Cadet may seem like an odd name for a restaurant, but in this case, it’s quite fitting. For starters, this new addition to Montreal’s food scene is obscurely located in an unmarked spot along St. Laurent that was once home to an army surplus store. More importantly though given the French meaning of, “cadet”, it’s the, “second son” to Bouillon Bilk, which has maintained its status as one of the best restaurants in the city for years now.
Having stopped by for dinner a couple weeks ago, I’d say that thus far, Cadet is following suit to become one of Montreal’s top dining spots.
The menu at Cadet, as many are nowadays, is designed to share. We started with a heaping pile of slightly smoked, vinegary mushrooms with parsley and pickled shallots. Give me a big bowl of creminis and shiitakes, hot or cold, and I’m a happy camper.
The crab was served simply in its shells with dill, daikon, and just a touch of chives. When crab season is at its peak, you really don’t need anything more complicated than that.
My favourite dish of the evening was the asparagus, also a fresh, seasonal offering. The best way I can describe it is as grilled asparagus meets upscale Caesar salad. The creamy sauces, one with smoked mackerel and the other with anchovies, gave it that salty, savoury kick that made it difficult to stop eating. The almonds, especially the thinly sliced green ones, were a nice touch as well.
For our last savoury dish we opted for chicken livers with morels and peas. They were served on “cornbread”, which was actually a yeasted bread with cornmeal, rather than your typical corn quickbread, was the perfect base for sopping up all of the jus.
Admittedly, even for being a party of only 2, we could have ordered more food, but we were both adamant on saving room for dessert, all of which are made by Bouillon Bilk’s pastry chef. I don’t typically go for chocolate cake because it’s never “chocolatey” enough for me, but this one may have changed my outlook just a tad. The incorporation of caramelized white chocolate, in the white chocolate cream, aerated white chocolate, and white chocolate clusters, was really what made it for me. It was the sweet ending that solidified that Cadet isn’t just living in the shadows as Bouillon Bilk’s younger sibling, it’s worth saluting in and of itself.