Thursday, January 23, 2014
in restaurant, middle eastern, nouvelle cuisine, little burgundy, upscale
Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
Over the last few weeks, the #DiscoverArem hashtag came into being, as a select group of bloggers, including yours truly, posted pictures of an invitation along with a mysterious key that will unlock the doors of Arem, a new Ottoman restaurant in Griffintown. Tonight we attended the media launch of this unique and mystical place, among a very stylish crowd of fashion and nightlife aficionados.
tagged media event
The Griffintown rejuvenation movement has now moved south of crowded Notre-Dame, into the currently desolate stretch of William Street, which will soon welcome a host of condo dwellers along the Lachine Canal nearby. No detail has been spared in transforming the previous commercial space into a lavish, oriental/exotic interior featuring a long hallway, main sitting area and private dining rooms.
Iranian-born chef/owner Reza Azarpoor, an eccentric/visionary character, showcased his skills with a multi-course offering that blends traditional Ottoman/Middle Eastern elements with modern/molecular cooking techniques. The regular menu is very conceptual, featuring five 4-course tasting menus, each revolving around a specific theme/ingredient. At $150 per person and bottles of wine starting at $100, Arem is probably THE most expensive restaurant in town!
Berg-i Engur Sarmasi
"vine leaves, tahini"
Za'feranli Merak-i Badem
"saffron, almond soup"
Kestaneli Sak-i Bere
tagged tasting menu, wallet-buster
Everything about Arem speaks of boldness, from its innovative branding/PR and lavish setting to its elaborate cuisine and premium pricing. While we never judge from opening night, we can still admire an exotic place that you normally only see in travel magazines. It remains to be seen if Montrealers will adopt the vision (and dish out the dough!)…