Sunday, March 27, 2011


After reading many positive reviews online, my boyfriend decided to make reservations at Studzio for our 5 year anniversary. Sadly, this is one of the few times the reviews have disappointed us. The food was, in general, quite bland and overpriced for the tiny portions. The service was just average. The only redeeming factor was the original decor and plate presentation.

This French restaurant is located on St-Denis street, right beside another popular French restaurant, L'Académie (which I don't particularly like). I was really excited to try Studzio after hearing it served French cuisine with a modern twist. If modern means bland, they have indeed accomplished their mission.

The decor is very rustic: brick walls, wooden pillars and small fireplace. I didn't see the washrooms, but my boyfriend told me the walls were covered with graffiti. Apparently, the owner wanted the place to look and feel like an apartment. It's different and I like it.

When we entered, we were greeted by a waitress in her late teens, were seated and given one set of menus. That always rub me the wrong way. We are 2 people for heaven's sake, please give us 2 menus! (I sound like a snob haha).

The menus were handwritten and presented on wood clipboards. It matched the whole "wood" theme that was going on. Great concept!

The owner eventually came to our table and explained the menu to us. (He also gave us a second set of menus! Hurray!) We both decided to take the table d'hote which included a glass of wine, an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. For 30$, it seemed like a pretty good deal.

For the wine, I opted for a glass of Pinot noir and my boyfriend, a Bordeaux. Both were excellent.

We shared a salmon tartar (16$) as an additional appetizer. The presentation was fun and creative. The tartar was served in a coconut and the "plate" is a ceramic tile. However, from a practical point of view, the ceramic tile isn't very convenient because the sauce from the salad dripped from the side as we were eating it. The tartar itself was very bland and the pieces of salmon were cut way too big. I love salmon tartar and never thought I would find a restaurant that served one that I didn't like. Studzio accomplished this.

The appetizer that I chose for the table d'hote was the velouté de tomate basilic et parmesan (Cream of tomato with basil and parmesan). It was just your average tomato soup. Nothing to complain about, but nothing extraordinary neither.

My boyfriend ordered the croustilland de chèvre frais (bread with goat cheese). He enjoyed it. I'm not a fan of goat cheese so I cannot comment.

For the main course, I ordered the saumon frais à la Corse, poelé aux aromates (Baked salmon with herbs). It was served with rice and grilled asparagus. They should have named the dish "Flavorless Salmon with tasteless overcooked rice". Of course, no one would order the dish if they did haha. I was expecting to get fresh salmon baked in a perfect blend of spices. Instead, I got a bland mess. I couldn't discern any spices in the salmon. There was a sweet lemon sauce drizzled over the salmon, but there wasn't enough of it to save this dish. (And it wasn't that great neither!) There was also some grated coconut on the dish - I don't know if it was there just as a decoration or if it was meant to be eaten with the salmon, but I ate it with the salmon and the combination was just very...strange. And don't get me started on the rice! It was mushy and was totally flavorless! One out of 4 of my asparagus has been completely carbonized. Why they didn't just remove it before serving the dish is beyond me. This dish was just a major culinary fail.

My boyfriend was tempted by the filet mignon grillé aux épices (Grilled filet mignon with spices), served with potatoes au gratin and what seems like a tomato stuffed with bread crumbs. He didn't enjoy his dish neither. He requested his filet mignon medium-rare and although it looked like it was cooked right, it was incredibly chewy and flavorless (notice the recurrent theme going on?) The filet mignon wasn't round like it usually is so he had doubt about whether or not this really was filet mignon. Or maybe it really was filet mignon but it wasn't cut properly. What a waste. The only word that we could come up to describe the taste of the tomato was "weird". Why not stuff the tomato with cheese or meat? I think they tried to be innovative, but the textures and flavors were just off. The only tasty thing on the plate were the potatoes au gratin. But who in the world can mess up potatoes topped with melted cheese?

For dessert, I chose the mousse au cacao noir (Black chocolate mousse). As you know, I love chocolate and haven't found a chocolate dessert I didn't like. While it was nothing to write home about, I enjoyed it.

My boyfriend ordered the poire au vin à l'anis étoilée (Red wine poached pear with star anise) without really knowing what it was haha. He got curious by the owner's tantalizing description of the dessert and decided to try it out. Bad idea. Not because the dish tasted bad, but because he hates star anise (I guess he didn't catch that part of the description lol). And guess who ended eating most of his dessert? :) I'm not a fan of star anise neither, but its flavor didn't overpower the dessert, except when you bite into the seeds (?) lodged in the pear.

I was quite disappointed with the food at Studzio (aka Restaurant Bland). The owner was really friendly though. He came to our table at the end of the meal and chatted with us a bit. He told us that he bought Studzio one and half years ago and is still trying to build a good reputation for his restaurant. I feel bad for being so harsh in this review, but the food really was bad. He should really fire his cook and hire someone with, you know, taste buds. My boyfriend concluded the cook must be a student or someone with no culinary training because of the poor execution of the dishes - big pieces of salmon in the tartar, amateur cut of filet mignon.

Overall, Studzio's great decor and concept was ruined by flavorless and badly executed food.

Food: 1/5
Service: 3/5
Setting: 4/5
Value: 1/5
Overall: 2/5

4147 St-Denis
Montréal, QC H2W 2M7
(514) 843-0407

Studzio on Urbanspoon


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