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Tuck Shop:

The Template for Pandemic-Era Dining


The Pitch

Readers of this blog may notice that I have recently been splurging on takeout.  The last three reviews have all exceeded the $100-mark for my wife and myself.  Call it "confinement fatigue" if you may; with restaurants not opening for onsite dining anytime soon, I figured I could check off some entries from my "to try" list.

An example of this which I have been putting off for no good reason – although I grabbed a drink there once – is the reputable Tuck Shop.  Open since 2010, this Saint-Henri occupant has silently won hearts while spearheading the neighborhood's red-hot dining boom.

The Food

Food Image

A quick Google glance taught me that a "tuck shop" is an old British term for a snack dispensary; a candy-and-chips dépanneur of sorts.  The name is fitting for what Tuck Shop is doing during the lockdown.  The interior has been refitted with a display counter and shelves carrying wines, pantry items and branded merchandise.

Casual, to-go lunches consisting of salads and sandwiches are also available.  As for dinner, same-day takeout orders can be placed to sample the restaurant's refined seasonal fare – which, incidentally, is served in the most solid and luxurious golden containers I have ever seen!

Rosemary Focaccia thumbnail (click to enlarge)



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Rosemary Focaccia

A 6-inch circular focaccia had a crunchy exterior and fluffy interior, while bursting with olive oil and rosemary flavours.  I will have to order one entirely for myself next time as my wife and I had to fight for this one!

Caesar Salad thumbnail (click to enlarge)



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Caesar Salad

A deep bed of romaine lettuce was topped with generous shavings of parmesan, bacon bits – which I had asked to be removed – and croutons, the whole thing bound by a rich, creamy and tangy dressing.

Kamouraska Lamb Roast for Two thumbnail (click to enlarge)



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Kamouraska Lamb Roast for Two

I was initially hesitant to order this dish given its sticker price, but my doubts were quickly put to rest.  Two roasted, boneless lamb necks were succulent to death and sat next to a dizzying but wonderful jumble of sweet potato patties, stewed collard greens, shishito peppers and mole.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Torte thumbnail (click to enlarge)



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Chocolate & Hazelnut Torte

We capped off our incredible meal with another gem for dessert.  A layered cake – torte – started with a solid biscuit base under decadent chocolate ganache, drizzled with blood orange coulis to balance the richness and add some tartness, and finally sprinkled with hazelnuts; wow!

The Verdict

For a neighborhood chock-full of excellent eateries, Tuck Shop stands out as one of Saint-Henri's most refined options and is an integral part of the Sud-Ouest borough.  The marketplace setup, impeccable market-driven food and that lamb(!) make it my top pandemic-era pick and land it on my current-crush list.

This was my best meal of 2021 so far, and I feel it will be hard to beat…

tagged:  SOLID

Price per person:  $52

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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.

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