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Le Serpent is Montreal’s newest restaurant from owners Hubert Marsolais and Claude Pelletier of Club Chasse et Pêche and Le Filet. Given the management’s pedigree – Le Serpent has a considerable amount of hype and expectation behind it already.
We first discovered Brasero Hardi during a winter Dishcrawl and the six hour marinated spare ribs on top of pork lardon mashed potatoes and house smoked salmon on top of horseradish panna cotta was definitely a highlight of the evening.
Crossing the bridge into Montreal’s most prized summer event, Oysterfest, feels like the perfect way to culminate months spent tipsy and sunburnt. From afar, Ye’s N*ggas in Paris is heard fading into a remix of JT’s Suit & Tie. Before even encountering an oyster, there’s a sense of bougie aphrodisia.
Kyo is the newest and perhaps boldest offering to come out of the Antonopoulos Group’s restaurant making machine. With hot spots like Auberge du Vieux-Port, Verses, Mechant Boeuf, Taverne Gaspar, Bevo and a handful of others under their belt, creating a restaurant concept, setting it up and running it successfully is something that the Antonopoulos Group can do seemingly blindfolded. It is worthy to note that Kyo is their first venture in serving up ethnic food.
La Champagnerie is a bar with a flair for the dramatic. Treating its clientele to a show, the bar is quickly becoming known for its method of uncorking champagne by sabrage. For those of you are not familiar with the method, YouTube that ASAP. Yeah, I bet you want to see that live now, don’t you?
Despite it being one of the coldest days in Montreal to date this winter, excited Dishcrawl Montreal participants gathered together to begin a food adventure. For the uninitiated, DishCrawl is the culinary version of a pub crawl. Sounds more familiar doesn’t it? Basically, throughout the evening, diners move from restaurant to restaurant – all within a few moments walking distance – and sample a dish at each. On average, about four restaurants are visited per event. The dishes are made to match the order of patronage, so the first course at the first restaurant is lighter and more like an appetizer, the second and third restaurants are charged with making heavier, more robust dishes, and the last, focuses primarily on dessert.
This year’s Oysterfest was another smashing success. The weather fully cooperated: it turned out to be an overall perfect September afternoon – smiles all around. With all the delicious foods being made and served on the premises, I don’t know what in the world anyone could have been upset about. Upbeat music blasted through the speakers and people milled happily about within the thick mish mash of aromatic scents in the air. Regardless of where you looked, people lined up left, right and center for a taste. And you can’t blame them either.
I’ve been holding off on this post for way too long. After going to Accords once and loving it too much, I thought I would go back within a reasonable amount of time, combine photos and make a bigger post just for you. Unfortunately for me, that hasn’t happened as soon as I would have liked. In any case, I’m going to show you the best brunch place you’ve seen in a while… Get ready!
Whilst scouring the Old Port for lunch places to eat at during work breaks, I came across Safran et Cannelle. Peering in from the outside, it looked more like a sit down place, so I’d been hesitant to try it for fear of not being able to make it back to work on time. One day though, the tagines sitting on the table outside just seemed too alluring so we decided to check it out. And you know what? Food service made it just so I had a couple minutes to power walk back and make it in time.
Dolcetto & Co. can be described as a hip Italian wine bar with a tapas mentality. Located on St. Paul street in the Old Port, the place caters to a well to do mid to late twenties crowd looking for a casual chic evening out. Going for a ocean/beachy vibe as indicated in the rope and anchor ampersand part of their logo, the blue and white striped seats, the captain’s hats hanging off the hooks across the room and the bottle chandeliers, the whole place gives off a relaxed but sophisticated air.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant is a fast food chain run by five brothers originating from Virginia. When we first spotted the location opening up, we found it peculiar – this red and white checkered fast food joint certainly didn’t blend in on the McGill street Old Montreal strip.
Club Chasse et Peche gives off an air of exclusivity in the discreet nature of the establishment: to the regular passerby it would be easy to miss the place and walk right by, blissfully unaware of the culinary delights that take place inside. The only indication that it even exists on the middle of St. Claude street is a large stylized logo that is at once easily recognizable while being somewhat indistinguishable at the same time – the icon resembles an eagle spreadings its wings, showcasing a torso made of a coat of arms. I think it’s open to interpretation. There is a little bit of snobbery that comes off as you experience the Club for an evening but it totally works in their favor. It helps that we were knowingly greeting with a warm “Welcome to the Club”.
