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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Restaurant Vallier

Vallier, which is located about halfway down McGill Street between Square Victoria and the Old Port, can be considered as middle of the road in more ways than one.  The menu focuses on straightforward French bistro dishes, the quality of the food is fine, and the ambiance is relaxing and comfortable, but there's not much that is particularly memorable, especially considering that the prices are on the high side.  Still, if you are in the area and looking for a casual bite to eat with friends it can be an acceptable choice, particularly if you want to sit down in a pleasant atmosphere.

The menu

The most popular items are undoubtedly the burgers (beef, veggie, or cod) and the tartares (beef or salmon), which are each served with a choice of french fries, salad, or both.  Go for the fries, which are served in a tin cup with mayo or ketchup on the side. They are particularly good.

Starters include fried calamari, beef carpaccio, foie gras au torchon, and tuna tataki.  For main dishes, if burgers and tartares aren't your thing, there are plenty of other classics from which to choose, such as macaroni and cheese, Caesar salad, hanger steak, raviolis, and grilled scallops.  Some Québecois cuisine, like pâté chinois (shepherd's pie) in lamb and duck versions, are also included on the menu. From American cheesecake to Québécois pudding chômeur to French pain perdu, desserts on the menu show a mixture of influences.

Although some of the other dishes are fine, I usually try to stick to the tried and true burgers and tartares.  The rest of the menu is not as reliably good.


Ambiance

Vallier is an easy going place.  Service is generally friendly, and attention has been paid to the decor to make it cozy and not overly sleek.  While Vallier gets good business and is often buzzing, it is usually not overly crowded. There are tables to seat parties of all sizes, too. This combination of factors makes Vallier a good choice for a spontaneous meal out.

Price

Given that the food is fairly simple and of adequate but not outstanding quality, some might find the prices high. For instance, a cheeseburger and fries with a beer and dessert will set you back more than $40 with tax and tip.  A modest portion of beef tartare with a glass of tap water goes for more than $30 with tax and tip.

Overall impression

In short, Vallier is O.K.  If you don't mind the price point, it's good for an easy dinner in a nice atmosphere, but I wouldn't go across town for it. Vallier may not be a dream choice, but it's not a bad one, either.

Restaurant Vallier
425 McGill Street
514-842-2905
Metro: Square Victoria
Parking: Street

Dress: Casual

Price: Allow $30 - $50 per person, including tax and tip, for lunch or dinner.

Highlights: Good fries.  Pleasant ambiance.

Vallier on Urbanspoon

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