Mon Lapin was created by Marc-Olivier Frappier and Vanya Filipovic, a chef and sommelier husband and wife team. Joining the team were Jessica Québécois (chef), Alex Landry (sommelier) and Marc-Antoine Gélinas (front) to move the restaurant to #1 on Canada’s 2023’s 100 Best list. Opening in 2018 in the area called Little Italy, they present an ever-changing menu of seasonal and local ingredients accompanied by natural wines. It started quite tiny but they were able to expand after a couple of years and now have room to accommodate a few walk-ins. The beautiful tile floor is set with small tables of wood or marble under lowered lighting and fairly loud upbeat music. The vibe is energetic and the service is outstanding. The servers know about the food and wines and will help you make a meal plan that works together. For example, after we selected our shared plates the server brought out several wines at different price points, described them and then we chose one. It was a fabulous evening and I would recommend it to anyone who can get there.
Veau cru de pâturage, sungolds â l’estragon was veal tartare topped with sungold tomatoes and tarragon on a creamy, Bearnaise-like sauce. The tomatoes provided a zesty contrast to the soft meat and the rich sauce pulled it all together. Yummy.
Croque Pétoncle was a scallop sandwich on a buttery, garlicky toast. The mousseline scallops were mixed with a little mayo and barbecued onions on this thin very buttery toast. A side aioli was available if you wanted a herby component. This was divine and you could see why it’s a signature dish of the place.
Pappardelle verde, ragú bianco de vitello was wide spinach noodles with a rich veal ragu sauce. The perfectly cooked pasta was wonderful and the nice sauce had some crispy bits added to give it texture. A good one.
Maïs du roi, laitue de mer de Gaspésie was corn with reduced corn jus and sea lettuce. Some of the sea lettuce was fried to give a bit of crispness to the dish. The tart lettuce was a fun contrast to the sweet fresh corn.
Magret de canard, albufera-poivron rouge was duck breast with bell peppers in a foie gras sauce. The duck had been cooked so that all the fat had been rendered and so needed the rich livery sauce to moisten it. The red peppers were tender and tasty while the duck was a bit chewy.
Gâteau sarrasin, miel – fromage frais was a buckwheat cake with mascarpone surrounded by crispy lady fingers on the outside. An amazing combination of textures here with great flavor. Our server was good enough to choose a selection of after-dinner liquors to go with the cake and we tried one Armagnac and one eau-de-vie of prune to try. Both very nice and good with the cake.