My puns are so lame, even your weird punny uncle is curled up, bawling in a corner. Ooohhh yyeeaaahhhhh.
Our decision to visit Le Méchant Boeuf was actually somewhat a spur-of-the-moment decision. My friend and I had actually planned on going to Suite 701, but we were too intimidated by their chic up-scale setting and fancy 'smart casual' dress code and so we chickened out at the last minute. No, really, that place scares me. Alas, what are two scraggly students hauling around huge backpacks of books to do? Head to the more casual Méchant Boeuf, obviously.
So round 3 of Happening Gourmand. As I had mentioned in my Taverne Gaspar post, I have visited two restaurants on the Happening Gourmand list, one being the aforementioned Taverne Gaspar, and the other being the Vieux Port Steakhouse. One I was quite happy with, and the other was a sore disappointment. So where does Le Méchant Boeuf land on a scale of Tourist Trap to Foodie-worthy?
Accessibility - Grade: B
Like all restaurants in the old port, you need to walk some ways from Place d'Armes metro. It's not as far le Taverne Gaspar, and the sign is more obvious, thus making it easier to find, but a ten minute walk in -20 degree weather is still nothing to sneeze at.
Service - Grade: B
The service was efficient. There was no warm friendliness, but this isn't a small homey restaurant. Instead, you get polite professionalism, well-dressed waitstaff and full water glasses. It is the old port, after all, so it's really not that surprising.
The ambiance of the restaurant is also very nice. It's not as extravagant as Suite 701, being more casual, but the decor is still classy and chic enough for a nice night out. They also have a happy hour of sorts, from 5 to 7, where drinks that are usually priced at $10 go for $7.50, which is a nice touch. They have a pretty extensive cocktail menu, too.
Food - Grade: B-
I started off with a charcuterie plate, which included a slice of foie gras and a cold cut of pork. The presentation was nice, but the meat was quite bland, and the pork was very fatty. It came with a smudge of dijon mustard, some arugula, a slice of crouton and three pickles. All-in-all, not bad, but not great.
My friend ordered a beet puree that had been breaded and fried, served with a side of arugula salad and pine seeds, with a dollop of goat cheese dip. I thought this dish was quite good. The beet balls were crisp and crunchy on the outside, while soft and smooth on the inside, and didn't feel too heavy despite being fried. The goat cheese dip was a nice touch, and gave it that extra bit of flavouring that it needed.
My friend ordered the ribs, which, when compared to the ribs at the Taverne Gaspar, are much smaller and definitely not as well-cooked. The sauce on the ribs was nice and spicy, but instead of cooking the sauce with the meat, it was clear that the ribs were cooked first, and then slathered with sauce, as shown in the picture below.
|Food pics with flash always look so unappetizing...|
|You think the KMB burger is a beef burger...|
|Ta-da! It's actually chicken!|
|Spicy chocolate cake|
|Tiramisu in a jar|
I ordered the tiramisu, which came in a little jar. It was light, and not too sweet, which was perfect after carb-heavy meal. The bottom was layered with the spongy cake over-saturated with a syrupy coffee mix, which is then covered with a light, creamy marscapone, and finally topped with large flakes of chocolate. Not bad, but again, not amazing either.
Price - $$$-$$$$
I took a peek at the regular menu, and wow, were things pricey there. A (beef) burger went for around $20, and a steak went easily for $30, at least. Just their appetizers alone were about $20. This is definitely not a place for students to frequent. Even with the table d'hote, I felt like the food wasn't really worth the price. I guess you pay more for the ambiance and the service in these type of restaurants than you do for the food.
Final Grade: B-
To sum it up, the what draws people to this place the most is probably the ambiance, service and drinks. The food, on the other hand, isn't that special - at least from what I've seen of the Happening Gourmand menu. Maybe their regular menu items are better, but it seems a bit weird to not showcase your specialty (beef) in your table d'hote. I probably won't be returning here (probably can't afford to return here), but if you've got the cash and are looking for a nice place to spend a Saturday night without sprucing yourself up too much, then Le Méchant Boeuf is a venue to consider.