Thursday, February 26, 2009

Food, Glorious Food, Please Sir, May we have some more!

We have had a great 10 days in Montreal. We head home on Saturday so thought I'd better get this blog up to date before we leave. Our friends Jerry and Carol visited with us this week and we had a grand time. One of our favorite things was, no surprise to anyone who knows us, eating! We had some great meals.

Gandhi (Rue St Paul Ouest, Old Montreal). We first went to Gandhi's in December 2003 with our friends Jerry and over 5 years (and many meals there) later, we returned. And once again the restaurant did not disappoint. We had a variety of chicken, shrimp and vegetable curry, basmati rice, aloo gobi (cauliflower/potato melange), and excellent naan. Jerry A also had the vegetable soup. All the dishes were tasty and well cooked (not over cooked). Service was very good. They have expanded the restaurant in the last couple of years so it now has two large rooms. They've finally got the room temperature right (since in the past it was often too HOT!). New bathrooms and coat room are well placed (you no longer have to skirt the kitchen area and the servers to get to the toilet. So once again...we are pleased with Gandhi. Jerry still thinks its the best "non-David" Indian restaurant we've been too (and since David no longer owns his restaurant, I guess its the best one we know!).

L'Express (Rue St. Denis, Plateau). We had an early dinner at L'Express before attending the Cirque de Demain at TOHU. We had a lovely 4 top table at the window. Between the four of us we had the petit verte salad, the fish soup, the vegetable soup. All perfect. Carol and I had the veau raviolits (veal mushroom raviolis with a veal stock sauce. Jerry B had linguini with shrimp (there were supposed to be mussels but they were hiding?) which was perfectly prepared. Jerry A had the poached salmon on mashed potatoes with chevil. He said the salmon was poached to perfection. We all shared the over the top Ile de Flottante (Floating Island desert) with coffee. Another fabulous meal at L'Express.

Vieux Port Restaurant on Rue St. Paul East(?) in Old Montreal. We had set out to eat a casual dinner at 3 Brasseurs in Old MOntreal prior to the Saturday High Lights Spectacle in the Old Port. But it was full to busting with hockey fans (it was, of course, Saturday night and the hockey game was on) and High Lights Revelers. So we attempted to eat at the Keg...same story (well, not hockey game on the telly...but a long line). So we stopped at Vieux Port where we had not eaten in years and found a table. Upstairs in a corner near a lovely stone/brick wall. Dinner was delicious. I had the rib eye...cooked abstolutely as I asked for it (medium). Jerry and CArol had the flank steaks...also very good. And Jerry A had the grilled salmon...again served exactly as requested. Vegetables and potatoes were very good. SErvice was helpful but not overbearing. We did not have dessert as we needed to leave for the festival goings on...but will return to try the menu. They have Sinatra and STeak nights on wednesday, thursday and fridays which sounds fun.

Kabab (in Cote Des Neiges area ON Cote Des Nieges). A casual resto serving very good schwarma, falafel and of course kabobs. We've eaten there several times. Always very good. Nothing fancy. Your order at the counter. But pleasant wait staff and very good falafels and salads.

My Canh (Chinatown, Rue St. Laurent). Vietnamese. I had heard about My Canh on Chowhound. So on a snowy day we traipsed over for a late lunch after attending the Motorcycle Expo at the Convention Center. 3 of us had the pho (3 different types) and I had the vietnamese pancake (with pork and shrimp). The phos were great. I liked Carol's was a grilled chicken pho...had a spice flavoring in it I couldn't quite place but really liked. Jerry A had a vegetarian platter served with a small cup of Pho. My pancake was wasn't as good as the ones we made in cooking class in Hoi An, Vietnam...but they were very good nonetheless. They are only served on the weekends and take about 15 minutes.

Le Crossanterie Figaro - Rue Fairmont (one block west of du Parc). This is one of Jerry and my favorite casual neighborhood French bistro. And it did not dissappoint. We had a corner window table and loved watching all the families going home at the end of the day in the snow. We especially liked watching the parents pulling the littlest kiddies home on their sleds...sometime they were laying down just looking up at the sky. So cute! We had a delicious meal with an exceptionally nice and considerate server. I had the quiche lorraine which as always was perfect...with the absolutely best crust. It came with a small green salad. Jerry had the veal filet mignon which jerry says was "fabulous". Jerry A was in the mood for tuna salad which he had on a croissant and he declared it the perfect tuna salad...and very fresh. Carol had the chicken breast...delicious was one of the specials of the day.

Juliet et Chocolate - The best place for hot chocolate and brownies. They have one whole page of their menu devoted to many different kinds of hot chocolate. Different flavors, different "thicknesses", different chocolates, "free trade" chocolate. Amazing. I've decided to work my way through it over time!. I had the Jivara (a milk chocolate from Ecuador) was served "grandma style...very thick" a large brandy snifter type glass...I was in 7th heaven. I shared a raspberry/balsamic favorite...not sure I'll ever taste anything else there. Jerry A ordered not one, not two, but three try them all...of course we helped. One was better than the next. We waddled home

Les Bouchees Gourmand. Always one of my favorites, if not for the food, also for the smiling face of Nadine who owns the bakery/cafe with her husband. We had intended on going for breakfast but never seemed to get going in time. So we went for lunch to enjoy her wonderful potato leek soup. She then talked us into a plate of 3 salads (carrots, rice, and belgium endive salads) and one piece of her onion tart to melted in our mouths. Fabulous!!! It was so warm and cozy inside their shop...even when the power went out...we happily ate by the light coming in the front window (thankfully she had just finished making our lattes).

Jean Talon Market. We visited the market on Saturday to stroll about and to visit the Slow Food exhibit. As always...we loved our visit. We ate crepes at the little creperie (which has moved to the end of one of the main "walkways" instead of being in the center. And we tried sausage on a stick...bison and boar...which was fabulous...we went back for a second helping.

Itis Bitsi (on Rue Notre Dame) near ATwater Market. Cupcakes. Not too fancy. Just like mom made. My favorite...white cake with coconut frosting.

Fairmont and St. Vaiteur Bagels. Love them both..went to both. Love those chewy, wood fired bagels!

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