I had a business lunch and my business date had suggested we go to Lapointe in the market. What a great idea, I thought.
I’ve bought fish at Lapointe and have never been disapointed, but somehow I never end up eating at one of their six restaurants.
The market location is kitty corner from the store. During the summer months, you can enjoy your food on their fully licensed patio but despite the nice weather, we have barely put a dent into spring.
The main level is very simple, a couple of tables and their sushi counter, if you’re interested in a quick lunch. Downstairs, the main dining room is more interesting, spacious and comfortable, with rich brown and blue colours combining for a casual nautical style. Tourists and business folks alike can feel welcomed. On the downside, having no natural light coming through and the fire place in the corner gave the spot a basement feel.
My date had aleady decided that he would go for the Fish and Chips – a favourite dish of his. So I had a quick look at the menu – Fish Galore, of course!
I elected not to be tempted by the Fish and Chips (offered in four declinations : Cod ($13.50), Haddock ($13.50), Pickerel ($15.00) or Halibut ($20.00)) and since I was wearing a light suit, decided not to temp fate by skipping over the Provençale Bouillabaisse ($16.00) and the Tiger Shrimp Pasta ($20.00).
In the end, I had a tough choice to make between between the Steelhead Trout (Seared and served with Sautéed Garlic, Spinach & Mushrooms, Confit Tomato, garnished with a Port Demi-Glace and a side of Roasted Butter and Chive Mashed Potatoes ($22.00); and the Seared Yellowfin Tuna (served on a bed of Baby Arugula, Confit Tomato, Fire Roasted Shallots, Fried Capers, Marinated Mushrooms, garnished with a Roasted Red Pepper & Lemon Coulis and Aioli on the side ($28.00). I went with the Tuna.
A basket of wam all-grain buns was brought to the table, a nice touch. I indulged while we chatted and waited for our plates, which arrived in short order.
My companion seemed to enjoy his Fish and Chips. The batter on the pickerell seemed pretty light and the flesh flaky. “Great texture, and not oily at all,” Tim commented.
My dish looked quite good and the portion, sizeable. The Tuna was of good quality. It was cooked medium-rare but sadly was served medium-cold. The fish and I deserved better.
That said, the flavour profile was interesting. The coulis was thick, but the Roasted Red Pepper flavour was complimenting the seared fish well. The arugula was fresh, and you would get a variety of textures along with it silky mushrooms, juicy tomatoes, crispy shallots and cappers.
The aioli on the side seemed superfluous however – a bit of olive oil on the salad would have sufficed to dress it and would have worked better with the fish and its coulis.
I wish I had enjoyed it more. Tuna is a tough fish to cook and can use some time out of the fridge to warm up a little. It is then much easier to get to a more normal room temperature than if it’s taken straight from the fridge to the pan to the plate.
Not a capital crime in the capital. But close.