It has been a while since my last post, but worry not, I’ve been up to some good eating lately; both at home and out. A few weeks ago I finally made my way to a restaurant that had been on my list for a while now – Tuck Shop. It’s the kind of place (seasonal market cuisine w/ a short menu) that just seemed like it would be right up my alley, so I went in with high expectations.
After taking our seats at the bar and ordering a bottle of red I started with beef tartare served with a porcini aioli, matchstick fries and remoulade. The tartare was nice and fresh, but I thought it was a little on the under seasoned side. It was good, but I’ve definitely had better tartares. Luckily, this was the low point of the night.
My GF’s appetizer was much better – pork belly served in an aged gouda and oyster mushroom sauce. The pork belly was cooked to perfection – nice and crisp on top and moist and fatty inside and the sauce added some completely unneeded but absolutely appreciated extra richness to the succulent pork. Really good.
For my main I went with the veal chop. The Tuck Shop veal chop is grilled and served topped with a brown butter and sage sauce and a side salad of grilled peaches, red onion, bacon, corn, pickled and smoked chanterelle and arugula dressed with a buttermilk vinaigrette. My first bite of this veal chop gave me one of those – “woah, hold on” moments. I liken it to the feeling I experienced when I had my first taste of Fattet Makdous at Damas. This thing was really good. I never would have thought that two simple ingredients, butter and sage, could combine to produce such a savoury sauce. The veal chop in its own right was delicious, cooked to a perfectly tender medium rare, but it was the sauce that took things to the next level and made each bite a real treat (and I’m not even usually a sauce guy). “Light” is probably not the best word to describe a butter sauce, but this sauce actually was quite light. It complimented rather than overwhelmed the veal chop. The accompanying salad was the perfect side kick – fresh, crisp and acidic enough to cut through the flavour of the buttery meat. I cook a lot of meat at home and like to think I know what I’m talking about – so when I say this was one serious veal chop I mean it.
My GF’s main was homemade tagliatelle with braised veal, wild mushrooms, corn, leek, swiss chard and parmesan. I had a small taste at the beginning and thought that it was quite good – firm noodles, tender veal and earthy mushrooms. She must have thought even more, because a few minutes later when I inquired about another taste she was already down to her last bite.
We shared a dessert – salted caramel cheesecake served in a mason jar. Like everything else that night, we devoured this is short time. Smooth and creamy and just a bit salty, it was a simple, delicious and satisfying end to a great meal.
Tuck Shop gets my highest grade because they served me one of the best veal chops that I have ever had, executed a practically flawless meal from start to finish and tied it all together with warm, friendly and casual (yet professional) service in a lively atmosphere. Tuck Shop’s menu changes with the seasons, so I can’t wait to go back and see what else they can do. Highly recommended.
Price: Appetizers – $12-$18; Mains – $22-$38.
Rating: 4 – Out of control.
Tuck Shop - 4662 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest - 514.439.7432