Saturday, 31 May 2014

May Round Up

Eeeeek, I’ve neglected my blog.  Apologies.  It’s been all go.  A whirlwind trip to London during which I was Maid of Honour at my sister’s wedding, it was one of the best days of my life, it, and the trip, when far too quickly. 

So, here’s a quick round up of things I ate in May before I head off.

Love love loved Biiru, went for an impromptu dinner on one of the first really hot summer days in Montreal.  I am beginning to see what people meant when they spoke of a seasonal transformation.  It has really come alive now the snow has gone, and I’m falling for the charm of the place.  Anyway. 

Biiru is a recent opening in the Downtown area and it’s great.  An Izakaya, it’s the kind of menu that’s really difficult to pick from, they have ramen, yakitori, sushi, japadogs etc. etc.  In London these things are generally offered at separate restaurants.  I like to know where I am with a menu. 

I opted for the mushroom and truffle okonomiyaki ($14) and chicken thigh yakitori ($6) and both were brilliantly done.  I wish I’d been braver with the yakitori and had hearts or livers, next time.   

I also got to try the agedashi tofu and the sesame edamame, always winners.

1433 Rue City Councillors
Latin Quarter

Biiru on Urbanspoon

Had a speedy 3 courser here with a work buddy.  Lovely corn soup with chunks of chorizo inside to start and paella for main.  Some weird fruity thing for pud which I didn’t like but for $22 it’s an after thought. 

I blagged my way onto a table in the heaving dining room with no booking.  It’s really popular here, solid unfussy cooking.  Better for lunch than dinner due to the excellent value of the offer.  It's round the corner from my office, I'll definitely be back, vibe is workers with clients on lunchbreak. 

438 McGill Ave
Old Montreal

Restaurant Helena on Urbanspoon

I tried this place with Grace, Patrick and Margharita one Sunday.  Really enjoyable ‘middle Eastern’ mezze type menu with small sharing plate.  Cold dishes only early in the day and a fuller menu available for dinner.  Hummus was as good as expected.  

Cheese plate with rose water jam and the mouhammara, a dip containing ground walnuts with pomegranate molasses, were the highlights.

There are olives and unlimited flat breads.  The beetroot dip was excellent too.  Cheap lunch, I think we paid around $30 each and outstayed our welcome.  Everything is well spiced and fragrant.  The earthenware dishes are nice, the service lovely and the room open and airy.  I think they have belly dancing nights, too so I’ll obviously be back.

4629 Park Avenue

Kaza Maza on Urbanspoon

A few of us took a holiday weekend road trip to the Ontario wine region.  I did a bit of research and found Trius Winery to be the most lauded eatery in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake.  I booked us in for the tasting menu with wine pairings on the Saturday night.  The gewurtztramier was the stand out wine of the night, surprise surprise, always a fave of mine.  The size of their wine glasses was astonishing, one used to serve a red fit an entire bottle, we made them test it.  Some of the dishes I had.

 Frozen lollipop canape, beetroot and chocolate. 
Can't pretend I liked starting the meal with chocolate.

Chicken wings with scallops on a sweetcorn puree, very nice.

 Dish of the night was the beef fillet with heritage carrots.  Lovely.

Highlight of the evening was a drunken cellar tour.  They were ever so nice, and patient with us.  The food wasn’t great to be honest, some fails, including a cold hard boiled quails egg with asparagus and balsamic, and the desserts were too frozen to cut with a spoon, but this is wine country, just go there for the wine.  5 course tasting menu was $75 and the showcase (not just any old) wine pairings was $45 each.  45 DOLLARS!!  So good.

Trius Estate
1249 Niagara Stone Rd  

Trius Winery Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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