Disclaimer: if you're a vegetarian or not big on meat, there are several veggie options that sounded dee-lish on the menu here. If you do love meat however, this place is absolute heaven.
A month ago, the BF proclaimed that we needed to go to this restaurant that a co-worker told him about. He said it was a medieval-themed restaurant with good food. Oh, OK.
Naturally, I did some reading because I wanted to know what I was getting into. Would there be sword fights and jousting and knights in full-body armour?! No, there isn't, but I quickly came to realize that this place was much more than just entertainment: their food was actually good. It just so happened that the thematic entertainment was a perk. Now I was intrigued.
The night of, we drove there and luckily found parking just across the street. Auberge du Dragon Rouge is located on Lajeunesse just north of Cremazie so it was a quick 7 minute drive from home (East-enders, take note!) The place is pretty hard to miss, as they've got a giant gargoyle statue out front. Definitely sets the mood.
Upon entering, you're welcomed by one of the "inn keepers," all of which are in full Middle Ages-inspired costumes. Had I not known that this was a thematic restaurant with a performing staff, I would have totally mistaken these people as rowdy and drunk employees - but I knew what was up and it made the entire exchange hi-la-rious. The staff really gets into their roles and they put on a great show for the guests. The snappy exchanges between them and antics they play out feel so authentic that I often found myself forgetting that this was in fact all just a performance.
We were prompty seated by our eccentric hostess who brought us our menus and took a seat at our table to explain the dishes (still in her loud and brash character, of course.) We then took a moment to mull it over and look around; the place is rustic and has lots of quirky items lying around to set the atmosphere. The lively staff certainly helps bring it to life. While we were waiting for our food, a couple of troubadours popped over and broke out into the (mildly inappropriate, albeit super funny) songs of Nouvelle France accompanied by their guitar and drum. Did I mention that this place REALLY knows how to create an atmosphere?!
We started the evening with a drink: the BF ordered a trusty Boréale blonde and I opted for the White Velvet, which was a 50/50 of cider and Boréale blanche. Definitely check out their booze menu - if you're a fan of ciders like I am, they've got quite an impressive selection.
So - on with the meal: the entire menu is inspired by recipes from the Middle Ages. I ordered the Tourte de gibier, a smallish (but extremely filling) meat pie stuffed with chicken, duck, and boar. It came with a wine sauce and your choice of 2 cuts of fries (there's a total of 3.) I went with the Frite saxonne (baked and spiced wedges) and Petite pétaque (thin, chip-like fries with a light dusting of cinnamon) - the latter of which was HEAVENLY. The tourte was delicious; the meat's flavour and texture reminded me a lot of those Italian gellied canned beef products, Manzotin, and the pie dough was thick and crispy yet soft. There was a perfect balance between crust and meat - this is definitely the best meat pie I've ever had.
The BF ordered the duo de côtes levées, which was essentially ribs with the choice of 2 cuts of fries. He said the ribs were tasty, though wished that the portion was bigger. But keep in mind - the BF is also a total pig and typically eats for 2 when we dine out.
There's quite a few interesting items on the menu for groups of 2 of more, such as the Festin Gargantuesque or the Festin Gargantuesque de Sanglier. There was a table beside us that ordered one and it looked like a crazy amount of food, but oh-so-yummy. You can check out their menu here - it's pretty epic.
Finally, there came a point in the evening where the staff announced that it was time for the Sang de Dragon (dragon's blood) which they like to tout as a shot for "only the brave." Well... I was driving and am a big puss when it comes to intimidating (aka painful) concoctions so I immediately noped out. The BF, on the otherhand, rarely turns down an opportunity to drink. Everyone in the restaurant who accepted the challenge climbed onto their chairs and took the shot together after reciting a (pretty funny) oath as dictated by one of the inn keepers. They then collectively downed the shot and the room was overwhelemd with lots of "oh mon dieu's." BF calmly sat down and said "wow, that burns" a few times. A minute later, the sweat started pouring down his forehead and BF's face turned pretty red. We have yet to conclude what was in that shot, though we've narrowed it down to a mix consisting of tabasco sauce, tequila and whisky that is warmed up, making it extra painful.
The meal came to a total of $90 tax-included before tip: $49 for both meals, $15 for drinks, and there's a $6 charge per adult ($3 per child) added as a tip for the entertainment. They don't accept credit cards, though they do take cash and debit cards. They also have a banquet hall upstairs that looks like it would make for a super-awesome party, so if you're in the market for a unique bash, this may just be the place for you.
For more information, pay them a visit online. This place is totally one of a kind for not only its atmosphere and entertainment, but the food is hella impressive as well - definitely worth a try!
L'Auberge du Dragon Rouge
Montréal, Québec. H2M 1R6