Anabel Bar et Vin caught our attention some time ago with its fresh ingredients and dishes that always seemed to have a unique flair to them. On May 12th, we were lucky enough to bear witness to their birthday party as the thoroughly interesting restaurant turned one year old. It is quite a feat to be so young and to serve such consistently superb food. With finger foods and prosecco in hand, the invited revelers were treated to a beautiful 5 à 7 celebration in honour of Anabel Bar et Vin.
It was a wet evening outside and yet the floor to ceiling windows were still thrown wide open to cool down the crowd. A DJ played upbeat music at the perfect level. Prosecco flowed among the crowd and finger food was being pumped out of the small kitchen for all to taste. It is a credit to Anabel Bar et Vin that despite the packed space, the staff made sure that each person got to taste the delicious appetizers. They served up toastinis smeared with a smooth dill cream cheese and a piece of thickly rolled smoked salmon topped with a salty mujjol caviar. While this may sound standard, the flavour profile was not at all what one would expect as the creaminess of the sauce and saltiness of the caviar shone through despite the potentially overpowering dill. Yet again, Anabel Bar et Vin demonstrates why its food always takes it a step further than the standard fair.
The other two amuse-bouches which were offered to us were even more flavourful. A fried ball of mushroom and truffle infused mashed vegetable (potato or parsnip… we can never tell) topped with a dollop of tangy tomato aioli and a shaving of parmesan. The result was a melt in your mouth bite of earthy goodness. Surprisingly, the rest of the ball kept its shape: a perfect finger food. On the other hand, the chef set out a crispy rice square topped with a creamy salmon tartare and roe mixture. It seems quite like a sushi pizza which seems odd to have at a non-Asian restaurant but what a perfect fit it is for Anabel Bar et Vin.
Anabel Bar et Vin’s first birthday party was perfectly representative of its nature. It was delicious, intriguing, relaxed, and among friends. The establishment remains a beautiful testament to what imagination and personal style can bring to a restaurant. Its eclectic style is still alluring and inviting. Celebration or not, Anabel Bar et Vin serves deliciously intriguing food in a beautiful setting. We wish it all the best in the coming year and know that it will continue to please even the toughest of customers, especially with its new spring menu. Highlighting market ingredients with Filipino influence, chef Jose Mariano Crespo continues to showcase his impressive talent.
361 Rue Bernard Ouest, Montreal, QC, H2V 4H3