Plus près de Paris que nous pensons

We celebrated Gaby`s departure today at lunch, and we were very generous in letting her select the location.

She decided that we would have lunch at the Métropolitain Brasserie because she is quite a fancy girl.

Located at 700 Sussex, The Met is a relatively new favourite for politicos, journos and lobbyists of all types. They claim it is at the corner of Les Champs Élysées for marketing purposes, but you are soon reminded of where you are when you look down Rideau Street. The place was opened in 2005 by the owners of The Empire Grill, and has been trying to attract Hillites with specials such as The Hill Hour, from 4pm to 7pm on weekdays, where oysters, jumbo shrimp, mussels and othere appetizers are offered at decent price. Oysters for instance can be had at 1$ a piece during the HH.

As it was, lobbyists were out in force today. Folks from Hill and Knowlton and others from Earnscliffe were having a blast dissecting the new cabinet and how they were going to influence them on behalf of their clients.

 I was craving a bloody ceasar, and ever since I tried it, I enjoy horseradish in them, so I got them to make me one with some in it. It was simply great.

To start, we ordered two dozen oysters. To be precise, we ordered 21 as Kevin only wanted one. The Métropolitain claims to have the largest raw bar in Ottawa. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, I suppose. Today, the Met was offering Malpèques oysters.

10 millions Malpèques oysters are harvested in P.E.I. every year. They are certainly one of the finest oysters you can find. They have a pleaseing appearance, are fairly easy to manipulate and therefore, to enjoy.

I prefer to eat oysters raw (they are actually still alive when you ingest them), and they are a good source of minerals and are low in fat.

The Met serves their oysters with an offering of four different garnishes: a traditional seafood sauce, a lemon mayo, a classic mignonette and horseradish. There is also plenty of lemon served on the platter. If they do not offer, feel free to ask for tabasco if that’s what you like, they always have a bottle handy. The oysters were fresh, quite tasty and I could have had more but refrained.

I followed that with their Crispy Duck Confit, served with cranberry chutney, roasted potatoes and greens. Duck Confit is defintely a french specialiy, from Gascony in fact. It is made with the leg of the bird. You usually rub the meat with salt, let it cure for 24 to 48 hours, and then you poach it in its own fat. Yummy! But yeah, fatty.

I won’t feel too guilty as it was a small leg, and it was very tasty. The skin was nicely crispy, the roasted potatoes were not extraordinary but firm and well seasoned, the greens were fresh and crispy. I wasn`t too crazy about the cranberry chutney, though. I felt it was too acidic and something more earthy would have been a better side to the duck, perhaps apricot or fig chutney.

To accompany our meals, I selected a bottle of Pinot Blanc, a white wine from Alsace. Contrary to some other alsacian wines, the Pinot Blanc is a softer, less aromatic and not very sweet wine. It is a nice wine, fresh and well balanced.

Brad picked up Gaby’s meal and the oysters, I picked up the wine, and after tax and tip, I coughed out
90$. A tad bit pricy for what I had – but I can’t say I’m unhappy about anything I had.

Metropolitain Brasserie Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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