I am told about this place by a friend who is a Montrealer. She describes her experience of the tasting lobster spaghetti and showed me picture of the dish. Since that day, I just couldn’t wait to try the dish. I longed for the taste of the dish for months and months until I finally find myself in Montreal at the restaurant for the moment I’ve long been pining for.
Liverpool House is a rustic bistro with a mix of cabin / nautical theme to it with uncovered wooden tables, a long brown leather banquette, checked napkins and a canoe hanging from the ceiling. The wood-paneled walls, the dimly lit room and the wine list on chalked blackboards has a certain charm to it. A wine trolley full of magnums gets rolled through the restaurant which also adds the tune of the place.
The waitress is gorgeous and goes through the specials and gives me her thoughts on wine pairings for the evening. I settle on a foie gras special for the entrée and the lobster spaghetti for the main course with a side of Quebec tomatoes. The anticipation builds for the evening.
Foie Gras Tart
The compressed foie gras is served on a pastry tart base and topped with pickled chanterelle mushrooms and red currants.
The dish weaves the different elements together quite well; there’s the fatty buttery foie gras which battles the acidity and tartness of the red currants. The chanterelle mushrooms add a nice earthiness to the foie gras and a pickled freshness to the experience. The crumbly buttery base of the tart forms a lovely textural touch and leaves a little mess in the mouth. Dreamy and decadent.
Rosso Piceno “di Gino” Montepulicano wine
I pair the foie gras tart with a beautiful Montepulicano / Sangiovese blend.
It’s got aromas of red fruits and blackberries with some mild spice on the nose. On the palate its rich in cherries, blackcurrant and there are some lovely soft tannins to round out the experience. The fruit is perfect to stand with the foie gras, there’s good acidity and sweetness to cut through the richness of the dish and the tannins work nicely to mop the tongue.
Spaghetti au Homard
Finally, the moment I’ve been waiting for arrives and the lobster makes its way from the kitchen to the table. It’s a moment of anticipation.
The artistry of the dish leaves one to ponder; the lobster lives in the bottom of the deep blue sea and the grains for the spaghetti grow in open fields. They never encounter each other in the course of their natural lives until the chef so artistically intertwines them into this dish today.
To taste it is like being kissed by the sea; it’s a transcendent moment of opulence that appears more fitting for grandeur of a palace than the province of Quebec. The spaghetti is velvety and glides effortlessly into the mouth. The light sweetness of the liqueur gently contrasts and fuses with the salinity of the bacon. There is a sense of desire about this moment; to taste the succulent lobster, to feel the salinity and cream flow through the dish and to let the buttery coated spaghetti slide on your tongue. It’s a medley of decadence and simplicity.
I gaze at the empty dish in contemplation. I lick my lips of the sauce to extend the moment of pleasure for that extra second. All I’m left with is my memories of the moment, inscribed to be relived forever. Do we ever learn that the pleasures we seek are fleeting or do we taste, kiss, drink and love because the transientness of the moment forces us to immerse ourselves in it? I’ll never know the answer, but today I held the rose of pleasure only to be stung by the thorn of its temporariness.
I have the side of Quebec Tomatoes which are a joy to eat in between spoonfuls of creamy lobster spaghetti. The burnt tomato vinaigrette and basil adds a lovely dimension to the dish.
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi “Di Gino”
I pair the lobster with a beautiful Verdicchio from the same winemaker.
This is wine offers decent pairing. There’s good flow of lemon and green apples on the nose. There is burst of fresh minerality gives the wine an indelible texture with the slightly tart acidity of the citrus and apples being perfect to work with the lobster and cream. The wine lingers with a long dry finish which is satisfying.
I find myself way too full at the end of the lunch and decline the offer of dessert. Here is a little video diary of the experience:
The background tune is: ‘I Got U’ by Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones. I do not own any rights to the song.
This is a culinary experience worth traveling for. People say Montreal is about hills, the beautiful parks, Mont Royal, the streets of Old Montreal and other sights…. But it is really a culinary town and this restaurant epitomises Montreal. It’s a lovely mix of North American produce and French culinary techniques.
It is the epitome of haute cuisine in a hip & charming Montréal bistro setting; fine seafood, rich steaks, gourmet delicacies and of course the house speciality the Spaghetti au Homard. The mood is chilled, the wine generously poured and the cuisine decadent. To breathe is to live, to taste is to experience and to indulge is to immerse oneself in life itself.