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Jolifou


carswell
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Today's Gazoo has a background article, titled Constructive Chef and written by Julian Armstrong, on the new 40-seat Rosemont resto run by chef David Ferguson (Toqué!, Senzala, Au Pied de Cochon, Coyote Cafe) and Hélène Brault. And for once the article is available on line, though probably not for long.

Jolifou

1840 Beaubien East

514 722-2175

Website: www.jolifou.com

Lunch M-F: mains run $11-13

Dinner Tu-Su: three-course table d'hôte $27

Licensed

Cooking is said to be French with Latin accents. Anybody been?

Edited by carswell (log)
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Today's Gazoo has a background article, titled Constructive Chef and written by Julian Armstrong, on the new 40-seat Rosemont resto run by chef David Ferguson (Toqué!, Senzala, Au Pied de Cochon, Coyote Cafe) and Hélène Brault. And for once the article is available on line, though probably not for long.

Jolifou

1840 Beaubien East

514 722-2175

Website: www.jolifou.com

Lunch M-F: mains run $11-13

Dinner Tu-Su: three-course table d'hôte $27

Licensed

Cooking is said to be French with Latin accents. Anybody been?

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Hi Carswell:

Here is my post from a thread titled Le Jolifou on Nov 13 2004.

The menu is mexican influenced modern, with a three course table d’hote for 25$ and a reasonable wine list. The decor is simple, cream coloured walls with a scattering of folkart Mexican toys and a semi-open kitchen.

We started with “ taquine bouche” , a single raw oyster drizzled with homemade green salsa spotted with chopped mango. Perfectly satisfying. The best $2.50 I have spent in a long time.

The waitress suggested a delicious Minervois for under $40.00. The wine is $24.00 at the SAQ.

For appetizers we had the grilled octopus flanked by a cumin flavored crema on a bed of mixed greens, cresson and frisee.( Its such a relief to see chefs moving away from the bagged tasteless mesclun). The octopus was incredibly tender, a really nice combination of flavors. The carpaccio of cerf with “ salsa espesciale” had a silky texture and a great harmony of flavour.

That night the choice of mains consisted of Magret de canard with pozole, lamb shank with grilled cactus. Cerf ( i can’t recall the details on this one) ,cornish game hen with mole and a salmon with a sauce of ancho chile and biere noire. We opted for the latter two.

I was fore- warned that the cornish hen came with a true mole with chocolate and spices, not for everybody’s palate. It didn’t disappoint. The richness of the chocolate came through never too sweet nor bitter. My only complaint was that there was too much food for the plate: asparagus ,beets and sweet potato puree. The beets were terrific with the flavors of the mole. The hen was juicy, partially boned and easy to eat.

I rarely eat salmon because of it’s horrible farmed-raised oily flavour. This plate was really nice, lots of diverse vegetables and a very lively chili and stout infused sauce. The salmon was melting and a perfect serving of about 6 ounces, not a monsterously large fillet.

We finished with a decent lemon tart and a fresh chocolate/banana brownie cake and good quality organic teas. Both deserts were polished off in a minute.

We were there on a quiet Wednesday night and the service was warm and very friendly. I think a husband/wife team are chef and hostess and they seem committed to developing a neighborhood restaurant. We are planning to go back.

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You know, onionbreath, I distinctly remembered reading a positive report on Jolifou somewhere. I even checked the Voir, Hour and Chowhound sites before starting this thread, but not the next page of the forum, as it hadn't registered in my brain that Jolifou was even open in mid-November. So, sorry I didn't add the link to the Gazette article to your earlier thread and thanks for keeping us on top of the latest developments!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Big thumbs up! Highly recommended! One of the best meals I have had in a long time at that price range. Also, nice staff, short but well-chosen wine list.

Duck, salmon, deer carpaccio and lemon tart are superb!

Good to hear. Some friends and I are dining there tonight.

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It ended up being a thoroughly enjoyable meal. I got to taste three starters (avocado and mango salad; squid salad; and grilled scallops with a mini-tamale, honduran cream and pineapple salsa), three mains (BBQ salmon with mojo; roast cornish game hen with mole; and the duck breast with posole) and three desserts (lemon tart; crème brûlée; and panna cotta).

