From time to time, I crave variety. It is on those occasions that I seek out restaurants whose home cuisine is a bit unusual to my palate. I’m not talking here about anything too wildly outside of the box — simply food that’s neither Italian, French, Japanese nor any other cuisine that is currently à la mode. Understanding this background explains why, when a friend mentioned that “there’s a new kind of bistro that opened on Saint John’s in the West Island,” I replied thus: “Not another bistro.” But that was then and this is now. That was before I knew that the Bistro Nolah offers a variety of tasty dishes inspired by the southern United States.
STYLE, DECOR AND AMBIANCE
The restaurant is located on Saint John’s Boulevard in Dollard des Ormeaux, an area that doesn’t lack for an abundance of eateries. Indeed, the small shopping centre where Bistro Nolah is located already includes three other restaurants. Small, with only 15 tables, this newest addition to the space features a simple decor highlighted by walls decorated with replicas of musical instruments that recall the melodies of Louisiana. The kitchen is open and you can see the chef and the cooks in full preparation. A small bar is, oddly, located at the entrance. When we visited, a single customer sat there, sipping his drink. The bulk of the restaurant’s clientele was couples. Cajun aromas floated in the air. The wait staff was dressed in traditional black and white.
Soon into the dining experience, our waitress came by with delicious homemade rolls that were baked in the shape of small mushrooms. To start, my guest ordered a gumbo with sausage. Hearty, tasty and well seasoned, this gumbo respected the traditions of its southern US beginnings. For my part, I ordered the ceviche. A scallop ceviche prepared with very fresh main players that were marinated simply in citrus juice, onions, salt and pepper, this dish was just about as exemplary in its tastes as in its presentation. For the main course, I ordered the shrimp jambalaya. The chef has found a much more attractive means of presenting this Cajun staple than simply tossing the mixture into a bowl. Instead, he chose to serve the rice, sausages and shrimps all separate on the plate. It was a very good idea. The dish was tasty without being too far out with the spices, as is too often the case. My guest is crazy about scallops, so she ordered accordingly. It was served, to my surprise, on a bed of sweet potatoes and topped with salsa verde. Again, a simple dish was made special with ingredients that were as fresh could be.
Throughout our experience here, the service was polite, courteous and very professional. The restaurant had been open for merely three weeks when we visited, but the waitress already knew her menu very well, and made excellent recommendations from it before we ordered.
We loved the fact that many wines were available by the glass at Bistro Nolah. A map was offered so that a client could find a wine that serves as an accompaniment to the spicy dishes of Louisiana.
For two, it will cost you around $ 140 for a meal that includes two starters, two main courses, wine, tax and service.
Will I go back? Absolutely!