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Food

First Date Series: La Louisiane

Posted by Tara / August 25, 2011

La Louisiane outsideThe First Date Series takes a look at restaurants in Montreal where you might want to go -- or might not want to go -- on a first date. If spicy foods really are aphrodisiacs, Cajun cuisine can be an appealing first date option. La Louisiane is a lively little place on Sherbrooke in NDG serving just that - Creole, Cajun and New Orleans-inspired eats.

La Louisiane always seems to be bustling. On my date here last week, the floor-to-ceiling windows were open, and we could hear jazz and blues, interspersed with some Dylan, from the sidewalk. It just seemed like a happening kind of place. The terrasse was jam packed, people were eating inside, and all the seats at the bar were taken - It was busy, but not crowded.

La Louisiane barThe dining room looks into the open kitchen, where all sorts of sizzling and chef scurry made for pleasant background commotion. The restaurant was buzzing, but every party seemed to have its own little bubble of privacy amidst the hubbub-Not bad if you're after a low-intimacy first date.

La Louisiane insideA jalapeno martini marked the beginning of my meal. Vodka-based, with sliced jalapeno peppers floating around, this spicy, potent drink is a winning start to any date. Or day.

My companion and I shared the crab cake appetizer. The bite-size balls arrived all lined up on a plate with sides of Cajun mayo and Creole sauce. These tangy little cakes were seasoned with celery and parsley, and once I broke through the crispy deep-fried outer shell the rest just melted in my mouth - Ideal to be dipped in the spicy mayo and washed down with that martini.

La Louisiane crab cakesAfter the success of the starter, we had high hopes for the main course. The "paneed" chicken, a pan-fried breast, was perfectly cooked and sat beneath a handful of grilled shrimp, which, frankly, were outstanding. Unfortunately, the meat was swimming in a thick peppercorn sauce that was spicy, but a little uninspired, and interfered with the taste of the chicken. The mound of jambalaya-style rice on the side of the plate was disappointing - Bland, mushy, and quickly soaked up all the peppercorn sauce that had ambushed the dish.

La Louisiane chickenThe fish of the day was blue marlin, and we went with sweet potato fries on the side. I was a little under whelmed by the fries, mainly because they weren't the least bit crispy, but I do love a yam fry. The blackened blue marlin was uber-flavourful, and rubbed in an intense seasoning that made it all the tastier. The fish was maybe a wee bit overcooked for my liking, but the biggest downer was again, the sauce. What was supposedly a balsamic vinegar and caper sauce tasted suspiciously like the same peppercorn sauce that covered the chicken. Similarly, there was enough sauce on my plate for three dishes, and the tasty fish too was drowned out by the irksome sauce.

La Louisiane fishWe skipped dessert and opted for a second martini.

Come here on a casual date, the kind where you don't eat dinner, but sit at the bar, have a drink, share a starter and enjoy the upbeat hangout.

La Louisiane is located at 5850 Sherbrooke Ouest and is open Sunday to Thursday from 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5.30 pm to 11 pm.

Photos from La Louisiane website.

Check out some of our other First Date ideas like the Griffintown Cafe or Bonnys Vegetarian and Organic Cuisine.

Do you have suggestions for other fun first date places that Midnight Poutine should take a look at? Leave a comment below!

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