Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
In keeping with the subject of hotel restaurants from our last review, today we were solicited to try brunch at the W Montreal's ÊAT (short for Être Avec Toi). Otto's replacement opened last December with an all-out splashy affair, which we also attended. We saw enough that night – glitz and glamour aside – to make us want to come back, making it that much easier to exceptionally accept the comped meal.
ÊAT is a statement restaurant in every sense of the word, with an emphasis on art and design. The bright, vast space poses as a gallery of sorts, showcasing paintings and murals mostly following the street/pop art movement. Waiters are clothed in avant-garde uniforms from local fashion designer Travis Taddeo.
tagged: EYE FOR DESIGN
Être Avec Toi implying sharing with someone, the seafood-based menu aptly lists shareable dishes that are refined and beautifully-plated. There is no shortage of options from mezzes and hors d'oeuvres to seafood platters and brunch staples. Pastries, mimosas and desserts are served out of table-side guéridons (trolleys), which add some charm but can quickly hike up your bill; $5 per viennoiserie, yikes!
Two orders really stood out; the intricate salmon en quatre temps and that fabulous lobster benedict served next to the shell. Sophistication and decadence of this order naturally come at a steep price – this is the W after all – so expect to dish out some serious dough here. Our bill would have run up to $150 for two before tax and tip, so make sure your company is worth it!
"huître, bloody Caesar"
"sashimi, saké eau du désir / mariné au citron, grillé à la cendre / tartare à la moutarde douce / fumé, crémeux à l'aneth"
"saumon, hareng, morue, bagel, fromage à la crème, condiments"
Ultimately we found ÊAT's thematic elements – art, uniforms, guéridons – unnecessary and borderline gimmicky. Having said that, it's easy to look past these distractions with the excellence and creativity displayed on the plate. The seafood concept and opulence may be a game changer in the city's brunch scene, but it won't be easy to attract the big spending, jet set crowd over the long term.
Price per person: $43.17
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.