Lilico! I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, we just love the name Lilico, not sure how it came about but just staying it puts us in a particular mood. We had tried Lilico a few times for their delicious brunch; we can’t get enough of their delicious banana pancakes and their juicy thick cut bacon!
After a lazy Saturday we were looking for a restaurant for an impromptu dinner and decided to try Lilico for dinner. We had been a bit hesitant to try it as its dinner menu focuses on offals and only one half of the 2direct team is a fan of offals. We had reservation for 6:30 pm and when we arrived were showed to two bar seats which is exactly what we were hoping for.
Lilico is a small space with a bit of an awkward design. It has two bar sections, one around the kitchen and one around an actual bar. Along the wall and at the back there are high set tables for larger groups. The décor is modern and the bar catches the attention with its collection of nice bourbons and older aperitifs like Suze and an elaborated cocktail menu to match.
The dinner menu has an interesting selection of offals but a lot of other vegetarian seafood, and meat selection. We are hungry and order generously! We start with the green sea urchin and the Matane shrimps. What great starters! The sea urchin, a beautifully presented small portion in the shell with a broth of cold dashi. Perfect way to kick off our dinner, then, follows a forest of Matane shrimps with a delicately seasoned butter. This dish was amazing! It was so tasty, we asked for some bread to soak in the juices and we took our time to savor the shrimps one by one.
Then followed the offal selection du jour: veal testicles. These came delicately breaded with radishes and a honey mayo. Again a delicious dish that shows creativity and a perfect knowledge a flavor. Way to elevate such a discarded component!
We then had roasted asparagus on a bed of fresh cheese, with roasted olives and salted lemon confit. This was very tasty and the lemon confit added just the right touch of acidity.
To finish our dinner we had the Tandoori Octopus with cheek bacon, kale and maitake mushroom. As our dish was brought to us the chef realised that it had been dispatched without the maitake mushroom that he was poaching in butter. He rushed to us with is pan and tongs to delicately place the missing mushrooms on top of the plate before we start. That is a nice touch! That said this was our least favorite plate, although it was a more balance combination that we had in the past, tandoori spices were not optimal to showcase the octopus.
To accompany our meal we had an excellent wine suggestion from our server! Generally, the service a Lilico is great! It’s a team or even more like a family serving you, particularly in the kitchen where there seems to be a special camaraderie. We sat at the bar and it gave the perfect point of view over the kitchen, the bar area and even the dishwasher that kept on regularly checking for new plates to clean. As it got late however and the restaurant became more packed, the waiters got busy and appeared a bit overwhelmed.
We love everything about Lilico, its décor, its ambience (bunch or dinnertime) its food, its red hair Chef you can see at work with his team in the open concept kitchen.
If you have not yet been to Lilico please go and be open and try everything!!
Rating from 1 to 10:
Food presentation: 8
Food taste: 9
Dessert: N/A limited choice
Wine selection / advice: 10
Cost: 8 $50 (per person before tip, including a glass of wine)
Address: 4675 st-laurent, Montréal, QC H2T 1R2, Canada