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Chez Gautier – A gem hidding in plain sight
Hidden in the McGill ghetto Chez Gautier has been around since the 70’s yet few people would know that it serves up brunch. In fact, while I was at McGill most people living in the ghetto would go to the same spots and likely walk by this place countless times. Little did I know then that there was brunch to be had here, and not only is it a good deal, it is a very enjoyable experience both for food and dining.
At 1st glance
When you walk in you are taken aback. You will notice how unseemingly large the restaurant is and that it’s connected to a nice little pastry shop that makes for the added space. For a place on Park and Milton, it is what everything in this area is not: it is large, has a parking lot and has an amazing décor. There are many tables throughout the place on the right hand side and at the middle of the restaurant is a bar with a domed top of stained glass and wood. This is a beautiful piece and gives Chez Gautier a certain refined look. The outside has a terrace that is secluded from the street and is rather hard to see past the fence looking in or out.
The menu is very straightforward and short. There are three items to chose from all priced the same at $10.90 and all of which come with a choice of prunes or fruit plate, orange juice and coffee. There was the eggs Benedict dish, a two-eggs smoked salmon dish, and a two-egg with meat dish. There was also free refills on the coffee. There is an à la carte menu for the pastry items which are as follows:
With 4 people and 3 menu items to chose from this made for an easy sampling experience. We all started with the complimentary coffee and orange juice followed by the fruit dish which was comprised of slices of grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, orange strawberry and cantaloupe. Although the presentation was simple and to the point, it was nice to get the included fruit and the slices were not too thin so the menu was scoring points on the economical side (let’s keep in mind it’s $10.90).
My friend had the two-eggs any style with meat and was offered a choice of sausage, ham or bacon. There was also a cheese option but we didn’t go in that direction. My friend opted for the meat dish and got the sausage. The sausage was ok – nothing revolutionary- but the eggs were tasty and well presented. It also came with a side of potatoes which were quite tasty.
My other friend opted for the smoked salmon scrambled eggs which came wonderfully presented in a lovely bowl with pieces of smoked salmon. The dish was very tasty and the flavours paired nicely. The dish was neither too eggy nor was it overpowered by the smoked salmon. It was also a nice portion size that went with the rest of the options on this item.
I ordered the eggs Benedict, naturally, which had all the same sides and options but with a baguette bread cut in half and with two poached eggs on top of ham and covered thoroughly with hollandaise sauce. The dish itself seemed to have been put in the oven since the sauce was everywhere and had a slightly firmed consistency and the plate itself was hot. This was a nice touch and the fact that the hollandaise was nicely done was a bonus because it was all over the plate which for a hollandaise sauce lover is great.
Lastly we all decided to have a pastry item since this place is connected to pastry shop so why not try it. I had an apricot Danish ($2.30) which had 4 pieces of apricot and was not too sugary. For me, it was just the right amount of sweetness for a dessert after a filling meal. The bread component of it was also good and not too sticky like other Danishes I have had at other places and I hate it when my hands get sticky for no good reason.
Our waiter was awesome. He was funny, checked up on us often and cracked some good jokes. The dishes came out quickly and even when we needed to move from the outside terrace to inside they did so without any problems (we had a bee issue outside)
The only vegetarian option would be the meat dish substituted with cheese instead. Other than that there is no real vegetarian option, let alone a vegan option. There is also no real healthy option like those cottage cheese ones dishes with fruit. This is one of the downsides of having such a small menu.
I was very surprised by Chez Gautier. I mean, this place has been under my nose for all these years and I never knew. The food and the great décor is great and the terrace is nice and tucked away allowing you to escape briefly from the hub of Ghetto life. The stained glass on top of the bar should not be missed. The price is very good and you get value. To be honest, I don’t know why there aren’t more McGill students coming here since it comes with lots of food all for $10.90 which is great for a student budget and it’s in the McGill ghetto. If you are a McGill student and haven’t checked it out yet, then put on your suspenders and hop on your Bixi, you are missing out!
| 3487 Avenue du Parc,
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