Saturday, February 13, 2010
During the holidays, I had a visit from a family friend. We kind of grew up together and he comes visit me from time to time! And since he loves eating and discovering new restaurants, it is my
responsibility to make his journey memorable. The first time, I made him taste the real smoked meat from Montreal at Dunns (Shwartz was a bit too far) and a good old poutine. Most of the people are disguted at the idea of fries covered with gravy and cheese curds but it is a delicacy here! Especially after a good night of dancing and drinking, nothing feels better than a big poutine at la Banquise. Although, I would not say that they serve the best poutine. Décarie Hot Dog wins big time with its larged-cut fries, a real good and flavorful gravy and that cheese that make 'squish squish'! Mmmm mmm mmm!!!
So this time, I decided to make him discover the multiethnicity of Montreal and at the same time, I could try something new! It was a very cold day and we have walked for a long time. We needed something that will warm us from the inside out! Why not try this Polish restaurant in the old port! I have tried some Pierogies in the past but never the real ones and I know very well that Polish meals are filled with carbs, nothing better than carbs in a cold winter day!
So in we go in Stash Café. This restaurant has been recommended by a polish friend I go to school with. She says that she brings her parents there everytime they come visit. So I figure, it must not be bad. My motto when trying out restaurants from other cultures, if the tables are filled with customers from this culture, I may assume that this is authentic cuisine!
As we enter the restaurant, there is a harmonious music that welcome us. A pianist was sitting near the entrance and played some very pleasant melody. The wooden tables all had a candle on each of them. The atmosphere was very homey... and provided us all the warmth needed :)
As we opened up the menu, there was a choice of à la carte or a discovery menu! I was super excited, I wanted to taste EVERYTHING! I ordered the primer, a little bit of everything for 'the novice to Polish cooking'... I believe that is me. My friend ordered the roast of wild boar, grrrr!
As an appetizer, we each had a soup. Borsch. Don't ask me to pronounce it, I might sound a bit This soup is a classic in polish cuisine. Made out of red beets, it has a pleasant sweetness to it and the sour cream topping was supposed to balance the saltiness of the soup. But I must say it was quite intense and somehow too salty, even with the sour cream.
Then came a simple green salad. Like I said, simple. Some mixed greens with beets (they love beets I think) and a home-made dressing. Good.
The main course. Ha-Ha! Mine was quite spectacular. I had a mix of cabbage stew with meats, sausage and mushrooms (Bigos); some pancake rolls filled with meat and fried (Krokiety); some potato pancakes (Placki); and dumplings stuffed with meat and cheese (Pierogies). And all served with a BIG dollop of sour cream. And beets. Again. They clearly LOVE beets a lot. And potatoes. And sour cream. Everything was super good. The pierogies were the best I have tasted up till now. The fried pancakes were crunchy with a mild meat taste. The cabbage added enough tanginess to lightened up the dish. And the potato pancakes were cooked to perfection, nice and cripy on the outside, and soft on the inside. But I must say, it was a very very very heavy dish. You just feel incredibly bloated after that. My oh my! At least, it did warmed me up :)
My friend's dish was really delicate. It was a few slices of boar that was marinated in a sweet sauce (I believe made out of beets). The boar was very tasty and gamey. A flavor unlike any other red meat as a matter of fact. Very tender too. It was clear that this piece of meat was simmered for a long time.
Finally, the finale was a nice little white cake topped with some fresh fruits. I was so happy to see some fruits! It felt really good :)
There was also a vast choice of Vodkas that we didn't have time to taste. Polish are known for their vodka and the waiters were very knowledgeable and helpful for that. Overall, good restaurant and great service! Our waiter described every dish and taught us how to eat it. Don't eat before going there though. You won't be able to walk after ;)