As soon as I entered the door of Bar & Boeuf, I ran face first into a white curtain hung from the ceiling that is used to block the winter winds from sneaking in as diners enter. I thought for a moment that maybe I had entered the wrong building, but then the host untangled me from the long white monster and welcomed my boyfriend and I to Bar & Boeuf, leading us to our table.
This table was located next to the busy bar, which was a bit inconvenient because we were constantly being bumped by the 40-year-old cougars flirting with young men right next to us, sloshing their fruity drinks and getting rowdy. It was entertaining to watch, but annoying to deal with when you just want to have a romantic dinner.
The music was mostly made up of lounge music and it was a little loud, presumably to drown out the horrible cliché pickup lines being pronounced beside us. But overall, the music went well with the decor and I was able to speak and hear without having to read anyone’s lips.
The decor was modern and refreshing―a splash of pink lighting from the high ceilings shined down on the white furnishing and looked very classy. The crowd at Bar & Boeuf were in their 30s, and my boyfriend and I were evidently the youngest guests at the restaurant.
Once we got situated we received the menu. We were feeling fancy, probably from the illusion the restaurant gives you of being a trendy couple in a CSI: Miami episode, so we each ordered a martini. The lychee martini I ordered had the perfect sweet and exotic taste without the bite, and my boyfriend ordered the extra fruity festive martini, receiving an eyebrow lift from our waiter.
We ordered our dinner and unfortunately had to wait for a very long time to receive it. Since we were starving, we persuaded our waiter to scurry back and forth with warm bread and water refills, to keep us from running out and getting a Big Mac instead.
For dinner, I ordered the suckling pig with iced parsnips, sweet potatoes and turnip, and I was not disappointed with my choice. The tender smoked meat of the pig in a delicious rich gravy sauce was perfectly complimented by the sweet potatoes and the crunch of the parsnips and the turnip. The presentation was flawless and not only a feast to the mouth, but to the eye as well. My only complaint is that the portion was rather small and, though it did not leave me still famished afterwards, I felt like I would have asked for seconds if I could.
My boyfriend ordered the Arctic char, which of course I stuck a fork in and then immediately regretted my decision, wishing I had ordered it instead. The fish is served with späetzle (tiny little German noodles or dumplings made with flour, eggs and milk, which often replace potatoes or rice), beets and pork. I thought the fish and pork would be a bizarre combination, but I was mistaken since the taste of the späetzle and the beets created the perfect harmony between the two. The beets added a smooth sweet flavour and a romantic red colour to the dish, and the buttery taste of the späetzle melts in your mouth with every bite of the light Arctic char.
The bill for this meal was pretty pricey, but the genius engineering of the dishes proved it to be worth every penny. Bar & Boeuf even has a Valentine’s Day menu, so bring your special someone to experience the pink and white decor and mouth-watering dishes for themselves.
Bar & Boeuf is located at 500 McGill St. For more information, please visit www.baretboeuf.com.