Did you know that there’s a dining room in Montreal that organizes secret, elegant, private dinner parties for a maximum of 22 guests once every month? Well, I guess it won’t be much of a secret anymore now that this post is published! Les Nuits Borgia are a “pop-up” dining event of sorts that happen once a month at Le Maître Chocolatier in downtown Montreal. The players behind Les Nuits Borgia are Le Maître Chocolatier’s chef and owner Nada Fares, chef Nicolina Servello and pastry chef Jami Liverman, whose talent I had previously spoken about in this post.
This past Thursday night, 22 of us lucky food bloggers and journalists found ourselves in the elegant upstairs dining room of Le Maître Chocolatier to experience what Les Nuits Borgia was all about. We were welcomed with a glass of champagne with a pink rosebud in it – I was liking this evening already! A long table was set up in the middle of the space with gorgeous bouquets of coloured roses, candles lit everywhere and beautiful flatware and dinnerware. This evening was all about appealing to the five senses and it was shaping up to do exactly that. I had the feeling I was in someone’s home and not in a restaurant, especially since I knew a lot of the people who were there. I was also very happy to meet some new people, some of which I was already “friends” with on twitter. After enjoying one or 2 glasses of bubbly, we were seated and dinner began.
Les Nuits Borgia’s philosophy is to use fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. The food is simple yet tastes amazing thanks to the ingredients’ freshness and quality. This was immediately apparent in the first dish of wild Quebec mushroom medley on crostini. The mushrooms were meaty and perfectly seasoned and topped with a slice of delicious cheese that was made by chef Servello especially for that evening.
I was looking forward to the second dish, a springtime Fior di Latte medaglione on a bed of minted pea purée. I love Fior di Latte cheese and nothing says spring to me like fresh peas. This dish was perfection! The medaglione pasta had a little bite to it but the filling was smooth and creamy. The pea purée tasted fresh like spring and the mint balanced it perfectly. Delicious!
We were then served a little shot glass of bright green baby arugula with lemon-lime granita decorated with a sprig of wild asparagus to cleanse our palate and get us ready for the meat course.
The meat dish consisted of a fleur de sel seared bavette with crisp corn polenta and buttered asparagus. The bavette was perfeclty cooked and melted in the mouth but extra points go to the disc of crispy corn polenta, which was just an excellent take on this Italian staple which I am usually not very fond of but which I ate in this entirety this time around! I wouldn’t mind having that as a side-dish to my meat anytime!
No need to say that I was also looking forward to dessert, especially since I had tasted Jami’s desserts before and I knew the man could bake! Now bare in mind that clafoutis is not normally a dessert I would order since it rarely has chocolate in it and I am a chocolate girl! But this particular cherry clafoutis was scrumptious and it did have chocolate in it! Another successful dessert by Jami and a perfect sweet note to end the evening on!
I really love the intimate nature of Les Nuits Borgia’s dinner parties. You can organize your own group of friends or you can just reserve your spot and end up meeting some interesting, like-minded people at these dinners. The next event will be taking place on June 2nd. I would reserve my spot right away if I were you! If you would like to have a dinner organized on any other night, contact Le Maître Chocolatier and they can probably arrange it for you.
Les Nuit Borgia at Le Maitre Chocolatier
By reservations only, 22 guest maximum
Next evening is on June 2, 2011 Note: I just got news that the June 2nd event is now sold out and they have started taking reservations for June 23.
Cost: $85/person no wine or $98/person with wine pairing (taxes & tip not included) Note: This price will probably be increased to $100/$130 with wine soon
For reservations, call: 514 544 9475 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all the latest news, you can follow Les Nuits Borgia on Twitter