4.25 Stars – Overall Experience
3.75 Stars – Price
3.75 Stars – Service
4.50 Stars – Food
4.00 Stars – Atmosphere
Homemade Gnocchi & Migneron de Charlevoix
Albacore Tuna Tartare
Figs & Quebec Mozzarella di Buffala
In Old Montreal on the pedestrian square near the water, Maggie Oakes restaurant serves up hungry diners with beautifully artistic dishes. Between the great views, beautiful patio and delicious food, it is no wonder this restaurant is packed on a regular basis.
Old Montreal is hands down one of the most beautiful parts of the city, so having the ability to sit on Maggie Oakes patio and enjoy the sites and sounds of this area was truly a pleasure. In the square itself, locals and tourists alike shop, eat and enjoy the views. While the area is filled with old historical buildings, Maggie Oakes restaurant offers a modern and sophisticated approach in design compared to some of its neighbours. The beauty of the space can be seen at night when the stars come out and the candles on the table are lit, providing a warm glow. While I was thrilled to find a spot on the patio, my only complaint would be that there were perhaps a few too many tables for the size of the space. A family came to sit next to me and my dinner guest and we found ourselves ducking chairs and highchairs being passed over our heads (no way to bring them around due to the tight space). While there were some families dining, I would say this is a better spot for the adults.
After refusing the first table option we were offered by the hostess (due to it’s proximity to the dirty dish station), she was able to find us a better spot on the upper patio, which my dining partner and I were happy with. Our waitress was friendly, spoke English and we received drinks and food relatively quickly. Nothing ‘above and beyond’, but an overall solid service that made the evening smooth and enjoyable.
After a long hard day, I decided to treat myself to a glass of Prosecco. The price seemed reasonable ($10) and I felt like I got a much larger glass/pour than I normally would. Crisp and refreshing, it was the perfect drink with my meal and to cool me down on a hot summers night.
It is hard for me to say no when I see homemade gnocchi on a menu. When the dish first arrived, my first impression was “WOW this looks almost too beautiful to eat”, which was immediately followed by my second impression “is this enough food?”. I expected to see a massive plate of large fluffy gnocchi swimming in a creamy sauce (as I’m often served in Toronto) and instead got small pan fried gnocchi with very little sauce. It worked beautifully though. The peas brought freshness, the cheese used as a sauce added some boldness to the dish and the chopped nuts (hazelnuts I think) and fried crispy outside followed by the pillowy inside of the gnocchi delivered a multitude of tastes and textures. The composition of flavours and textures was incredible and my hat goes off to the chef! And was it enough you might be asking? The answer is yes! I was surprised at how full I felt after the dish – a perfect amount of food. My onbly complaint was the gnocchi I felt could have been cooked for a minute longer, but now I am just being picky.
My dining companion ordered the Albacore Tuna Tartare and Figs & Quebec Mozzarella di Buffala salad. Again, the presentation was beautiful with each dish served on a unique plate. Even the Tuna Tartare looked stunning…and that is a hard thing to achieve. She enjoyed her dishes and we both left feeling satisfied and relaxed. Wish we had room for dessert as I am sure they would have been delicious too.
There were plenty of options to chose from and even a section on the menu called “From the Garden” which seemed to be fully vegetarian. Lots of variety of beautiful dishes left this vegetarian salivating for more.
Considering the quality and presentation of the food, I thought the prices were reasonable for the most part, but there were a few dishes that seemed a bit over priced. For instance my friend paid $15 for the salad and $17 for the Tuna, where the Tuna (with a major protein) seemed far more substantial of a dish than the salad and only $2 more. But again, the ingredients and presentation were in my opinion worth the money.
Time of Dinner: 8:30pm
Date: Thurs June 8th, 2017
For more information, please check out their website at http://maggieoakes.com/en/