Just spent 3 short days in Montreal....due the rain the most enjoyable segment of the day always had something to do with food. Here's a brief story...
We had dinner the day we arrived at Biers et Compagnie on St Denis. I always liked their mussels (Monday was all you can eat) and their beer selections - I had my Bore Ale Noir as usual. May be because we were hungry, the mussels tasted extremely plum that night. Along with a bowl of nice hot frites that really hit the spot. The Chicken Wings and the Sausage Sampler were not up to par.
The next day we had a great "NY" Style meal at Schwartz's. Their Smoked Beef sandwich was awesome! If you like Cole Slaw and Pickles, they had some of the best. The slaw was vinegar based and without the creamy texture of mayo, it made the slaw tasted very crisp and crunchy. The pickles (and I DO NOT eat pickles) were tasty as well - very fresh and not overly pickled. Highly recommended.
That night we made a stop at Bronte, attached to the Le Meridien Hotel. Great decor, with a solid menu. The Parsnip and Quince Velote (with a piece of seared quail) was memorable. The Grilled Octopus was also very tasty and the Foie Gras was a little overcooked. For entrees the Lobster and Yellow Beet Risotto was hearty for a cool autumn night. The Duck was interesting because the meat was leaner with less fat on the skin. The most interesting combination was the Seared Cod Fish but it was paired with pork belly. It also added more heartiness to the dish. Kind of expensive though ($300 CDN for three with wine). HOwever, the overall experience was great with an extremely well-educated staff and a great sommelier.
On the third day we had dim sum (afterall we were ethnic Chinese) at some non descript place in Chinatown. Not memorable.
We did save the best for last by visiting Brunoise for our "last supper" in Montreal. Awesome prices for a 3 course meal ($40-$50 depending on the choice of entree). It was a 3 for 3 for our appetizers. The House Smoked Salmon was served "gravlux" style with some micro greens and paper-thin bed of cucumber. Just enough balance of salmon richness and cucumber crunch. My wife had the Mushroom Tart that was rich and almost "meat-like". I had the Yellow Beet Salad with Sliced Smoked Duck. This was a great dish and the fried gnocchi on the side was great.
For entrees I had the Sweet Breads with Carmelized Onions and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. The sweet breads were so tender, which was as good as I've tasted. The Seared Quail was served with a generous, five piece portion with a nice combo with beans and oyster mushrooms - very delicious. The quail was flash fried, I believe to give it an extra touch of crunch. And last my wife that the lamb. The lamb was Quebecois which was very very tender and with just a touch of gaminess which made it perfect. I could only recall slightly better lamb, served at Per Se!
Desserts were awesome as well. The Citrus Salad was great with a selection of mandarin oranges and grapefruits. But then the dish was sweetened with syrup and garnished with chopped nuts to make a great, refreshing presentation. Also worth mentioning was the Vanilla Panacotta with Passion Fruit Syrup. DEVINE!
I hope this helps - it was a great culinary experience, albiet the weather! AND EXCUSE THE SPELLING!
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