electric pink and made me feel like a kid in a candy store!
So, do you see now why I am feeling very lucky today? And as if all that wasn’t enough, Tagada is offering free foie gras sampling upon request, so request away!
In addition to their regular menu, the bistro offers daily Tagada menu surprises for lunch and dinner. The young team is extremely charming and talented and I can’t wait to go back soon to check out some of the surprises and maybe get another burger? How much is the daily recommendation of a burger topped with short ribs anyway? 🙂
1199 Van Horne, Outremont
438 380 5858 (don’t be afraid, it’s just the new Montreal area code!)
Tuesday to Saturday: dinner
Thursday & Friday: lunch and dinner