By Annick Gagnon
I was really looking forward to share my new discovery with you! Having lived several years in HOMA, I am happy to see new quality businesses opening shop in the neighborhood. It was about time that residents no longer needed to drive all the way to the Plateau or Mile-End to enjoy a decent meal.
The idea behind Les Affamés started between four students who wanted to open their own restaurant before turning thirty. Guillaume plays the role of the gourmet, Tigran is the jack of all trades, Cédric is the business guy and Alexandre is the master behind the bar. You will quickly understand their passion for food when you see the size of the kitchen, which is practically bigger than the dining area!
To know the complete story of how the friendship partnership started, you should check out their official website at www.lesaffames.ca
The restaurant has been smoothly going uphill since its opening in the spring of 2012 when it specialized in brunches and lunches. Its reputation didn’t take much time to get established with sturdy brunches like bison short ribs served with a poached egg or deer sirloin with eggs and sautéed vegetables. Now that it’s open for dinner time, there is nothing to stop its success. Moreover, the cooks make a considerable effort to use only fresh and local products and everything is homemade.
Their big strength is undeniably the variation in textures and the constant balance in flavors. In practically every dish you will have something creamy and crispy, sweet and salty, cold and warm, soft and spicy. It’s a real treat to savour their creations, especially with a menu that changes weekly, seasonally and according to the chef’s mood.
The wine list offers several choices in white, red, rosé, bubbles and a desert wine. If you’re more adventurous, Alexandre has developed a list of cocktails with fun names and you can get the recipes of your favorite ones by scanning the menu’s barcodes with your iPhone. So clever!
During our visit, we took a lot of time to choose what we were going to eat; everything was so tempting! For starters, I opted for the grilled octopus, served with corn puree, chorizo, pop corn and kale chips. It was an original, colorful and tasty dish.
My friend chose the beet salad, which had many types of beets, with a goat cheese sorbet and crunchy walnuts. We were already having fun!
As for the main dishes, I don’t usually order rice or pasta at a restaurant, But I couldn’t resist the plate of ricotta gnocchi served with wild mushrooms, fresh peas and arugula. The mixture of fresh vegetables with the creamy gnocchi was absolutely delicious!
Our second choice was two large Arctic char filets served over a chickpea puree, caper and lemon remoulade and Swiss chard. Arctic char is part of the salmonids family (salmon and trout), but its flesh is much more delicate and tender in texture and flavor. It was cooked just right and the whole plate was flawless.
With generous portions and such a hearty meal, we opted for a nightcap instead of a dessert. Since I have visited Les Affamés once before for lunch, I will suggest you try their lemon tart or strawberry mousse, both will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.
Please note that the restaurant also offers a catering service that we can all enjoy for our next family, work or friend gathering.
4137, rue Ste-Catherine Est, Montréal