From all the new restaurants that pop up each year in the city, only a few succeed and stand out, mostly thanks to a precise philosophy reflected in the dishes they serve. This is the case at Hvor, one of Griffintown’s newest restaurants offering imaginative and innovative dishes, all created using organically farmed products. The restaurant is also set in a refined and enchanting setting with Scandinavian accents, worthy of an unforgettable experience.
The acrobatics of simplicity
Hvor, meaning “where” in Danish, is built on the idea of cooking with seasonal quality products, all local or regional. This highly popular concept in Denmark was adopted by the talented chef S’Arto Chartier-Otis (ex Balnéa, Les Enfants Terribles). His menu, which is fresh and bold, yet simple, changes every week according to his inspirations (Japanese these days) and what’s available.
Elegant and refined surprises
Hvor offers a gastronomic experience that’s simply divine. Starting with two unique cocktails, one based on squash juice, whiskey and condensed milk, the other mixed with White Keys vodka (bottled in Rosemont) and smoking tea. A convincing start!
An appetizer with Laliberté cheese and lichen (from Gaspésie) on a bed of hay set the tone for this sensory journey, one of the most creative and refined we’ve experienced.
The combination of brocoli, sayori – Japanese fish – garlic flower, bread chips, emulsified with angelica, is like a trip to another planet.
It follows a composition of homemade blood sausage, quince and parsnip sprinkled with cocoa. A beautiful balance between the rich sausage and the fluffy texture of the perfectly prepared vegetables.
Speaking of texture, this was one of the best aspects of our evening at Hvor. The sauces were something else, a delightful mix of crunchy, melting, airy, and silky.
Our first favorite was the radish fermented with sweet and sour lemon and honey, accompanied by a lobster claw. The rutabaga soup, flavored with half-calf cheese and tarragon breadcrumbs, blew us away with its soft texture and strong accents of tarragon and juniper berry.
The seduction continued with sweetbreads, tonka beans – their scent reminiscent of vanilla – and their celeri-rave ravioli. A sweet, melting and… stunning dish!
“We often seek to complicate things. I like to combine different flavors that make sense, creating new textures. I seek a balance in simplicity. That’s the secret in the kitchen. The secret of happiness!” S’Arto Chartier-Otis, owner of Hvor
We took a short break to observe our magnificent surroundings, the contrast between black and white, the clean lines, the impeccable geometry of the backlit bar and the ceramic tableware by Pascale Girardin.
The final course consisted of a porchetta made with pork from the Gaspor farm and stuffed with a fennel mostarda. We were floored by its comforting, woody flavors.
Sweet Delights and Biodynamic Wines
The homemade ice-cream with Earl Gray tea and cocoa delicacies, as well as the lemon-poppy cream puff and blueberry-cheese snacks mark the conclusion of a delicious journey combining the experience, creativity and sensitivity of a great chef.
It’s impossible not to underline the work of sommelier Fred Fortin (ex Holder, Lauréa), who discovered wine that goes perfectly with the surprises from Chef S’Arto. From France to Italy, passing through Portugal, Chile and Quebec, the menu of natural imported wines (minus Quebec) is surprising for its precise and studied choices.
Hvor is more than a natural fusion of tastes. It’s a new kind of way to eat.
1414, Notre-Dame Street West