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This little gem of a restaurant is located in the residential area of Parc Extension. Open until 2 am on weekdays and up until 5 am on weekends, Restaurant Tripolis Montreal seems to have a pretty good set up to satiate those late night cravings. Small-ish, well lit and unmistakably Greek, the place is cozy in a big way: traditional Greek music plays from the speakers, the smell of grilled fish and lemons permeate the air and the diners are all pretty much hardcore Greek and/or local regulars.
As an ex-resident of the West Island, I’m happy to say that I still frequently go back and visit. Panama has been one of the newer, ‘trendier’ restaurants to appear in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, along with the installments of La Verita and Panne Pazzo by Marche de l’Ouest. After hearing several acquaintances praise the Jean Talon location of Panama for their authentic Greek food, we decided to try it closer to home.
Montreal is a city with no shortage of culinary institutions and L’Express is one of my favorites. Established in 1980, this Parisian bistro has long been a fixture of St Denis street with its name written out on the iconic tiled terrace.
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.
One of the best fresh seafood eateries in town, hands down. With no menu, the food offerings vary depending on what’s in stock. Diners walk to the back of the Poissonnerie et Restaurant Rayan, pick out the fish they want and order it done the way they’d like – grilled, baked or fried. We started with a big plate of salad and a few dozen grilled shrimp with a tasty garlic sauce. Butterflied down the back with half the shell still on, we used our fingers and dug right in. We had a large plate of smelts and calamari, rubbed in garlic, salt and pepper. These were absolutely divine. I think the freshness of the product was key to the deliciousness of every plate. We also had some octopus doused in garlic sauce (same as in the shrimp dish). We loved it so much, we dipped our bread in the sauce to mop up the remaining juices. Mm, mm, mm.
Walking into Joe Beef, one immediately senses a kind of warm intimacy few restaurants are able to successfully achieve in terms of both physical space, ambiance and decor. The space out front is quite small; tables are set one next to the other with only a few inches separating diners from one another – for those who sit on the inner banquettes, tables must be pulled out for them to exit gracefully. Even in such close quarters, fellow diners have been the most friendly and cordial I have ever met. The owners have recently closed their luncheonette next door (McKiernan’s) in favor of expanding Joe Beef, creating an oyster bar in its place while at the same time increasing its capacity for more people to stop by. Due to the popular demand for the restaurant’s exquisite food, the terrasse out back has been opened up as well. I had actually never been in the area before and our lovely waitress Vanya was nice enough to show me around. The garden where ingredients are freshly grown and harvested lines the terrasse; adjacent to this, a separate plot of land is sectioned off by a fence – here they house a large metal smoker where they treat some of their meats and fish.