Right before the close of 2017, Dan and I took a road trip with two of our friends over the border to Montreal. Of course, it was waaay colder up north than it was here in Boston. We were met each day with temps in the negatives but did see a high of ZERO. Needless to say, our outdoor activities were limited so we were bound to indoor activities, mainly, eating. But that was A-OK with me! Here are our dining highlights during our 36 hour stay.
One morning we made a run to get bagels from St. Viateur Bagel, home of the famous Montreal bagels in the Mile End neighborhood. They aren’t like the typical bagels we get at home. Thy are much thinner and have a sweeter taste (they are boiled in honey water). This is not a dine in place, so we grabbed a (warm) dozen, two tubs of cream cheese (recommended by the cashier) and headed back to our AirBnB. We went on a Friday morning so there wasn’t much of a line. But I have a feeling that on weekends, there is definitely a line.
After we picked up our bagels, we walked a few doors down to grab some coffee at Cafe Myriade. It’s such a cute and cozy coffee shop with really good coffee to match.
On our last morning, we went to Arthur’s Nosh Bar. They don’t take reservations so we made sure to get there when the opened. We were lucky to snatch 4 seats at the bar because the wait list started to get long pretty quickly.
I got the eggs and salami. The challah was incredible – hot and buttery. The potato latke was just as amazing; it was served with applesauce and sour cream. I am drooling just thinking about this dish.
Dan got the latke smorgasborg – a little of this, a little of that. I stole a piece of the smoked salmon and it was worth the dirty stare Dan gave me.
Of course we couldn’t leave Montreal without having some poutine. Our friend had done some research so we headed to Chez Claudette for a mid-afternoon snack break. We shared the traditional and beef bourguignon – both at the recommendation of the waiter.
Both styles were good but I have to say, the traditional was my favorite.
We made a necessary stop at a patisserie to load up on buttery croissants, chocolate croissants, mini tarts and macarons in Old Montreal at Maison Christian. As we were walking towards the entrance, a strong smell of butter filled the air. As you walk in, you can take a peek down the steps and see the pastry chefs hard at work.
An indoor activity we partook in was a visit to the Jean-Talon Market, an indoor public market in Little Italy. It is one of the oldest public markets in Montreal. Whenever I visit markets like this in other cities, I wish there were more in Boston. We stopped by a few stalls to try out some snacks and made some small purchases to bring back home.
The market was filled with Maple everything! I got to sample some maple butter and it was out of this world. However, it was so sweet, I couldn’t handle more than just a sample.
One afternoon we decided to navigate the Underground City, which is a series of interconnected towers, shopping centers, train stations, etc. It was a great way to stay warm! We ended up at Eaton Centre, which is a mall. As we were walking through, we discovered Squish. I am a huge gummy candy fan so I was in heaven! Their vegan gummies are phenomenal; they reminded me a little bit of those fruit snacks I used to have when I was younger. I just finished the last of my bag and am sad I didn’t bring home more…
My friend and I both read the same article in Bon Appetite about a Chef who visited Montreal in which he talked about the places he ate, one of which was Au Pied De Cochon. Make sure you have reservations, as we saw a number of people turned away (or maybe they were asked to come back later). The restaurant was really cozy and the food was on point. Their drinks were really good (per the husbands – I only took a sip of Dan’s). The drinks feature some of their house made alcohol, such as gin.
With the waiter’s assistance, we got the Duck in a Can (pictured). They can the duck themselves and we learned that it takes exactly 27 minutes in boiling water to cook. The duck was perfect. We also ordered the stuffed trout with a butter sauce and string beans with almonds (you can see a bit up if in the corner of the picture). To top the meal off, we ordered the maple creme brulee and I believe the maple cake (it was soooo sweet). This was probably my fave meal of the trip.
We also had dinner at Hoogan Et Beaufort. It definitely had a very trendy vibe and was a bit tucked away behind some office buildings (our Uber had a hard time finding it!). We enjoyed our meal, although it did last over 2 hours. But maybe that was the point – to relax and enjoy the meal without being rushed. Although it doesn’t sound like much, the charred focaccia and butter is a must (we ordered a second round…). We started off with the grilled octopus followed by the spaghetti, guinea fowl and beef short rib. Unfortunately, we did not have any room for dessert!
That about wraps it up for our trip to Montreal. If you do visit and end up at any of the above places, let me know. I’d love to know what you think.