There wasn't a weak dish among them. The salmon was unusual and vibrant. The mole, though less complex than some traditional Mexican preparations, was packed with flavour (cocoa and almond in particular) and blessedly free of graininess. The duck was perfectly cooked and subtly sauced, the real flavour punch coming from the sides of roasted parsnips, a sautéed bitter green (like baby rapini) and green and red pepper-spiked posole. Indeed, the interplay of flavours, textures and colours on each plate was one of the highlights of the experience; Chef Ferguson has got the synergy game down pat. Also striking was the clarity: each ingredient sings through in a beautifully delineated chorus of flavours (and given the number of flavours involved, that's quite a feat).

The desserts were all winners. Pineapple sauce and cap of mint-flecked mango shreds saved the panna cotta from conventionality. Three sweet spices (cardamon, cinnamon and one I'm forgetting) kicked the crème brûlée to a higher plane. The lemon tart's filling had a texture as surprising as it was exquisite.

The décor is minimalist cool but not frigid. Colourful accents are provided by wind-up toys on each table, which also proved a source of amusement to more than one diner between courses.

While the wine list could be longer, it gets the job done (extra points for not having a single chardonnay among the whites). A couple of the most affordable reds and whites are offered by the glass; my aperitif of Marques de Marialva, a zingy white Bairrada, cost all of $6. Oh, and a decent espresso or tea is included in the $27 table d'hôte.

On a bitterly cold Friday night, the restaurant was no more than a third full. I hope that was due to the weather. This operation deserves a full house. Anyway, we're going to do our part: like onionbreath, all four persons in our party vowed to return. That should tell you something.

Edited by carswell (log)
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On the enthusiastic tip of one of my chef friends, I had a late dinner at Jolifou last night and was pleasantly surprised (the last dinner reso they take is 9:00). From what I had heard the 2 partners (in both senses) are striving to create a great neighborhood restaurant. This place goes over and above, that and I'd consider it one of my favorite places in the city.

The ambiance was simple clean and inviting. lots of white with red chairs - accented by halogen spots on the toys mounted on the wall which had a funny disneyland animatronix feel to it as you expected them to start clapping and singing at any moment.

Helene, the md, went over the menu with us explaining us the dilly, what the latin items on the menu were, how each was prepared. The menu is market fresh with latin american twists. We ordered a great bottle of St Joseph from Domaine Rochevine, a perfect fit for our choices, gamey with lots of red berry fruit and spices. the wine was a very reasonable $44 which is 1.5 the retail price.

The baguette slices arrived, warm i might add, with salted butter(or so i think). 2 great things which add miles to that 1st impression.

We opted for the venison carpaccio, and salt cured foie gras followed by the veal cheeks and duck magret. The salt cured foie gras with fig compote and porto sauce was absolutey delicious. gamey, fruits and spice. the venison carpaccio pleasantly not too chewy, accented by lots of fresh cilantro.

The mains in relation to the apps were generous in size. great interplay of flavours on the duck magret , lightly sweet "gastric" sauce, spicy salsa verde posole, and roasted parsnips. The veal cheeks were super tender and flavourful, with lots of that rich braised taste to them. they were served with duck fat refried beans. which may sound like a bit much (dom delouise meets taco bell), but wasn't too rich and was perfect for a cold winter meal.

we had a a great cheese course of queso fresco (the saltiness of greek kefalotiri meets cottage cheese) and guava jelly. great salt and sweet combination. this was served with baguette and nut bread (both hot and toasty).

dessert was a delicious 3 spice creme brulee (cinnamon, cardamom and anise if i remember correctly) which as is usually the case with creme brulee, i was too full, but ate it anyway. All in all a meal with a great balance of flavours. top. Service was relaxed friendly and attentive.

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Tastet gives Jolifou a big thumbs-up in today's issue of Voir (the link will take you directly to the review only through next Wednesday, after which you'll have to click the archival link on the left side of the page).

