Montmartre, one of Little Wisco restaurant groups’ newest gems, started off with a little trouble with a French-only take on the menu. Since then, one of my favorite chefs Michael Toscano of Perla in the West Village has taken over and revamped the menu with his special touch. Like all of Gabe Stulman’s restaurants, the music is always spot on. The jams are right where you want them and you feel up beat and full of life just sitting in your chair. The space is a bit tight, the kitchen is downstairs with a bigger table available for larger groups but most of the tables upstairs are for 2’s and 4’s. The bar seating isn’t too shabby either. For the most part, you wouldn’t think it was one of Stulman’s jewels upon arrival but the decor and atmosphere fit right in Chelsea.There are framed old photos layered throughout the walls and even a quaint little back garden when the weather is nice. A lot of men are also dining here for business and pleasure.
The Fluke appetizer tastes like a burst of gold in your mouth. The lemon is blanched creating a bright yellow color on the plate and just to the side of the fish for you to tap it in. The mushrooms are smoky, contradicting yet balancing the fish and sweet lemon flavor. I love this dish. It’s probably the best raw fish dish I’ve ever had and one of my favorite dishes I’ve had this year. Say yes to the sunchoke dish as well. It’s made with yogurt and hazelnuts and tastes pretty light. Sunchokes are hard to come by year round so jump on this while you can. The Artic Char offers a large portion of the fish which is cooked rare with a light pomegranate sauce. The acorn squash and seeds all compliment the dish well. It may be closer to a salad, but it’s enough food for an entree not to worry. Only change I’d make is to ditch the rice at the bottom. I’d rather have more squash and call it a day. That added crunch below the mustard greens didn’t create any extra enjoyment and is kind of hidden for the first several bites.
The service here is pleasant and thoughtful. Someone is always checking in on you, but not too aggressive to the point where you feel like your waiter is a part of your party. You can feel how much the staff wants you to love your experience at Montmartre and how they are willing to do anything to keep you satisfied. The Chicken for Two with egg noodles, hen of the woods and bacon will be my next victim here because this is a place I’m planning to come back to very soon. Also look out for some of Chef Toscano pasta specials of the night while you are there.
Lamb Ragu Pasta Special with Olives