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Food

Embrace Your Inner Yuppie: Pullman

Posted by MP / March 23, 2007

20070321_pullman_yuppie.jpgPullman is a tiny space but it has by far the largest chandelier I've seen in a restaurant. It's impossible to miss – you can see it from the street. With grandeur like that, passers-by might get the wrong impression about the dining etiquette at Pullman.

From the sidewalk you might wonder if you want the pressure of a cloak-receiving maitre d' or a multiple-fork table setting. Do you take from the inside, the outside, or one of the ones above the plate first?

But there is no four-fork experience here. You get a single fork. A miniscule three-prong job, in real danger of being demoted to fondue fork. It’s actually a fraction of a real fork. Should you choose to round off, Pullman would be a zero-fork experience. (You do end up eating with your hands anyway.)

If the small scale at first seems bizarre, you regulate. The species has evolved to eat in dining establishments such as these. Plus, it helps that everything on the table at Pullman is equally tiny. The miniature plate you eat off is smaller than the smallest saucer you have in your kitchen cupboard. The food, all tapas-like and artfully prepared on trays (in any other place they would be considered dinner plates) is extremely bite-sized, if that.

To top it all off, the two-ounce shots served from the bar is not whiskey, but wine.

20070321_pullman_flight.jpgBut of course it's wine. Bar à vin means wine bar. This is much more important to the potential diner than how this place looks or feels. Pullman is about “tastings”. A little of this and a little of that. Here, have a splash of this too. It's more of a lounge than a restaurant.

And it's less about embracing the works of Lewis Carroll than it is about embracing your inner yuppie.

We accepted a flight of Bergerac and Montravel red wines from southwest France. Six ounces total per person, totalling $13. With a friendly and informative presentation it felt like we were getting a good deal on this.

20070321_pullman_foiegras.jpgWith it, we ordered a pot of foie gras with side fig and orange confit (really good) and more of those green beans. Altogether it was $22.50 per person, before taxes and tip. An expensive 5 à 7 maybe, but appropriate for your inner yuppie.

20070321_pullman_menu.jpgWine lovers will like Pullman’s drinks menu. The bottles are almost all privately imported, meaning you can't get these wines from the SAQ. Considering the size of the wine list, it's only a relative handful that are available by the glass. But a vast selection awaits in the long term as I've noticed the menu changes frequently.

The serving staff, like the menu, operates in French, but this translates into a good thing. When I assumed I knew what vins de voile meant our kind server helped avoid disaster by offering me a taste first. That's helpful, especially when you think you're asking for red wine but are in fact getting your friends a round of fino sherry.

They may be schooled sommeliers toting Riedel glasses but this does not make them condescending or disinterested servers. The opposite is true.

20070321_pullman_chandelier.jpgThe semi-destructed ambiance of Pullman could shoot an icy coolness through you if you let it. Should you look deeper, there's more to it. There are modern-day relics built into the exposed brick and that huge chandelier is made entirely of wine glasses.

20070321_pullman_wc_2.jpg It's nice to see that even the restrooms aren't beyond a sense of humour. Kookily, Pullman is named after an antique luxury traincar.

The food, when ordered wisely can make up a full meal. I tried this as part of a foursome during another visit. We shared the grilled cheese with port cheddar, more of those green beans, and bison burgers served with a complimentary helping of the world's smallest fries.

20070321_pullman_tray.jpgThe grilled cheese was seriously yummy and the beans presented an attractive combination of flavours. But the burgers were average. They suggested that food at Pullman is novel because of size rather than craft.

20070321_pullman_coffee.jpgWe also had olives and nuts, a shrimp cocktail thingy and desserts and coffee. It was a light supper with a glass or two of wine per person. Give or take, it came to about $40 each.

Pullman; 3424 du Parc, 514-288-7779

Discussion

9 Comments

Joe / March 24, 2007 at 12:13 am
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Excellent review, I will have to get out there sometime.
mathamore / May 11, 2008 at 11:59 am
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excellente critique bravosimo.
S Lloyd / February 8, 2010 at 08:08 pm
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Awesome report from your part. You really give me the desire for a tour of all Montreal's wine bistros. My question: do they have daring nice value wine choices like some great Cote Rotie, Cote de BRouilly, Chateau St Georges, Chateaux de Langoiran? I will give them a try one of these days.
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Mimi M. Matsuda / October 8, 2014 at 05:47 am
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Ricky / February 4, 2015 at 12:36 am
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Dude, your post is just wrong in so many ways, it's hard to decide where to start. How about this; Riley lost all our DB rciruets to UW and Justin Wilcox seemed to have something to do with it. It was OSU's dbacks coach Keith Heyward that moved to Washington and its been speculated that he is the reason Cleveland Wallace flipped to go there. Devian Shelton got a last minute offer from USC and flipped to go there (Washington is in Washington, USC is in California they are not the same school). OSU signed four dbs this last season. (Which, by the way, is four more than none. None is what you have if you lose all your db rciruets.)And what makes you think Chip Kelly would run circles around OSU if their positions were flipped? There is absolutely no evidence that that statement has even a shred of truth to it. And Mike Riley has little confidence? What do you base that remark on? Have you spoken with him? Do you know people who know him? Can you read his mind?Mike Riley became head coach in 1997. Before that, the last time the Beavers had a winning season was 1970. Mike was only there two years before leaving for the NFL, but in those two years he turned the program around and left Dennis Erickson with a team that would in two more years, win the Fiesta Bowl.Since Mike's return in 2003, the Beavers have gone 64 49, won 5 of 6 bowl games, and finished in the top 25 three times. And you call him a fraud? You are the fraud and should probably change your user name appropriately.Mike Riley has been the greatest boon to OSU football in over 25 years (translate since before you were born) and you want to can him because of two down years? That would be a horrible mistake.The team will be much better this year. They have a great qb (someone who will turn many heads this season), great group of receivers, two proven beasts at defensive end, faster linebackers, and a secondary that is playing better than any secondary OSU has had for several years. Their offensive line and running back are their two biggest questions. Running backs have some talent, but we don't know how good they will be since last year, they have suffered through trying to run behind a horrible offensive line. Which brings us to the most critical unknown about the Beavers for this up coming season, OL. However, Mike and staff addressed that weakness with the number 5 OL position recruiting class in the nation.So, you want to fire Mike Riley. If you do that, who are you going to replace him with? Has to be someone who you think will improve the program and will work for the same salary. Who do you suggest? Come on now.. think, who is it? That's right, there's no one that will even come close.
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