RENAMED CAFÉ BEAUFORT, BUT MOST OF THE STAFF REMAINS THE SAME, INCLUDING KITCHEN STAFF
You don’t need to be Scandinavian to run a good Scandinavian restaurant. In fact, some of the best Scandinavian food I ever had was at Fika, a “Swedish Halal” café run by Malay Muslims in Singapore.
Café Ellefsen is run by a Quebecer whose distant Scandinavian relatives migrated to the Saguenay. The cozy-minimalist decor is fantastic, a welcome addition to the design-starved periphery of Plaza Saint-Hubert. As a result of this, it has been colonized by young people with Macbooks.
We tried the “poutine norvégienne,” which includes cubes of sharp cheese and meatballs. They also had a “poutine chanterelles” with mushrooms and a “poutine gravlax.” Like everything else in the restaurant (aside from the ceiling), it looked great. But how did it taste?
Fries: Big, almost like steak fries or British chips. They’re a little too soft and pasty. Little to no crisp, and the bottom ones are mushy. 23/30.
Gravy: The gravy sinks to the bottom. It is probably home-made creamy Swedish meatball gravy but the taste is a bit bland. It has a fatty texture but is almost tasteless aside from a light peppery tinge. Not enough salt to liven up the dormant flavours. Good temperature. 28/50.
Cheese: This place doesn’t use cheese curds but that’s OK because they’re trying to do something different and Scandinavian. They’ve replaced the curds with some relatively tasty sharp grainy cheese cubes. Unfortunately, the cheese melts too quickly and doesn’t quite bring out anything in the bland gravy. Not the best mix of tastes and textures. 10/20.
Meatballs: Like everything else in this dish, the meatballs are bland. They taste like regular lumps of ground beef with no seasoning. No pork, bread crumbs, nutmeg, pepper or onions. This is not a Swedish meatball. Even the mass-produced meatballs sold at IKEA are better than these. In short, the meatballs add nothing to the poutine. + 0 points
Verdict: Great atmosphere, excellent coffee, mediocre poutine.
Price: OUCH! 9$!
MON-WED 7AM-11PM, THU-FRI 7AM-midnight, SAT 9AM-midnight, SUN 9AM-11PM.
Location: 414 rue st-zotique est . montréal See their website.