Can one go to an up-scale and trendy restaurant and just order dessert? Usually not, unless you don’t mind nasty looks and snide remarks. One place in Montreal that has no qualms about dessert for supper: Pullman.
Best known as a wine-bar, since Pullman is technically a restaurant, it must serve food with your drink. It has great tapas but also wonderful desserts in the same miniature serving size.
The Dessert Plate, or the “Assiette de mignardises” as they coin it, is an adorable display of mini-cookies & treats, from macaroons to madeleines. Comes in pairs, it’s perfect to share. Or even more perfect to just pop in your mouth and enjoy.
There is something inherently delightful about miniature desserts. Part of their attraction might be that small surely equals fewer calories. And small sweets also give one the options of trying a few different flavours. You don’t have to choose between chocolate and vanilla. Plus, a huge piece of cake sometimes seems just too much. Or at least too much of the same.
First, I bit into the Pistachio Biscotto. I rarely have biscotti as I find them pretty dry. And this one didn’t change my mind. I would have paired it with a nice lemon cream, but tell that to the chef. Not the best start, but it only got better and better from there. That’s another advantage of tiny desserts. If it’s a dud, it’s only one bite worth.
The madeleines were tiny, sweet bites of moist perfection. The making of memories. Sublime with a touch of vanilla. There’s also a hint of fleur d’oranger but, barely perceptible, it simply enhances the vanilla flavour. Which is a good thing because orange blossom is an acquired taste. A hit in Europe, especially Paris, it often just tastes like soap to North Americans. The slice of bitter orange covered in chocolate was an appropriate follow-up.
We saved the best for last: the salty-caramel macaroon. Crispy outer layer, buttery caramel goodness inside. Perfect fall dessert.
All that was missing were the chocolate truffles. They are on the menu, and as I’ve had them in the past, I know they are small balls of delight. The white chocolate homemade Ferrero Rocher wasn’t nearly comparable.
Admittedly, one goes to Pullman more for the wine than the food. That said, the desserts were delicious – we enjoyed everything we ordered. The service was very helpful, friendly and efficient. And the wines were chosen to offset the sweetness of the macaroons or to compliment the touch of a bitter chocolate-covered orange.
Reservations are a must for this popular spot.