Before we embark on any of our foodie trips, we consult several websites to find out which restaurants are doing creative things with their cuisine, or who has consistent high rankings in food quality and service. Maestro S.V.P. is listed on many of the major review sites (such as Yelp!) and has received excellent reviews. Tom reserved a few meals at foie gras specialty, heart-attack-good establishments, but I was looking forward to a lighter seafood fare. Maestro S.V.P. was recommended not only by tourists, but by locals, which we all know are the most authoritative on their neighborhood restaurants.
Maestro S.V.P. exudes simple elegance in a prime location of eclectic eateries and shops on St. Laurent in Montreal. One wall showcases oyster shells ranging from the size of my hand to as large as my head, some signed by celebrities. It has the feel of a neighborhood restaurant, and owner Ilene Polansky has much to do with that. From the moment we arrived, she was busy with napkin folding and menu planning, but still took the time to talk to us about our trip to Montreal and Quebec City, our oyster selection and our recommendations on vacation destinations she herself should explore on her upcoming holiday next year.
The menu is also inviting, with oyster varieties listed on a chalkboard on the back wall, tapas offered Tuesday through Friday, and a mouthwatering seafood menu featuring shrimp, lobster, crab cakes, salmon, mussels, scallops, and calamari just to name a few. Maestro S.V.P. bragging right is that it is the only restaurant in Montreal that serves oysters 365 days a year. We had a tremendous list to choose from, all were exceptionally fresh, with each oyster displaying its own appellation subtle characteristics of sweet or salty. My favorites were the slightly sweet Gooseberry and Lucky Lime hailing from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Black Pearl from Vancouver, British Columbia. Pair them with a nice bottle of champagne and it was the perfect night out.
Maestro S.V.P. is located at 3615 St-Laurent Blvd on the corner of Prince Arthur Street. By the way, the S.V.P. stands for sil vous plait.