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The Publican is the newest restaurant from repeat James Beard Award winning chef Paul Kahan. Kahan made his mark on the Midwest culinary scene with his signature restaurants Avec and Blackbird. The ethos of The Publican is best described on the Chicago episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations in which Bourdain is invited to a family meal with Kahan and the restaurants staff.
Hidden between Montgomery and Embarcadero, Hillstone is part of the Houston’s restaurant family and serves New American Fare that is true to fresh ingredients and big flavors. Reservations are essential – even with one there was a slight delay before we were seated. We started with a Iceberg Wedge & Blue Cheese Salad with Campari tomatoes and warm beets along with Oak Grilled Artichokes and Spinach Artichoke dip. The grilled artichokes were charred and served with a few simple dipping sauces – simple and tasty. The Spinach artichoke dip was a perfect dish to share, cheesy and thick. I usually don’t order blue cheese because I find the cheese overpowering but the blue cheese salad was actually quite creamy and well balanced (not too strong).
For entrees we began with Hardwood Grilled Trout which is cajun seasoned trout, served with seasonal vegetables, followed by Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with pommery mustard sauce, served with hand-cut French fries and coleslaw and finally the Flying Tuna Platter with mixed greens, avocado, mango and miso vinaigrette.
The highlight was definitely the Flying Tuna Platter (Above) which was seared perfectly. The mango and avocado complemented the tuna so perfectly that I found myself trying to get a piece of each component in every bite.
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I love Olive and Gourmando’s. I almost want to eat there every day. Sigh. If only…
Arguably one Montreal’s best summer spots for lunch, Olive and Gourmando’s is always overflowing with people either waiting for a seat at a table or moving leisurely through the take out line. The look of the place is artfully messy, with pots and plants decorating the counters, colorful chalked up menus on the walls, and visually appealing fresh foods on display. As their menu is constantly updated according to the freshest ingredients available, O+G’s daily creations are listed on their site under the “What’s New” tab – inform yourself of today’s special here.
Ethan Wills and Marc Cohen, owners of the Sparrow (check this out if you don’t know about Sparrow already) opened Lawrence relatively recently and have managed to create an admirable online presence. Generating online buzz both in Montreal and abroad, their menu that changes daily/weekly depending on what the freshest ingredients at the market are. This enables the chefs to explore their creative culinary talent as well as to play with the menu options so that customers that go often are never bored – check out their Twitter account (@lawrencefood) for live updates of what’s to be served. This was my second time here – I love the atmosphere and the staff who work there. Everyone is extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the food, the way it is prepared and are able to suggest dishes that would most likely please the customer’s palate given some basic information.