To celebrate our end of midterms, me and my girlfriends went to eat at Lili Co, situated on Mentana which is a short walk from Station Mont Royal. I had been here before for brunch, which was phenomenal, but hadn’t tried their dinner. I had actually made a reservation by email, and interestingly, the waitress who served me and Wangfood for brunch last time had remembered me! We had told her that we wrote food blogs, and I guess she remembered my post. So props to you, Lili Co!
Anyway, after deciding on some wines (which the waiterss was very helpful with), we were explained the menu, as two of us were not fluent in French. I definitely had trouble with some of the less common words, and it turns out that they were organs very uncommonly eaten at restaurants.
We shared a testicle (yes, testicle) appetizer to start. Obviously we were intrigued when we asked what “animelle” was. Turns out, it was the male genitalia of the lamb! Fun! Honestly though, it did sound delicious. And was it! The testicles were very soft and tender. The texture is like a more fluffy hot dog weiner. The same homogenity throughout the organ, yet very airy, fluffy and soft on the inside. It was very fragrant due to the honey. It was accompanied with a delicious mix of soft wheat, tomatoes and some greens. Lastly, they finished the plating with some plain yoghurt. The three went together perfectly. The yoghurt balanced out the organ-taste of the testicles, while the veggie mixture added the bite that you need.
This dish was very visually appealing. All the colours and the placement just makes you want to take a picture (and we did). The salsify was something I’d never even heard of, but she told us that it was similar to Jerusalem artichoke. Cutting into it, it was quite firm. The salsify root vegetable itself doesn’t have a lot of flavour, but paired with the pumpernickel bread crumbs and the blood orange syrup, it was quite interesting. The first appetizer was definitely a more flavourful and rich dish, where as this was a lighter one. They played more with the colours and the different textures as opposed to punch of flavour.
For my main, I ordered the magret duck, which is duck with the skin on, and cooked to a medium rare to medium degree. Obviously the duck was done quite nicely. It was a little more chewy than what I’m used to, but I didn’t mind. The artichokes were quite soft, balancing the chewiness of the duck. And the white bean and chorizo butter sauce was quite interesting, with a gritty yet fragrant texture and taste.
My two friends both ordered the miso grilled pompano which is a white fish. It was bathed in this miso soup-sauce, accompanied with clamshell mushrooms and chickpeas. They commented that the dish was WAY too salty, and that it burned my friend’s lips. Such a shame because I think this dish could have had a lot of potential to becoming very tasty.
Overall, I thought that their appetizers had the wow factor and captured your interest, and the mains were not up to the quality of the appetizers. Given the price, I did expect a little more to eat. We weren’t full after the meal, and ended up hitting another place to grab some much needed food after our battle with exams. The service was very nice and you feel more tended-to since they are a smaller restaurant. I think I will be continuing to come back for brunch quite soon, but may not be back for dinner for a while.
Atmosphere: masculin, cozy, open kitchen
Price: $40-60 (with wine)