Ru and I bought coupons to try the mediterranean restaurant Au Tarot. It’s a couple of minutes from my work and I’ve passed in front of it countless times, always thinking it’s a cute place especially for a date.
We were joined by Si, Ru’s best friend and yes, we found him an appartment. Our waiter told us we only had one option with the coupons, the royal couscous for 2 people. He was nice enough to add more food for Si and charged him 15 dollars, which normally wouldn’t be possible.
The royal couscous comes with 3 meats that are lamb, chicken and merguez, it is also served with vegetables in a warm broth. The couscous was good and filling. The waiter brought a spicy sauce on the side that we loved and even asked for another service, which I think he didn’t expect.
We unanimously preferred the chicken of all the meats. It was incredibly delicious; whatever it was marinated in it felt like the heavens. The lamb was so tender and good. There were too many pieces, we just couldn’t finish it all. The merguez, slightly spicy was good too.
The broth was delicious, a different way of having some greens in your plate. There were different vegetables such as zucchinis, carrots, squash, and beans. It wasn’t easy to know what was inside the glass bowl as the broth was dark. I remember biting into something sweet but couldn’t figure out what it was until Si said it contained dried raisins. Not a fan of those, but I didn’t have a lot as they were all in the bottom. I didn’t rake the bottom often when I poured the broth over my couscous and meats.
We were so stuffed, we didn’t even finish all of the meats and broth. I finished the couscous, which I thought wouldn’t be enough for the 3 of us. I even thought of ordering an extra plate, but Ru and Si told me they didn’t mind just eating the meats and vegetables. I didn’t end up ordering one thankfully. I’m sure that we would have been fine if we hadn’t had the extra food added for Si. The food was enough for 4 people, if not 5. Note: we are all people with big appetites so this should be shocking, especially for those who have small ones.
This is what my plates looks like with a bit of everything in it, yummy!
We were served some mint tea at the end. It was an excellent choice, refreshing and helpful for digestion . Ru and Si thought it tasted weird, too minty and not sweet enough. I assured them that this was pretty sweet as I didn’t feel the need to adding some sugar. Yes, I always put sugar in my tea if honey isn’t available. I love mint and was delighted by its taste. I liked the small glasses we had, which allowed us to pour as many drinks as you desired. I had about 3 of them while the others had only 1 each.
I liked our waiter, he had the typical french demeanor. It was thoughtful of him to make an exception for Si. He even suggested taking a group picture but we kindly refused. He also thought Ru and Si were dating, I couldn’t help but laugh. He obviously thought that she was too demanding of Si, Ru’s bossy.
I give it a 8/10 for the good service and the huge plates. We looked at the menu and saw that it was quite expensive. For a full course (entrée, main dish, dessert and drink), it wouldn’t be under 25 dollars. I definitely recommed it for dates if you feel are in the area or feel like trying some mediterranean. It’s also to nice to go if you’re in a big group and want to share the plates. You have to make reservations in advance, it’s very small inside and fills up fast. I’d say there’s about 25-30 seats, which gives it an intimate feel. We sat on a round table with our back to Berri street, near the entrance. I called the previous weekend to make reservations for the saturday but I was told they were full even for 2 people. How could they be full so fast, when they opened just an hour ago? Ru and I were really annoyed and disappointed as we were eager to try it after appartment hunging on our bikes.
I put it in the Mediterranean category as the website describes it as such but it also says that its specialties are from North African. I put them in both categories, though personally I feel that it was more North African food, especially Moroccan with the mint tea. When I think Mediterranean food, it’s mostly the southern countries of Europe or some of the Middle East.
500 Marie-Anne East, Montreal, QC
H2j 2A3 514-849-6860