Le Passe Compose
Another spot recommended to us for the Montreal visit was La Passe Compose. It was positioned as something a bit less touristy and very much Quebecois-French oriented, ideal for brunch.
La Passe Compose looked like a hair salon from the distance, - with that swirly, romantic, script font. The interior was dominated by rustic wood accents with that worn-out look prominent throughout. Bits of leftover paint covering the planks were organically adding to the overall vintage feel. Overseeing the whole restaurant was a huge moose head – right above the bar area as part of a creative brand statement wall. We also noticed that most of the artwork lining up the walls was up for sale.
NOSE & SWIRL
The elegant menus come on stained, wooden planks with clips and bolts holding the thin pieces of white paper. Out of the windows, we noticed two patio areas with barbecue benches, quite spacious with umbrellas and lots of green trees surrounding .
Our choices were simple as we tried to benefit from the crowd’s knowledge for popular dishes. Our Rural Poached Egg dish came with parsley, brioche, some pesto, oyster, and mini shiitakes mushroom. Also, a smoked shoulder ham in the porcini sauce added a massive boost of flavour. Interestingly enough, this heavy dish was presented with a small bowl of fruit and tiny smoothie on the side. These additions didn’t match the dish well, we thought, but worked perfectly with our French toast that came a bit after. While the poached egg was a solid dish overall, we were less than impressed with the side brioche. The bread was somewhat dry and wasn’t the puffy texture we’d expected. And plenty of pork as a garnish was also on the drier side.
Our second choice was their Passe Compose Poutine with pulled pork, cipollini, foie gras sauce, eggs, blue d`Auvergne cheese, and peas…There was a lot of goodness packed in here and everything was made fresh. We especially enjoyed the pulled pork with its texture and loads of caramelized onion. A generous amount of blue cheese provided the saltiness. One more thing to note was a marvelous fois gras sauce. The only item we did not quite like and mainly due to its chewy texture was the mushrooms.
In stark contrast with the general unhealthiness of the dish, there were green peas and sprouts sitting on top of the pile of fried and deep-fried goodies.
We also could not resist the highly-recommended French Toast made with Panko bread. It turned out to be a hearty dish; the toast melted in our mouth with a greasy aftertaste. A cute maple syrup amphora was served on a side. Unhealthy, no doubt, but worth the delicious calories.
Le Passe Compose appears to be a good example of Quebecois cuisine - less sanitized for tourists and close to what locals actually enjoy. The visit was a treat for us, but we cannot say confidently that we can eat like this daily.