Squid Grilled at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal
When Le Piment Rouge Restaurant closed its doors in Montreal, it was already a once high-end establishment in decline. Several of the dushes I was served there were badly plated and executed poorly. Unfortunately, this was true of the Grilled Squid dish you see pictured above.
The Squid Grilled at Le Piment Rouge appeared on the menu as ‘Grilled Whole Calamari with Soy and Rice Wine Sauce‘. It certainly sounded appealing, but it turned out to be not quite as advertised.
First, I have to say that the concept behind the plating job was actually pretty clever and novel. The Squid, as you can see, has been arranged to look like a Lobster, or Scampi, with the tail sliced and placed so as to resemble the claws, and the tentacles situated to suggest mouthparts and antennae. Unfortunately, as executed, the plating result was really sloppy. The irregular bits of plain lettuce were poorly chosen and unattractive, and the body of the squid was very carelessly placed so that the sections fell in a haphazard way that ruined the intended illusion.
The squid itself, in all fairness, was not too badly grilled and there was some nice charring in a few spots, here and there. The body sections were a little dried out and not as quite as tender as they should have been, but the tail ‘wings’ were nicely tender, as were the tentacles (although not all of these were included, unfortunately).
The sauce was the one component with which I really took issue. It was NOT a Soy and Rice Wine sauce as advertised, but was clearly nothing more than bottled Oyster Sauce. This actually might have been acceptable had it been fresh, but it was obvious the bottle had been hanging around in a hot kitchen for far too long and it had deteriorated to a bland, rather stale nothingness. This really was atrocious, for a restaurant charging three or four times most standard Chinese restaurant prices, and, ultimately, it made the Squid Grilled at Piment Rouge an epic fail.