Meat Press Creative Charcuterie and Sandwich Shop
45 Armstrong St., 613-695-7737, meatpress.ca, twitter.com/MeatPressShop
Open: for sandwiches Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (takeout only after 5 p.m.), Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (brunch is also served); for dinner Thursday to Saturday 5 to 10 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays
Prices: sandwiches $9 to $12, charcuterie boards and mains $20 to $28
Access: steps to front door
I wanted my final restaurant review of 2017 to be a positive one, and chose my dinner out last weekend with my fingers crossed. Friends and I tromped over to Meat Press, the high-end sandwich shop on a backstreet in Hintonburg.
Opened in the fall of 2015, Meat Press is admittedly not everyone’s ideal restaurant. As its name suggests, Meat Press might be enough to send vegans running away screaming with chef-owner Étienne Cuerrier’s focus on making myriad and delicious animal-flesh products.
Two years ago, I was very impressed when I reviewed its lunch-time soups, salads and sandwiches. This year, Cuerrier, formerly a chef at Soif wine bar in Gatineau, began serving dinner three nights a week, as well as wines and beers. So, last Saturday, six of us entered his warm, woody, cosy shop for some meaty indulgences. (Well, at least all of us except for the pescatarian.)
Cuerrier’s dinner menu, which changes each week and can be previewed on its Twitter page, is typically concise, but filled with a range of intriguing, made-from-scratch options.
Last weekend’s first page was dedicated to five boards laden with cured meats (made in-house or brought in) and cheese or focused on red meat, poultry, seafood or seasonal vegetables. Page two included five specialties, of which three were main courses, a dessert, and beverages including local craft beers by Dominion City Brewing Co. and Tooth and Nail Brewing Company, which is practically around the corner from Meat Press.
We grazed on four of the boards. The cured meats and cheese plate for one ($21) was filled with winning items, not the least of which were Cuerrier’s capicollo, plus some poached pear and fine honey that brought sweetness into the mix.