Le Passe Compose
Another spot recommended to us for the Montreal visit was Le 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 were on stained wooden planks with clips and bolts holding the thin pieces of white paper. Out the windows, we noticed two patio areas with barbecue benches – quite spacious with umbrellas and lots of green trees all around.
Our choices were simple as we tried to benefit from the crowd’s knowledge for popular dishes here. Our Rural Poached Egg dish came with parsley, brioche, some pesto, oyster and mini shiitakes mushroom. A massive boost of flavor was provided by smoked shoulder ham in the porcini sauce. Interestingly enough, this heavy dish was presented with a small bowl of fruit and a tiny smoothie on the side. These additions weren’t matching this dish too well, we thought, but worked perfectly with our French toast which 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 not the puffy texture we expected. There was plenty of pork and it 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 plenty 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 was the mushrooms and mainly due to the chewy texture. 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 very 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.