Chefs think, explore, learn and create at SAT Foodlab
The multi-use SAT (Société des arts technologiques) provides artists with a space to think, explore, learn and create. A dome-shaped cinema screen promises an immersive film experience for viewers, and funky craft fairs periodically take over the ground floor.
And then there are two chefs (previously at Laloux), Seth Gabrielse and Michelle Marek, who think, explore, learn and create on the plate. Each week from Wednesday to Saturday, on the third floor, they offer a brand-new simple menu of five dishes, including a salad, perhaps a terrine, or tartine (open-faced sandwich), always a dessert.
The spot is perfect for a pre-show snack, meal or glass of interesting wine. Just walking into the modern building is exciting. Going up the perforated concrete stairs makes me feel as though I’m walking onto stars, as the lights from below shine through the small holes. The resto takes up much of the third floor, flanking the airy stairwell, and is wide open with lots of high tables and stools. The low-walled kitchen is completely on view as part of the room, which makes the potentially cool space feel intimate and friendly. Menus are at the tables, but go up to the bar to order and pay.
Frankly, I’ve found the easiest thing is to just order one of everything and split it with a date. My first time I didn’t take notes since I was just out for a meal with my swain. But I fondly remember a Belgian waterzooi soup with fish, and even more fondly a chocolate panforte – a flourless Italian flatcake – for dessert.
Recently, their salad was of Boston lettuce and watercress with deep orange and nutty mimolette cheese. The lovely vinaigrette was sweet and tart all at once. A tasty slice of chunky guinea fowl terrine was accented with a chutney plump with Corinth raisins and coriander seed, among other spices.
Two fish quenelles were as ethereal as a dream, fluffy little torpedoes of fishy buttery goodness. A pair of perfect large shrimp on top, the dish was a pleasure, and the priciest at $12 (most are $6 to $8). We finished with a gorgeous pear tarte Tatin, glossy and deep brown.
I love that each week is a surprise. Too bad I missed the smoked bone marrow tartine, and February’s Japanese isakaya menu sounded like such fun, but I have faith in the menus to come.
1201 St-Laurent; 514-844-2033
Meal for two, not including wine/tax/tip: approx. $50