Lola Rosa – A Savoury Outburst

Lola Rosa – Vegetarian Bistro

By Annick Gagnon

When I was asked to try Lola Rosa, I felt a little hesitant. I doubted I could have a fine dining experience in a vegetarian bistro. Can one really enjoy tasteless tofu and unappealing grains?

Well, I must admit my apprehension was without a doubt due to ignorance because we had a ball!

It’s my friend’s birthday and we’re a group of three girls who want to enjoy a good meal and have fun. The first thing we notice is the beautiful, large terrace overlooking the street. Our table is located inside the restaurant, which is designed in a characteristic Mile End industrial style.

The wine list offers many choices and some are served by the glass. Most of them are private imports with a few organic ones. They also offer beers and cocktails, mostly gin based.

The food menu is short but diverse and the prices are very affordable. The vast majority of dishes can be prepared vegan and/or gluten free. The girls sitting next to us are regulars and they kindly point-out their favorites. Our eyes feast just by watching the plates coming out of the kitchen. We decide to pick different dishes so we get to taste everything.

While placing our order, our lovely waitress warns us about the significant size of the portions. For starters, we order a chickpea mousse topped with sesame seeds and dried cranberries, served with grilled tortillas. We also have nachos, topped with fresh vegetables, black beans, guacamole, sour cream, melted cheese and a side of homemade salsa. The third dish is a bowl of mixed greens with corn salsa and 2 mini seitan skewers. The waitress was right, impossible to leave this place with an empty stomach!

For the main course, my friend orders the Lola poutine, made ​​with sweet potato fries, cheese curds and black bean gravy. Eyes closed, you could never tell the difference with a regular one, it’s delicious! The birthday girl feasts on avocado quesadillas served with spicy salsa and a side of quinoa and green salad. For my part, I enjoy a hemp and chia seed burger with chickpea fries and a salad. Everything is homemade with fresh ingredients and it’s all very tasty.

Another friend joins us and orders the veggie lasagna. The kitchen was closed but our waitress convinces the chef to make an exception for us. My friend, who is Italian and a meat lover, insists this is the best lasagna she’s ever tasted.

We were so full from all the food we just ate, but we couldn’t resist trying the dessert trio. We enjoy a creamy pineapple cheesecake with graham crust and strawberry topping, a unique ginger and basil crème brûlée and a decadent chocolate mousse, each served in Masson half-jars. The sweet end of this perfect evening wouldn’t be complete without a bottle of Extra Brut Montlouis, which our waitress serves with Hibiscus flowers in our glasses. How thoughtful!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our lovely waitress Dominique who, despite a crowded room, was able to make our soirée a memorable one.

We were all delighted by Lola Rosa and look forward to our next visit. This time, we’ll be on the terrace!

Bon appetit!

Lola Rosa
4581, avenue du Parc, Montréal

Lola-Rosa on RestoMontreal.caFacebook and Twitter

Visit Lola Rosa on Milton as well:  Lola Rosa Milton

Lola Rosa Park on Urbanspoon

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