From Turkey With Love !

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Last night, I gladly accepted an invitation extended by one of Montreal's finest Ottoman restaurant, Arëm; an upscale Turkish gourmet institution quietly located in the industrial neighbors of Griffintown. I guess you really have to know that the restaurant is there (on William St.) because chances are, you might never just end up being on the look out for a new place to eat at and stumble up on Arëm's. Some might say this would be a lack of marketing management but I happen to think it is brilliant ! It's like Montreal's own little hidden Turkish gem; if you didn't hear about it, you might never have the pleasure…

Because, let face it, it all comes down to pleasure and being pleased by new discoveries. If, like myself, you have never experienced Ottoman cuisine before, Arëm might just be the right place to begin with and try it out. Thing is, the restaurant is very famous, and has been so for almost a year now, for adapting their traditional dishes to our local culture. It really is more about a modern take on Turkish gastronomy ! For instance, one of the dishes I couldn't get enough of was the Ottoman Poutine, which I highly recommend to anyone who would be quite fond of starchy veggies. As a matter of fact, the restaurant's take on our Quebec traditional dish includes potatoes, grilled Halloumi cheese and lamb, a combo I absolutely adored.

I have to say, even though I liked the place a lot, I wouldn't necessarily know with whom I should/could go back, mostly because it takes a very particular type of foodie to want to try such cultural dissimilarity, but also to actually enjoy it. I, myself, felt like I was completely out of my comfort zone, which generally happens to be pretty wide ;) I wouldn't say I was unhappily surprised, but surprised, definitely, by the impressive and, from time to time, quite clever mix of sweeter flavors to main dishes. At one point, I even started thinking I had accidentally ordered a dessert instead of a main plate ! 

Turned out, I hadn't.

When time actually came to order desserts, I believe I made the best decision ever by requesting the poached in cognac pear with pistachio crumble. What a delight ! I have definitely a very sweet tooth and generally, I'm not a fan of fruity desserts. I'm generally more into chocolate, maple, vanilla and any other type of confectionary alternative. I do have to say that Arëm did an impressive job there and had me completely gaga about their pear dessert. Loved it, almost begged for more ;) Of course, this whole experience wouldn't be complete without a refined bottle of red wine, my favourite. And since I enjoy trying out new things, I was ecstatic to find out about Arëm's extensive wine list, including some delicious Turkish importations. My pick was a deep ruby coloured 2010 Vinkara Mahzen Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Syrah; a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon with an equal amount of Merlot and 20% Syrah (all sourced from vineyards in Güney, Turkey). Despite the opulence of grated vanilla oak aromas infused with a ripe, a concentrated fruit palate with layers of toffee and caramel characters build up the main core of the wine with accents of volatility. A really great money value, if you ask me, for a 84$ bottle. 

What a fun educational Friday night !

1619 B William Street, Montreal
Quebec, H3J 1S1


** Many thanks to Arëm Restaurant for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and comments are my own. **

The post From Turkey With Love ! appeared first on PBTH **

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