Revenu pour le midi début janvier, mes souvenirs de 2004 réapparaissent. Gentillesse du personnel en salle, attentions pour toutes les tables, explications claires, petite musique enveloppant dans un cocon appréciable par une journée de température débile et sibérienne comme nos hivers nous en donnent. Et surtout, surtout, cuisine impeccable. Ainsi, même si je n'ai rien contre les crucifères, pour réussir à m'allumer avec du chou-fleur, il faut vraiment se lever tôt. Soyeuse crème de chou-fleur, touche d'huile de romarin, quelques dés d'échalote rôtie et de poivron rouge grillé, une goutte de vinaigre de sherry. Magnifique; j'étais tellement bien que j'arrivais à oublier mon immense frère de l'autre côté de la table, venu là pour faire du bruit et admirer le travail de son cadet. Et aussi parce que ce n'était pas lui qui payait.

[When I returned for lunch in early January, my memories of 2004 came flooding back. The pleasant wait staff, the attention paid to every table, the clear explanations, the soft music cocooning us on a crazy Siberian day like our winters can deliver. And, above all, above all, the impeccable cooking. While I have nothing against crucifers, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to push my buttons with cauliflower. Silky cream of cauliflower, a dash of rosemary oil, a few cubes of roasted shallot and grilled red pepper, a drop of sherry vinegar. Magnificent. So good that I actually managed to forget my big fat brother on the other side of the table, who had come to make noise and admire the work of his younger sibling. And because he wasn't paying.]

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I had a wonderfull time at le Jolifou last thursday, I went for lunch and i promised my self to go back night time... love it, my personnal only problem was the white walls, I missed some 'calor'... and the toys welll not for me...But still a promising place in my neibourghood

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  • 3 weeks later...

:biggrin:

Another happy camper at Jolifou !

I was ther yesterday with six other friend and we had a very nice meal ! On a thuesday , the room was about half full , wich is good i guess for a restaurant in that erea of town.

I first had the lamb sweetbreadon a artichocke purée. Very nice: the sweetbread were very lightly breaded , sautéed and served on the puré.A litllte sauce was on top of it. The textures wer wonderfull: creamy, crunchy , sweet! ahhh !

My main was was the cornishgame hen with mole sauce: it was servrd on a bed of sweet potato puree and some roasted vegetable. All was done to perfection. The chicken was grilled and topped with the sauce ( i think that the chicken is usually cooked in the sauce , but i could be wrong) . The sauce was not as" amere" as remembered mole sauce to be ( but then maybe i never had good mole sauce) It had a spicy finish. The meat was very tender , and very juicy. Pleasure bite after bite.

My dessert was the Creme brules , infused whit cardamome , cinamon and anis. very good again . Everything you would want from a creme brule , but with these amazing perfumes of spices. I manage to taste all the dessert on the menu ( we were seven !) And all were very good , with the dark chocolate pie and the crême bruleé being the spotlight for me. The lemon pie was not as tart as i would have liked , but this is a matter of personnal taste.

Bread was good , real towels in the bathroom , relaxing decor and non obstrusive service. All questions were nicely answered, all plates were hot. The sommelier takes your coat when you arrive ! We wanted red betwen five of us , and he suggested a nice Italian wine (oups i forgot the name !)

So a very very nice evening and very affordable ( my part of the bill , including my part of 2 wine bottles , with sevice and taxes came to 55$)

Go to Jolifou !!!!!!!!

visit my fondation: www.ptitslutins.org

I started a food blog : http://antoniodelaruepapineau.blogspot.com/

(in french)

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  • 6 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

My girlfriend and I went last friday based mostly on this post. We were not disappointed. We got there at 8:30 and it was packed. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, the room is softly lit and I kinda like the toys on the tables. I played with our robot for a while waiting for the apps.

My girlfriend had the quail with this delicious sauce made of fresh cream, roasted garlic, lemon and cumin, amazing with the quail. I had the portabello salad with cheese. The grilled portabellos were tasty, well roasted and still juicy. A good start.

For mains, I had the Côte de veau, what an amazing piece of meat perfectly cooked with it's juice running in the bottom of the plate and a side a corn salsa of some sort, it was really good. The girlfriend had the duck with a balsamic reduction which was a little too tart to her licking. The duck was excellent though.

As for dessert, I went for the panna cotta with the cider caramel. Velvety, vanilla heaven. I love this stuff. My gf had the 3 spices crème brûlée which was good but a little too sweet for me.

The wine list is short, but concise and the prices are reasonable. We will definitely return as it's a 10 minutes walk from home and a lovely place to eat. Can't wait to try the cornish game hen.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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