Café Montmartre, Dundee

One of our favourite places to go for an authentic taste of France locally used to be in Cupar, Fife. However, Café Montmarte had the audacity to move to Dundee so unfortunately was no longer on our beaten track. However, it did go on our list of places to go when we want to travel further afield (and OH doesn’t mind not getting any wine).

So today was the day we ventured over the Tay Bridge. imag5568I called the night before to book a table and I’m glad I did as although there were only 3 people in the restaurant when we arrived by 1.25pm the room was full and there were no spare tables for anyone walking in off the street.

We ordered from the Set Lunch menu (a la carte and snack menus also available). When we go out we always try to order something different and usually this isn’t a problem as we have very different tastes. However, today we both wanted to have the Duck rillettes pate but since OH was driving I let him  win. imag5570They arrived served on crusty bread garnished with apple and plum relish. Initially OH raved about his choice and  I had to agree when I tasted the pate. It had a great texture and a nice but not over powering gamey taste. However, by the end of it OH needed a mouthful of my wine to help the pate down as it’s richness  became too much. There was nothing wrong with it just too big a portion.

imag5569For my starter I had Calamar & prawns in tempura with garlic & dill aioli. The squid was lovely. Not chewy at all and when covered in the aioli just wonderful. The prawns were also done to perfection. I couldn’t leave any aioli so finished it off with some bread.

Sticking with game, OH plumped for Guinea Fowl, which was on the special’s board. I don’t have the exact description but the French owner reported it as being with beans and sausage. You can see for yourself from the pic. I haven’t had Guinea Fowl for over 26 years since the first and only time I have had the bird I thought I was licking the cobblestones in a farmyard. Yuck. It obviously put me off. However, when I tasted OH’s it was nothing like that at all. It was a cross between chicken and pheasant and therefore, not too gamey. OH enjoyed it and said all the ingredients worked well together. Himag5571e loved the potato and leek mash and the bean cassoulet but again his only complaint was that the portion was too big. He hates waste and was brought up to clear his plate so having to leave food upsets him.

For my main I opted for the Oven roasted salmon steak, set on spinach, ginger and beurre blanc sauce. The salmon was perfect and the sauce glossy and thick. I wasn’t keen on the tomimag5572atoes, which looked roasted but tasted uncooked. It was the same mash as OH’s which stayed hot right to last bite and was lush. Overall I loved it.

Remember how OH was complaining about the portion size being too big? Well, of course he still managed to enjoy a dessert.imag5575 La Boulanerie Opera – fine layers of almond sponge with coffee cream & chocolate ganache, served with espresso ice cream. I just asked OH if he had anything to say about his dessert and he just went “Mmmmm. The coffee ice cream wasn’t too strong, the cake was just slivers of loveliness and it rounded off my meal perfectly”.

IMAG5576.jpgNot having a sweet tooth and taking advantage of the fact there was no supplement, I went for the cheese board.  For once there was more crackers/bread than there was cheese, which was great. I could have done with a little chutney but other than that the cheese was great and the perfect portion size (yes, I know when to leave the bread alone).

Since moving to Dundee, Café Montmarte has lost none of it’s previous ambience and charm. The menus and food are still great and the décor very similar only now our  favourite little bit of Scottish France is now in Dundee but really you should go see for yourself, you won’t regret it.

2 x 3 course set menu lunches, a pineapple juice, 500ml of house wine and a double espresso = £55.20

 

 

 

 

 

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Café Montmartre, Cupar, Fife

As usual OH and I were wondering where we could for go Saturday lunch. A friend had recently recommended a couple of restaurants in Fife so we thought we’d try one of them out.  After a quick look online I knew the one we had decided on wasn’t a large place so I phoned up and booked a table at Cafe Montmartre in Cupar for 1pm.

When we arrived there was only one other table that was occupied so I did wonder if I had needed to book. An elderly French gentleman welcomed us in and showed us to a corner table. It was easily the best table in the room, with a great view of the restaurant. The walls were covered in black and white photographs of famous French people and the music was a lovely mix of Mediterranean cafe songs. As I looked around I recognised an old work colleague siting at the other table – a good sign that it was indeed a good recommendation – after all, 2 friends of mine can’t be wrong ;p.

We were given menus and our drinks order was taken. There was a table d’hote menu – 2 courses for £15.95, 3 for £17.95 and a light lunch menu. The soup of the day was vegetable and the salad of the day was hot salmon and prawn.

I adored the  menu and struggled to chose what to have as I liked the majority of the dishes.

One of the starters was Moules Marinières au vin blanc – rope grown Shetland mussels, cooked with white wine, leeks and carrots.  If you are a regular reader you will know I had a bad experience with mussels the last time I was out. Since then I have learned you should only eat mussels when there is an R in the month i.e. mussels aren’t a good choice in the summer! Who knew?

