Atame: Aphrodisiac Cuisine
My last post was about autumn style, and now there is cold hard snow on the ground. The last few weeks really came and went! I got struck by school and work, and before I knew it, I turned 26 and I am one semester away from finally graduating university. Whoop!
Obviously, birthdays mean restaurant outings, and this year my boyfriend brought me to Átame, which is said to be an aphrodisiac restaurant. Now, let me preface this by saying that I am in no way a prude, but upon learning about the type of place this was going to be, I was a little worried that this wasn’t going to be a nice little romantic evening. Their menu is centered around supposedly aphrodisiac foods and on some nights, there are shows such as erotic tango or 50 Shades of Grey-inspired… who knows what? My boyfriend was quick to reassure me that there was only going to be a female singer with her acoustic guitar that night, and that the restaurant had received great reviews about their food. I was still a little skeptical, but I quickly realized upon arriving that I had overreacted.
Located in a quiet corner of the Montreal Plateau, Átame took over what used to be an Au Vieux Duluth restaurant. The renovated place is absolutely beautiful, with soft gauze curtains and white furniture, making it very romantic and intimate but not intimidating or corny (or uncomfortable). I did not think of taking a photo of the space, but luckily there is the Internet to help me show you what it looked like.
We were seated at a table by the window by a very nice and friendly waitress. She gave us the one-page menu, and explained each item listed. The categories were renamed Nibbles (small plates and snacks, perfect for those who just want to have a drink), Foreplay (appetizers), Shared Pleasures (entrees) and Climax (desserts). They certainly went all out with the erotic theme, but the actual plates were normal-sounding — in fact they seemed delicious.
We started off with the Togarashi taro chips and the strawberry and watermelon soup served in a small glass, both not pictured unfortunately. The taro chips were fresh and just lightly salted, just perfect. The soup was interesting, not something I would drink a whole bowl of but it is meant as a palate cleanser of sorts. We continued with some appetizers, including a very delicious beef tartare and some jazzed up oysters topped with a passion fruit jelly (aren’t oysters the most famous food said to be aphrodisiac after all?). Those were very good as well, the jelly adding a different texture to the molluscs, but I prefer my oysters plain with a just a little bit of tabasco and maybe some lemon juice.
My boyfriend’s main meal was their filet mignon, which practically melted in your mouth because it was so tender. The sides were simple baked potatoes and carrots, but everything went really well together — sometimes the simplest foods are the best. I had the home-made tagliatelle with a sauce that was creamy but not at all heavy, and topped with delicious lobster.
We finished off the evening with dessert, namely the chocolate brownies with salty caramel and amarula milk shake (which was actually a dip). I was so quick on attacking these small decadent cubes of chocolate that I completely forgot to snap a picture. They were absolutely heavenly, a perfect mix of sweet and salty and made even better with the amarula. They were so good that my boyfriend, who usually never eats sweets or desserts, gobbled up two pieces! His words were, and I quote, “It’s dancing in my mouth!”
All throughout our meal, singer and actress Christine Ghawi performed a few songs with her guitar, which really made the whole evening much more romantic. As we left, the owner came to talk to us and ask for our feedback (all very positive). It turns out that Átame had been open for only about six weeks, and they are very dedicated to bringing the best experience for their customers. It is definitely worth the visit as both the food and ambiance are great, but I would probably make sure that on the night you are going, there is no event that could be a little embarrassing or uncomfortable to you if you are a little shy about these things. Otherwise, the aphrodisiac theme is no more than just that, a theme, and it does not affect the quality of the restaurant or the cuisine.
351, Duluth E. St.
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