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Montreal Trip Report: Feb 23-27, 2017

meghann | Mar 14, 201707:09 PM

Hi everyone, my husband and I spent a few days in Montreal last month and had a great time. I always use others’ trip reports when doing my research so I wanted to contribute our experiences.

Dinner 1: On our first day in the city we had tickets to a Canadiens game so we were looking for somewhere quick and near the Bell Centre. While sitting on the tarmac in Halifax we saw La Société briefly mentioned in the enRoute magazine and, noting its proximity to the game, made a reservation. We had a wonderful time there. My husband had steak frites (very good) and I had the burger (pretty good, not great), and we shared a nice bottle of wine. But more than the food we really loved the décor, ambiance, and service there. It was a really lovely first meal. And, they gave us 10% off because we were going to the game.

Dinner 2: Friday night we lucked into reservations at Joe Beef. I probably don’t need to go on about how good it was but I will say we discussed at length after and decided it was in our top 3 meals of all-time. The service really pushed the experience there over the edge from excellent to best. We were a little concerned at first because we couldn’t see the menu from where we were sitting and often I find all ingredients aren’t listed on chalkboard menus (my husband has allergies), but our server explained everything to us and helped select items that would be safe for him to eat. When we returned from our trip and read the Canada’s 100 Best list, we found this quote expressed what had been trying to: “The waitstaff are convivial, tattooed and casually familiar, but behind all that there lurks an impressive well of knowledge and professionalism.” We ended up sharing a smoked beet tarte tatin with some type of fresh cheese to start, followed by the lobster spaghetti and a rabbit dish, and a really fun dessert which was a hollowed out clementine filled with sorbet. The food and wine was all incredible. So glad we got in!

Dinner 3: On Saturday we had an early dinner at Foxy. I loved everything we ate. We had marinated feta and grilled shishito peppers to start, followed by a mushroom polenta dish and roast chicken with tomatillo salsa and avocado. My memories of dessert are hazy but I seem to recall it was delicious and they were able to make it nut-free for my husband. We also had some good cocktails to start and (theme of our trip!) enjoyed an interesting bottle of wine. I liked the cozy feel of the wood fire at my back but I think it’s time to bring an end to communal dining tables. It was fine for us as we didn’t mind sitting between two other couples, but it is so difficult for the waitstaff to set down dishes, refill drinks, etc. There was hardly room to put our ice bucket for the wine. Here’s hoping that trend it on its way out.

Dinner 4: Our last dinner was at Damas. First of all, I am in love with the tile all over this restaurant. Because we had never been there before our server helped us order, which was great because we wouldn’t have ordered the amazing fattouch if he hadn’t recommended it. He also suggested that instead of hummus, we order the beet mutabbal, and I’m so glad he did because I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. We also had some fried cheese and the Shish Taouk. It was all delicious and has us wishing someone would open an upscale Syrian restaurant in Halifax. Or we will have to visit Montreal more often!

Some other notes:

We had a nice breakfast at Olive & Gourmando one day since it was very close to where we stayed. I had ricotta with honey and orange zest served with toast (so good my husband made his own ricotta and recreated it when we got back) and he had some sort of breakfast panini with eggs, which was good but not on the same level as the ricotta.

On our last day we had a late flight so we spent most of the day at Scandinave Spa. When we emerged, starving, we had just enough time to grab a quick lunch in the area before heading to the airport. We chose Modavie because it looked nice inside, fully expecting a disappointing tourist trap. While it certainly wasn’t on the same level as our other meals, it was good.

Can't wait for our next visit!

Olive et Gourmando,
La Société Montréal,
Joe Beef,
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