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There is a distinct New York vibe about Le Cartet. With an upscale gourmet foods boutique at the front of the restaurant, diners are encouraged to check out the goodies while waiting in line during the busy weekend brunch rush or upon leaving the restaurant during regular hours. The trendy design of the place features minimalistic art, colorful ransom lettering of select menu items on the front welcome board and long communal tables where diners sit alongside one another, strangers and friends alike. The hustle and bustle of the place doesn’t take away from the quality of service at all, contrary to what you might think – we were served promptly and courteously from the moment we walked in.
Native to Vermont, a friend of mine returns to her hometown relatively often and never fails to bring back a little something for me from her CarMamma’s shop. When she first mentioned her name, I didn’t understand what she meant. After doing a little research, I found out CarMamma is the affectionate nickname for Carmela Ram, the owner and principal baker of The Magic Spoon Bakery. This being my second time tasting her pastries – I have to say they have been consistently delicious! Yesterday I snacked on the Linzer Sweetheart cookie whose texture was in perfectly in between firm and crumbly and this morning, I had the hearty Ali Baba granola bar for breakfast. The warm small town aesthetic comes through in the obvious care that has gone into the individually hand wrapped products, the charming cartoon fairy character and the rustic taste of the products.
Known as a kosher friendly bistro, Tiffany’s offers breakfast (served until 4 p.m.), lunch, and dinner in the mid-town area of Montreal. Many of the diners that were there during my meal seemed to be regulars, giving the atmosphere a comfortable and worn in feel despite the size of the place. The big leather booths, metal railings, and the style of the uniformed waiters and waitresses bring to mind the decor and ambiance of Baton Rouge which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what you like.