Vertige offers culinary lovers a cuisine with character.
A cuisine with a flavour that originates in the refined French tradition and then lets the aromas of the Mediterranean spice it all up. From France to Turkey, we believe all tastes can lead you to Vertige. You can expect real bistro style taste, in a friendly and warm atmosphere, surrounded by the famous vibes of ‘Le Plateau’ district. Chic and relaxed spot for a date, a quick bite at the bar or any special occasion you wish to share with your loves ones.
Our bistro dares to propose a different cuisine,which is a little bit adventurous, nostalgic of days gone by and yet open to new trends. The chef use fresh, seasonal and local products to create homemade inventive recipes for your delight.
Come and share a real experience with our team and enjoy delicacies in keeping with your budget
Thierry is originally from Touraine, France, where he got his start at the age of 16 at Restaurant Le Colombier in Ligueil under the tutelage of Chef Roger Gauthier, whose inspiration can still be observed in the refinement of some of Thierry’s dishes. At 18, Thierry set off on a six-year adventure, perfecting his profession with the guidance of renowned chefs in France, Switzerland and Luxembourg. He arrived in Montreal during the year of the ice storm to start out as chef at Opus II, the restaurant at the Westin Mont Royal. Next stop Quebec City, where he progressed at the prestigious Laurie & Raphael under Chef Daniel Vézina. Back in Montréal, he did a stint at Ferreira Café and helped open Vasco De Gama. Thierry took over as Chef of the famous Jongleux Café in 2001, which was then renamed Le Chorus. He also participated in opening Confusion Tapas du Monde in 2003, which led to the creation of Vertige in 2005. He is fulfilling a lifelong dream with his wife Fadia.
Fadia was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She crossed the Atlantic with her family at the age of eight to settle in Montreal. She has been interested in the restaurant and hotel business since a very young age. Determined to follow her passion, she studied at College Lasalle in Montreal. During the subsequent years she worked as dining room manager and restaurant assistant in the city’s best hotels, from the Vogue to the Westin Mont Royal to the charming Hôtel du Fort, where she truly cut her teeth in the hotel business. She perfected her restaurant expertise by working in celebrated bistros like Chez Lévesque. She and her husband Thierry followed their dreams and opened Vertige in 2005.
Best of Fine Dining dishes in 2009: Black cod, memorable bisque
Fine Dining: Our critic picks her favourites from among 1,000 dishes sampled in 2009
Best soup: Vertige’s lobster bisque. Lighter than the usual spoon-coating soup and well-enhanced with tender dumplings flavoured with lemongrass, it’s a soup that felt like spring, and one I’d love to recreate at home.
Tuesday’s dinner with visiting chef Fatéma Hal of Paris was a perfect example of the exotic dining opportunities offered by the Montreal High Lights festival. The owner of the Paris restaurant Mansouria, which specializes in Moroccan cuisine, Moroccan-born Hal brought her lightly spiced and delicately sweetened North African recipes to the Plateau, introducing festival patrons to a cooking style she described as dating back to the 12th century and earlier.
The prettiest dish was called Les sept portes du Palais: an entrée of tiny portions of vegetables, spiced and either puréed, grilled or slivered into little oval-shaped mounds of interesting flavours. My favourite was the herb salad, as one of the little mounds was called.
The most unusual dish of the six-course dinner was an entrée of pigeon, a popular bird in Hal’s native land. It did not look like a pigeon – more like a small pastry-covered package. Inside, tender, braised pieces of pigeon were seasoned with almonds.
Next came a lusty knuckle of braised lamb with honey and almonds, the meat seasoned with a mixture of 27 spices. Hal, a slim woman with long, dark hair, said she had no trouble shopping in Montreal for the ingredients for her dishes, but she had brought along those 27 spices and gave each guest a small box of her special blend, which goes by the time-honoured name Ras el Hanout. Inside the box, along with the spice blend, she had included a recipe for the lamb dish Mourouzia.
One of the best dishes was her couscous, a pretty bowlful with strips of vegetables arranged on top in a flower petal design, served with a flavourful broth to spoon over.
While host chefs Thierry Baron and Johnny Zaki followed Hal’s recipes in the kitchen, Hal was available to explain the long and complex history of her cuisine and how she opened her authentic Moroccan restaurant near the Bastille 25 years ago. Talking of her lightly sweetened dishes, Hal, who studied ethnology at the University of Paris, said Morocco was the first country to have extracted sugar from beets.
Dessert was refreshing: little Moroccan pastries and a scoop of fig ice cream, and a plate of orange slices flavoured with orange blossom water and cinnamon. Wines from New Zealand, Italy and France accompanied the dinner, and mint tea wound it up.
Hal continues her guest-chef stint Wednesday with two sittings; the six-course dinner is priced at $55, or $85 with wines.
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By Julian Armstrong