2015-09-05 13.13.26 As it is now September I thought I’d get back in the saddle and give them a try. I was glad I did. They were delicious,  plump and juicy just as they should be. The liquor wasn’t too salty as is often the case and I loved dunking my bread in it. OH decided2015-09-05 13.12.50 on the Terrine de Canard – Duck and fig terrine, pistachio nuts wrapped in Parma Ham. OH said he really enjoyed it. I tasted his fig chutney and it was beautifully rich and tangy.

For my main meal I eventually settled on Jarret de Porc aux Pruneaux – Slow cooked pork shank with marinated prunes in cream sauce. I don’t often chose pork when I am out but the sound of this dish called out to me and it was just as delicious as it sounded. The meat fell from the bone in large tasty chunks. The rich creamy sauce and prunes complimented the pork perfectly and I would definitely opt for this dish again. 2015-09-05 13.37.45OH, true to form, had the Pavé de Boeuf Grillée aux Echalotes – char-grilled pave beef steak served with fine green beans, shallots and pomme frites with garlic butter. OH said his steak was nice and juicy but was a bit chewy compared to other steaks he has had recently. He added that the garlic butter over the green beans and shallots went well with the steak.

Normally I decline the dessert menu when offered but I have recently realised that when I have had 2 great courses I get greedy so I just had to have a pudding. 2015-09-05 14.21.37There was a choice of tarts – pear and almond, tarte tatin and cherry, there was also ice creams, and cheese but I went for the Coupe de fraises & pistache créme anglaise – strawberries topped with pistachio créme anglaise coulis.2015-09-05 14.23.35 It was perfect and I was glad I decided on having a dessert. Surprisingly OH just had an espresso and then insisted I take a pic of his giant hand with it.

When we first arrived in the restaurant I questioned the need to book a table but as we dined the place filled up around us, which created a lovely atmosphere. The service was great, the food was fantastic and what we found in Montmartre was a petite piece of France in Fife. Whether you like French food or not I’d recommend you make your way to Cupar soon and try for yourself the amazing Café Montmartre.

One 3 course meal, one 2 course meal, a coffee, 2 bottles of beer and a diet coke – £47.25

La Garrigue, Edinburgh


2014-08-02 13.30.34 At short notice my niece (now to be known as B’niece), decided to join OH and I on a trip to Edinburgh to soak up the atmosphere of the Fringe. The weather was rotten but we had come well prepared with hats and macs ’n’ sacs.

Lunch had been pre-booked in the French restaurant La Garrigue   as I had thought places may have been busy or booked up as it was the first Saturday of the month long festival. This didn’t seem to be the case so maybe we could have popped in on the off chance but by reserving our seats it meant the French waiter seated us with a great view of Calton Hill.

Especially for August they had ‘Le Menu du Festival’ which invited us to have 2 courses for £14.50 or 3 for £17. We were also told the soup of the day was pea, potato and bean and the fish was coley.

Whilst OH and B’niece studied the food menu I chose a bottle of Syrah, Domaine Condamine Bertrand, 2012 from the wine list. B’niece had said she liked Shiraz so I thought it was a safe pick. When it arrived it turned out to be a great choice and served at exactly the right temperature.

Back to the food though and OH chose Globe artichoke, peas, walnut and Roquetfort salad, I couldn’t resist the sound of the soup and B’niece opted for the Seasonal melon with Bayonne ham, which looked fantastic when it arrived.2014-08-02 13.13.53 OH enjoyed his salad and raved about the creaminess of the Roquetfort although he did mention that he’d have preferred a flat plate instead of the bowl, which became awkward at the end (he made it sound like a bad date – he wanted more but the curves made it tricky to get to what he wanted ;p)

For my main meal I had Fricassee of chicken Basquaise with peppers, 2014-08-02 13.33.39which came with mashed potato.  I’m not a big fan of meat on the bone (no I am not making this sound like a bad date too!)  but this didn’t throw up the usual messy, screechy problems and I had no complaints. B’Niece chose Onion tart with Provencal vegetables and pesto dressing. 2014-08-02 13.33.27
You could tell it was homemade and the vegetables turned out to be 3 different peppers and courgettes. B’niece said she’d never have thought about having an onion tart before but now would order it again. OH went for Toulouse Sausage with apple, grapes and potato persillade. 2014-08-02 13.33.34OH loved the appley sausages with plenty of meat in them – he was surprised to find the grapes hot but said it worked really well with the dish.

Although we could have followed on with a choice of desserts – floating island with ice cream, crème caramel with summer berries, apple tart and honey ice cream or a French cheese selection it was a joint decision to finish the wine and head off to see how many leaflets we could pick up on the Royal Mile.

The bill arrived and 3 x 2 courses and a bottle of wine = £68.

I’d definitely recommend La Garrigue – good food, lovely ambiance and just off the Royal Mile with none of the hustle and bustle of the normally touristy city centre. It has to be said we all enjoyed a lovely meal without feeling rushed, squashed or harassed.

p.s.  OH wants me to say you should pop into the Urbane Art gallery next door as he loved it and was made very welcome.

p.p.s. Following on from a quick straw poll on Twitter I’ve made this 1 of 2 shorter posts rather than 1 long one so look out for what we then went on to see at the Fringe.