As any of our posse can tell you, a trip to Montreal means running a significant risk of developing gout. The food is amazing, as always, and other than a brief sputtering on Friday afternoon the weather has been perfect. None of this hotter-than-the-loins-of-hell crap that we left behind in Toronto, for example.
Lunches have been pretty low-key affairs, since breakfast was often taken around 11, though the paninis (one ch�vre, one “� la Cubain”) and salad at “olive + gourmand” were definitely a score. We of course did lots of wandering touristy stuff, including an excellent little exhibit on prehistoric Japan at the archaeological museum, and the impressive set of gardens-cum-exhibits at the International Flora event, and I managed to buy some new and much-needed clothes as well. But enough about non-eating pursuits.
On Friday evening, Steph scored us a table at her friend Chuck’s new restaurant, “Garde Manger”. It’s new enough that it really doesn’t have a sign outside, but it’s well worth risking mild confusion. When my Caesar arrived in a stein with two meaty crab legs sticking out, I knew we were going to have a good time. The three of us picked out a half-dozen items from the tapas-y daily menu, ranging from a fresh tomato salad to a ridiculous bavette with frites. Then, of course, the waitress upsold us — I mean called our attention to the availability of their assorted fresh seafood plates. We took the “small”, which only featured a dozen oysters in addition to crab and shrimp, which was undoubtedly the wisest course. A nearby table — which I suppose all of them were, really, given the scale of the joint — had a large “plate” hoisted onto their table with what looked like considerable effort; I believe there have been credible productions of The Little Mermaid with less underwater fauna. For dessert, we shared a generous slice of pecan pie which I would be reluctant to carry across the border without a doctor’s note. (We later learned, through Steph’s network of restaurant-industry informants, that the pie was made by Chuck’s mother.)
The next night (after the museum and garden stuff above, but I’m too lazy to edit for mere chronology) Austin arranged a table for Steph, Tyla and me at “Joe Beef”, the latest of David Macmillan’s endeavours. I’ve been a fan of David’s since first enjoying his work at Globe, and though David wasn’t on site last evening we had a pretty good time nonetheless. His partners Allison and Fred took care of us, and we gorged ourselves appropriately.
Before leaving today Tyla and I wandered over to Atwater market, a staple of our Montreal days. It’s been nicely restored since the fire a few years ago, and a little complex has sprung up across the street, boasting a large SAQ, some condos, and assorted grocery/drug/houseware stores. We’ll have to take a closer look when next we’re in town together. I hope I won’t be another 4 years! [tags]personal, mozilla, montreal, food, travel[/tags]