Maybe I shouldn’t mention the doughnuts. Anyone who has ever been to Canada knows that doughnut chain Tim Hortons serves the lightest, fluffiest doughnuts (donuts) in the world; I mean they just melt in your mouth, and in Montreal, they’re ‘toujours frais’, naturally. The kruller, in particular, is AMAZING, so sweet and soft (*Homer Simpson-style drooling*). And of course I had to have one when I was in Montreal. OK, TWO. TWO little doughnuts. But as you might expect from a city so heavily influenced by the French there’s a lot more to eating out in Montreal than doughnuts, fabulous though they are. So here are my gastronomic highlights from last weekend.
Located within the fabulous Ritz-Carlton hotel on Sherbrooke Street West, Maison Boulud, with dishes created by famous French chef Daniel Boulud, has a wonderful vibe – very laid back, bright and modern, with a fabulous outlook on to a pretty garden used for weddings (it even has ducks and a Japanese bridge). The menu is contemporary French Canadian.
I chose the beef tartare, which had a sublime, delicate flavour (the black thing on top is a ‘salsify chip’ – some sort of root vegetable – and very nice it was too…
…followed by the goat’s cheese and zucchini (courgette) florets, which were cooked to perfection. SO good.
We were full afterwards and ordered coffee, but to our surprise and delight our charming waiter brought us these: freshly baked – still warm – mini Madeleines, and Oh. My. God. Lighter than air as Ross Geller would say. Honestly they were exquisite.
Part club, part restaurant, the great thing about Pandore, on St-Dominique Street, is its roof terrace, where you can enjoy the sunset with a cocktail (or two). And the other big plus is that the waiting staff are all ridiculously attractive, which could explain why there were so many tables of women there when we went there (the female staff are equally attractive).
Although the roof terrace is quite small, it’s still a brilliant place to chill out – but actually the other big attraction is the food, which is really superb.
My starter was delightful – melon (watermelon and cantaloupe) with feta cheese and tomatoes. Such a brilliant combo, and bsolutely perfect for a summer’s evening, because it was so light, but with a peppery kick.
I followed this with the ‘Roast Beef Quebec’. The beef was marinated in maple and it was astonishingly tender; I wasn’t quite so keen on the vegetables that went with it, although the celery root puree was very nice, but the meat and the fried tomatillos really were incredible.
Evoo is a fantastic spot for brunch, because it’s close to Atwater Market in Little Burgundy and the canal, and it’s a real pleasure to eat here – everything on the menu has been carefully sourced, with lots of organic ingredients. They also do a mean Raspberry Mimosa.
We started off with a taster of their granola, with homemade goat yogurt, Gaudreau warm honey, and fresh fruit, and it was really excellent – it reminded me a little of sweet popcorn. Yummy, frankly.
And then I chose the BLT, which is really a chicken BLT, and again it was fantastic. And what elevated this to an exceptional BLT, I think, apart from the Gaspor bacon, was the milk bread, which is absolutely delicious. The owners should definitely consider selling it – I’m sure they’d shift loaves by the dozen.
So there are three of my top tips for eating out in Montreal; and in the interests of *full disclosure* of course I also enjoyed the breakfasts and evening snacks at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel, and those Tim Hortons doughnuts *sighs dreamily, salivates a little*. Seriously, I honestly think the best cure for jet lag is to eat your way through it 😉