I should have written about this before, but the deli in the basement of Ogilvys department store has some of the best deli food downtown. I have used it for take out several times: they have very fluffy quiches of various sorts; I once had some fabulous marinated chicken and the best potato salad I have ever had. After a hard days shopping I decided to drop in for a late afternoon snack. They close at 6 Mon Wed, later other days. At 4 there wasnt much selection but the leek quiche was quite good; there is wine and beer by the glass and its quiet location between their little bookstore and the candles and ceramics department was restful.
My instant new favorite Montreal restaurant is the newly opened Version Laurent Godbout (formerly Bleu, then Scala) 295 rue St-Paul Est in Vieux Montréal. Laurent Godbout is the chef from the well-known Chez LEpicier (literally a stones throw away). They describe the cuisine as Mediterranean fusion of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. But one of its main attractions is the very nice interior courtyard for summer dining.
The drinks menu is exotic: my date had champagne with liqueur of violets and crystallized violet petals; I had a delicious drink of pear liquor, amber rum and freshly extracted pear juice. We both chose the same appetizer the salt flight that had been mentioned in several local reviews: four kinds of salt and four miniature food items to try with each. One of the salts was an intensely black Hawaiian volcanic salt. The four seperate food items: a miniature casserole of scrambled eggs, foie gras, cherry tomatoes with an indescribably delicious coating and finally some seared scallops. Definitely an interesting experience, sort of like a scientific experiment with 16 combinations. My date had stripped bass and I had milk fed veal on a mysterious but tasty risotto for our main courses; both were delicious.
The wine list was very moderately priced almost shockingly so for an expensive restaurant; it leaned very heavily toward Italian and Spanish wines. I was too full for dessert and had a 10 year old porto instead. My date enjoyed her pineapple sorbet. The ambience of the outdoor courtyard was exquisite. The price including drinks, wine, dinner, and taxes (but not tip) was exactly C$200 we had chosen the most expensive drinks, appetizer and main course. They are closed Sunday and Monday; they do weekday lunches. http://www.version-restaurant.com/
Around 4 on Saturday afternoon I tried the frequently mentioned Olive and Gourmando, rue St-Paul west. At that hour most of the sandwich selections were gone. I ordered a ham and roast pork and gruyere panini with house mayo. The house mayo made the meal with mayo, chilpolte pepper, pickles, limes, coriander and perhaps other ingredients. All washed down with some inexpensive, slightly effervescent rosé. Tasty but I wouldnt take a special trip to eat there; it was just close to where I happened to be. No air-conditioning, so it could be hot on a really hot summers afternoon.
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