Le Bazarette wine bar, Montreal

Le Bazarette: a new wine bar with affordable bites, too

A sommelier and food critic team up to assess the pairings at a new downtown Montreal restaurant.

After rating the pairings at vinvinvin last summer, we decided to check out Bazarette wine bar, the new kid on the block situated right in the heart of downtown, next to Bell Centre in Montreal. Open from 7 a.m. to late, le Bazarette is the perfect place to grab a coffee and pastry to go, lunch with healthy salads and sandwiches or take it easy after a long day of work at the bar with friends.

The food and wine menus are more than attractive. First, we can feast with small, simple but well-executed vegetable-forward dishes, and drink organic, biodynamic and natural wines.

Because of the central location, we can think that the price would be sky high, but no! Plates range from $9 to $16 (for foie gras), bottles of wine start at $36 and the majority of them are under $70. Of course, wine by the glass changes every week or so, ranging between $9 and $15.

Here was the plan of the evening: we ordered three plates and gave “carte blanche” to our waiter — the sommelier in this case — to select the best wine pairing for us.

Pairing #1

The wine: Hirsute from Périgord. A natural white wine made with Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Chenin Blanc. The 48 hours of maceration brings body and nice texture with fresh acidity, apple and pear flavours, fresh lemon. It was medium bodied and elegant — really well balanced.

The dish: White asparagus with anchovy and Xérès sauce.

Pairing: A delicate wine that paired really well with this refined dish. It’s always a challenge to pair a wine with an asparagus dish, but it was really well done!

Tom: Too bad that the asparagus was almost raw! But the shortbread was a great addition that added a nice sweet touch, as well as a crumbly texture, that really bumped up the wine flavour and length in the mouth. 4/5

Claude: This elegant wine pairs well with the delicacy of the asparagus and the sauce. The creamy sauce made it is so long and pleasant in the palate. Great synergy! 4.5/5

Bazarette wine bar montreal
Le Bazarette wine bar, Montreal

Pairing #2

The wine: A vibrant Austrian red, Moric Blaufrankisch: dark fruit, dark meat, slightly smoky, medium acidity, fine tannins and long in the palate. Another nice Rézin import. 

The plate: Brussels sprouts with a creamy cauliflower and bacon purée, Parmesan shavings.

Pairing: This Austrian wine is perfect with the plate; roasted Brussels sprouts and lardons bring a hazelnut and smoky flavour and pairs so well with the slightly smoky wine. 

Tom: Big bold flavour! The richness of the dish goes so well with the dark fruits, and the hint of acidity brought incredible depth to the wine. It was my favourite pairing of the night. 4.5/5

Claude: Harmony and synergy again. Long in the palate — a pleasure! 4.5/5

Pairing #3

The wine: Failoni, Rosso Piceno (Montepulciano, Sangiovese, touch of Merlot), this Italian wine features red berries, nice acidity, light to medium body and fine tannins.

The plate: Octopus, vitelottes (a variety of potatoes), fresh cream, green onion oil.

Pairing: It’s a little audacious to pair octopus with a light red wine. But the buttery veal sauce reduction brings a nice caramelized flavour. Again, the sommelier was right! 

Tom: The lack of sauce was the weakness of the pairing. The jus de veau was the unifying element and there was no more halfway through the plate. 3.75/5

Claude: I love the originality of the pairing. It’s definitely different! 4/5

The meal ended with a beautiful honey vermouth from Desroches in the Laurentians. It’s great alone or with an appropriate dessert. 

We highly recommend le Bazarette for the warm and attentive service, for the food by chef Adam Martin (Bocuse d’Or, Chez l’Épicier), for the ambiance, as well as for the wine and cocktail cards. ■

1280 Avenue des Canadiens de Montréal

For more information about le Bazarette wine bar in Montreal, look here.

See our first pairing article by Claude Boileau and Tommy Dion (about the Vinvinvin wine bar, here.

Check out Tommy Dion’s website here.

See Claude Boileau on Instagram.

To read the latest issue of Cult MTL, click here.

To read our latest reviews of Montreal restaurants, please visit our Food & Drink section.

To vote for your favourite Montreal restaurants in this year’s Best of MTL reader’s poll, please click here.