L’Orignal means “moose” in French. Based solely on the name, you would expect the food served here to be big, hearty and gamey. Actually, after spending over three hours eating here and sampling a good portion of the menu (we were a party of eight ordering a variety of dishes), we came to the conclusion that the portions here were just perfect (what I mean is not overwhelmingly large) and that the food was even better than any of us had anticipated. We first took notice of the restaurant at Oysterfest earlier this September. When we tried L’Orignal’s wild boar-lobster roll, we were hooked. We finally had the chance to come by and it did not disappoint.
Les Filles Du Roy is the restaurant of the Pierre du Calvet hotel. Located just steps away from Le Bremner and a few steps more from the Old Port beach (under construction in anticipation for next summer), the place can be easily missed. The novelty of the experience is probably one of the best parts of eating here – the building itself has been standing since 1725, so right off the bat you know that the architecture and the aesthetic of the place is going to be older, or shall we say vintage. Scattered throughout are remnants of life in the 18th and 19th centuries, from Victorian style paintings to mounted game to antique furniture, rugs and draperies. Towards the end of the reception area are several talking birds – if you’re lucky, you might be greeted with a squawk of a hello as you pass by the washrooms.
As we waited by the door to be seated at Holder, we were able to get a good look at the bar. The selection of wines and hard alcohol stocked behind the bar seemed endless and with that in mind, I asked for the cocktail list, excited by all the possibilities the bar apparently presented. To my chagrin, they didn’t have one! I feel like it would be a good idea for them to establish a section in their drink menu for specialty cocktails – I mean, they have the tools and the ingredients… why not?
Sunday, September 11th was a perfect day. For once, the weather cooperated. Shooting rays of sunshine and warmth all over the city, Montreal’s annual Oysterfest event was a complete blowout success – starting around 2 in the afternoon and lasting all the way until 9 pm, the lineup was long even at the start. Tickets at the door went quickly and were totally sold out about an hour after the event started. With over two dozen restaurants present providing food in exchange for coupon tickets, the place was teeming with excited and eager foodies itching to try everything all at once.
I finally got a chance to go to Toqué for my birthday dinner. After having heard so much about the gourmet eatery in the Old Port, I can say that the restaurant went above and beyond in every respect, including the hype surrounding it. I was completely blown away by the impeccable service, the great food and the amazing ambiance. Walking in, the atmosphere of ‘high class sophistication’ is apparent from the get go.
Le Bremner is one of Montreal’s newest and most popular restaurants – not only has it been all over the Urbanspoon talk of the town, but it has been quite successful in getting a fair amount of attention just through word of mouth. This buzz may mostly be because of its celebrity chef owner, Chuck Hughes. With a sweet spot on St. Paul street in the Old Port and one of the most beautiful terraces I’ve seen in a while, the back part of the restaurant is an absolute gem. Weather permitting (fall and colder weather fast approaching), make sure to request for a spot out there. Surrounded by rustic chic decor and leafy greens, paneled/embossed ceilings and great big wooden tables, Le Bremner has its look nailed. The lack of signage makes it very possible for people to miss Le Bremner – the word “Restaurant” is written in simple red lettering above steps leading to a basement level giving it a more underground, exclusive feel.
Due to its location in the Old Port, it is no wonder that Osteria Venti attracts an older, more sophisticated crowd. As we waited to be seated, a foursome of seniors pushed past us, completely foregoing the line while quickly beckoning at their friends outside, grabbing the two remaining barstools. The hostess who was away at the moment immediately noticed and notified them that reservations were necessary and recommended Philemon as the next closest bar, if a drink was all they wanted. I thought that was a particularly humorous start to the evening.
Aziatik is a pan-asian restaurant located just off McGill Street on the western edge of Old Montreal. The vibe they are trying to establish is upscale and the interior is well decorated. The menu was recently expanded to offer an even broader representation of Asian cuisine. My favorite dish at this spot is the thai duck which is served sizzling on a plate. This time, we ordered Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura, Crispy fried Squids with salt, pepper, onions and bell peppers, Cantonese Chow Mein, Red Curry and Coconut Milk Vegetables and Spicy Tuna / Spicy Salmon rolls.