You may have noticed a dearth of vegetarian/vegan restaurant reviews in this space. The rationale behind this snobbery has nothing to do with vegetables and legumes – in fact they make up a major part of our diet – but rather with our rejection of the term "vegetarian" becoming a cuisine. We see it more as a lifestyle choice or a subsection of several regional cuisines such as Middle Eastern or Indian.
Be that as it may, we felt compelled to give the red-hot LOV – short for local, organic, vegan – a shot. Since opening late last year, this Old Montreal tenant has made a lot of noise; contending for enRoute's Best New Restaurant of 2017 list and opening a downtown offshoot. This popularity was made evident when we found ourselves waiting for our reserved table to clear up on a busy Thursday night.
tagged: THE WAIT
Tall windows, high ceilings and white brick walls combine with green tones, hanging terraria and wicker chairs; producing a bright, "granola cool" vibe. A young, hipper-than-thou, predominantly-female crowd ebbed in and out steadily throughout our stay.
To describe LOV's menu and offering as a smorgasbord of buzz words would be an understatement: local, organic, plant-based, botanical… It may all feel gimmicky but it's more of a mission statement here. Starters, snacks, salads and mains all come in affordable, shareable, small-plate format; so ordering abundantly is recommended.
A comforting, atypical mac made with casarecce tubes, vegan parmesan and superfood-of-the-moment kale; you won't miss the dairy here.
Well-executed golf-ball bites boasted a crispy shell housing a light interior. Would we have preferred, say, cod instead of dull quinoa inside? You betcha!
We loved the classic toppings – lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle – and sauce. Alas, the thin, grainy veggie patty did nothing to satisfy our lust for moist, meaty beef.
The menu said "curry eggplant" but what we got was a tasteless, unseasoned mush that somehow managed to suck out the aubergine's natural flavor; shudder!
Might look like a forest after a hurricane but this busy plate hit the spot with tender oyster mushrooms and popping pearl onions and green peas.
Another case where the "healthy/green" version fell flat; we did enjoy the rich chocolate sauce but that earthy brownie left much to be desired.
tagged: GOOD FOR SHARING
A young waitstaff to go along with the young crowd mostly held their own. Save for the long-ish wait before being seated and one placed order that was completely forgotten, the service was welcoming, knowledgeable and efficient.
Tonight we felt vindicated in our (slight) beef with vegetarian restaurants. We strongly feel they should stick to veggie dishes by definition rather than replace the principle ingredient in meat/fish-based plates – thinking back to those fritters and burger.
As much as we commend LOV for its beautiful interior and mantra in favor of healthy and sustainable food, we're having trouble looking past that forgettable brownie and unforgivable curry. So unless there's something we're missing, we find ourselves questioning all of the LOVe this glammed-up Copper Branch is receiving…
Price per person: $21.83
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.