The Portugese word barroco, from which the word baroque derives, translates to a "rough or imperfect pearl." If applied literally to the interior of this Old Montreal restaurant - where a bold mix of perfectly carved, opulent accents contrast against the raw stone and authentic wooden beams of the space - one sees that the etymology of the word (and name) are, in fact, quite fitting.
Barroco, which opened its doors in October 2008, was one of those restaurants that happened about success so naturally, you would have thought it was always there. This cozy destination (think the Tudors; if the young King Henry VIII were still frolicking about today, he would be doing so here) provides warm, friendly service and fantastic cocktails to the fashion-forward set, and is one of the first places I tend to recommend to friends who haven't been back to Montreal for a few years.
The food is served on antique tableware and has a rustic, home-cooked quality that is as comforting as it is authentic. The menu, created by chef Terence Sheppard, combines flavours from all over Europe's best culinary regions; Spanish tuna tartar ($14), confits tomates and mozarella di buffala ($12), and soupe d'oignon ($12) and frisee aux lardons ($10), the latter two of which are my favourite french bistro apps of all time, all find their way onto the carte as entrees. Fresh oysters, and 60/120 g charcuterie are another perfect option if you are in the mood to share.
As for the mains, try their beef short ribs in port wine reduction ($18), the striped bass ($26, amazing) and their duck confit gnocchis ($26). Pair with a 1999 Château Potensac from the Médoc region, or a 2006 bottle from Domaine du Clos des Rocs, and enjoy.
312 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest | Montréal, QC | H2Y 2A3 |