Visited Montreal this past weekend and enjoyed a lot of great shopping, amazing weather and wonderful chow.
Here are some hightlights:
First night went to touristy Abe & Weinstein for a cheap meal, bottle of wine and classic 80's music. Food was okay, but it was nice to see all the locals enjoying the summer air.
Second night went to the Old Port to walk around and came across an Indian spot called Gandhi. We love Indian food and eat it often and I have to say - this place was very good. While many Indian spots have moved from the 'traditional' Indian cuisine, this place stuck to the drill: great chutney dips with papadum to start and the Vindaloo was not 'toned-down' for those weak folks. The lamb tikka was fantastic. Although the service didn't match the food - it did match typical European style. No rush, we'll get to you when we get to you, and stay as long as you'd like. What a find.
Third night we stopped by the new 'W' hotel for cocktails. Had a great mint/mango martini drink. We ended up at Bronte for dinner and let me just say three words:
I hate walking out of a restaurant paying way too much for 1) not enough food and 2) not very good food.
We started with the Rabbit pappardelle and the arugula and peach salad - both were good. Good pre-dinner bread as well (always a plus when you don't get enough with the main course). I had the lobster risotto which was flavorless and my better half had the venison - which was good, but way over-priced which made the taste secondary. He finished with a dessert that he only halfway finished and we left disappointed. One thing they have going for them - good service.
We finished our trip to Montreal with an amazing dinner at Verses St. Laurent (in the Old Port of all places!). It was the best meal I'd had in a long time. There are two restaurants - one on the terrace and one at ground level, two separate menus. The downstairs menu is much better. We started with a white martini and a gin & tonic. Then for appetizers he got the beef tartare (can't get that in SF too many places) and I had the grilled vegetables with warm goat cheese. Wow. Both were amazing. Then on the main courses - I had a berry encrusted halibut special with mushroom risotto, green beans and a caramel glaze and he had the veal chop with mashed potatoes. Both were to die for - very well prepared, not over-flavored, not under-flavored, just perfect. The hightlight were the pomme frites that we ordered as a side dish - a little salty for him, but perfect forme. What a fabulous way to end an amazing trip to Montreal.
Bottom line - give Verses a shot.