Ratafia, what is it? According to wikipedia, this is a soft alcoholic drink, often made by hand, and consumed as an aperitif. There are in fact two different types of drinks: fruit ratafia and liqueur wine produced in certain regions of France, particularly in Champagne or Burgundy. But back to Montreal where Ratafia dessert bar is synonymous with the first gourmet dessert bar in the city, and probably in Quebec, if not Canada.
Located in Little Italy, more precisely in the former Café Epoca at 6778 Boul St-Laurent, Ratafia dessert bar is inspired by European gastronomic dessert bars. Sandra Forcier, one of the owners, explained to me that the inspiration really comes from Europe and from places like CODA in Berlin for example. The latter even has 1 Michelin star. Do not expect a dessert bar like those that can be found in the brunchs or some dairies, here it is really the fine dining and the fine cuisine who is put forward.
In The Ratafia dessert bar, there is the word bar no?
Yes indeed. The group of owners Sandra Forcier, Jared Tuck and the pastry chef Valentin Rouyé, have created this place so that it is festive, and that people come to have a drink and a (or several desserts). The wine and spirits menu is as important as the dessert list. Pairings are suggested, like, for example, Rum Diplomatico with La Bombe. Ah yes, la Bombe. I come back to it a little further down.
So, for the pairings, there are red wines, bubbles, orange wines, not to mention the Norman holes. Not bad all private imports that will change regularly. The team regularly opens good bottles for wines by the glass. I advise you to start with a salted board, courtesy of the Automne Boulangerie, Falafel Yoni and the Épicerie Conserva.
Exit sprinkles and Milk Bar inspiration
Far from the festive side of Milk bar, Juliette & Chocolat and others, it is the gastronomic side that wins. Imagery imagined by the lg2 team, who also created that of PUR Vodka, has precisely put this side more “glamorous” forward with notes of dark green and gold rather than something festive and candy pink, although pink, darker and mixed with wood, is present in the decor. references to the triangular logo can be found everywhere in the decor. I challenge you to find them.
What about the desserts of Ratafia dessert bar ?
We keep the best for last, right? That’s it, the main dish (in fact the only dish off the salty board), is this dessert orgy. There are several, and they will change according to the season and arrivals. The team works a lot with local products such as strawberry and honey for example. While I was with my friend Tommy Dion from Le Cuisinomane, we had two desserts in addition to the salted board. The one called Chocolates and who wears his name very well, with different mix of chocolates including the famous Ruby by Cacoa Barry.
The second is La Bombe. You will hardly be able to resist this delight. When someone orders it, the whole restaurant follows, I think that will be the star. It’s festive, delicious and not very big, but it’s good. The Bomb is made of Biscuit joconde, semifereddo with dark chocolate Mexico and cocoa nibs, espresso ice cream and finally, flambéed with bourbon. Unbelievable. And the show when everything is happening before our eyes, just incredible.
Thanks to the ratafia for the invitation, I will return soon.
6778 St-Laurent Blvd