A few blocks west of St. Lawrence River on Ontario Rue, a lonely black sign with white lettering illuminates uncompromising LE CHEVAL BLANC, a tiny, elongated lounge packed to the rim with young sophisticates this frigid April ’05 eve. Its green marble walls and terrazo floors offer parlor-styled decor. Ceiling fans and a fluorescent clock adorn thinly lit café.
Thick wood-blocked sampler trays contained eye-opening lemongrass-spiced floral-hopped leather-skinned Blonde and tangy grapefruit-fronted coriander-spiced, vanilla-banana sugared, curacao orange-tinged Blanche for mild starters. Barley-toasted dark-fruited fig-dried Ambree, polite fruit-spiced Saison, and malt-fruited lemon-peeled alcohol-licked India Pale Ale were fine medium-bodied fare.
Better still were buttery rum-soaked, orange-bruised, banana-mango-kiwi-centered, tangerine-peach-backed Triple, tart orange-apricot-fronted, white grape-soured, cherry-tannic Cassis Belgian Blonde, and creamy black coffee-espresso-centered, wood-burnt, walnut-dabbed stout, Noire.