Thursday, 31 July 2014

July Round Up

My Canada Day celebrations included dinner at Le Club Chasse et Pêche.  This place has been mentioned a lot by locals as one of Montreal's top restaurant experiences.  I was surprised by how formal it felt, it's a small dark basement room, all leather and wood, it was a super hot day and the aircon was on full pelt, it's not the nicest environment to be honest.  But onto the food.

I made the stoopid mistake (again) of ordering a risotto for starter.  Portions in Montreal, North America, are out of control, so I should have known.  Piglet risotto topped with shaved foie gras($16) no less.  Ooooof.

My main was the chasse et pêche, sweetbreads with lobster and gnocchi ($40).  I was sooooo full.  The main was good, but the starter edged it.

I actually found the menu really difficult to choose from.  Though the waiter was brilliantly knowledgeable and helped inform us about all the dishes.  Some descriptions are very vague, chasse et pêche for example. Hunting and fishing....hmm. Oysters with charisma?  Please.   We drank German wine, because I usually insist that we do, it was great.  I'd definitely return, perhaps avoid the bread next time.
423 Rue st Claude
Old Montreal
Le Club Chasse et Pêche on Urbanspoon
Ridiculous picture but this is the best pizza I've had here so far.  Need to check out Gema obviously, but Magpie is the current front runner.  I had the goatscheese, pancetta, rocket and basil offering ($16).  We were a big drunken rowdy group, showed up late and this was just what we needed.  Pub then pizza.  Will 100% be back.  Service was lovely, except when they sprayed us all with cava.
16 Maguire
Pizzeria Magpie on Urbanspoon
I went to Lemeac earlier this year but didn't take pics.  On both visits I had the menu 22H which is served from 10pm until close, you can have a starter and a main for $25.  Right bargain.  This time I had the panko crusted goatscheese with apple and walnut salad to start.
Really generous portion (as is the theme in Montreal) and simple rustic dishes is the order of the day here.  I had a sudden urge for steak on this evening, I haven't found anywhere with meat the equivalent quality of the likes of Goodman and Hawksmoor in London.  Might start the search at Moishes, an Montreal institution apparently.  Anyway, Lemeac's hangar steak with fries hit the spot, thought I was well and truly beaten. 
They have really good baguette here, so I'd filled up on that.  Following the meal, we returned to Baldwin Barmacie, scene of a 9 dirty martini fuelled Saturday night.  I barely managed 2 on this occasion.  Definitely for the best. 
Really like Lemeac though and it's near my flat, wooo.
1045 Laurier West
Leméac on Urbanspoon
Revisited Biiru and tried their ramen and chicken liver yakitori.  The tomato salad was ace as well.  Also their cocktails.  Love this place.
I go here for lunch at least once a week, and they have a cheese croissant that has to make do in the absence of Pret.  Had a breakfast here before a spa day with the girls (thanks Sar!).  Was slightly hungover, couldn't resist the 'egg on your face' Panini.  Scrambly egg, sriracha, comte (YES - COMTE!) and tomato, all toasted and gooey.  Delightful. 
Bel and I went here for lunch the day after I got back.  LOVED IT!  Art claimed it to be the best souvlaki she's had in London, and it's certainly the best I've tried, though I'm no expert.  I went for pork, Bel went for lamb.  Every element was great, the bread, the meat, the yoghurt, tomato and onion.  I should have gone easy on the onion, regretted that all afternoon, ha. 

I'm sure Art would want chips in it, we got a side of feta and jammed some of that in.  Awesome.  Also they give you a complementary bread and tsatziki starter.  We drank tap water and paid about £8 each, bargain. 
21 Bateman Street on Urbanspoon
Bel and I had dins here last Friday after drinks in the new Clubroom at Bob Bob Ricard.  Let me begin by saying gorgonzola custard (£6) is a thing.  Just take a moment to look at it in awe. 

Served with brilliant seeded bread, it looks like a brulee type dessert, it's genius.  Get it, it's on the small plates menu served all day.

Zeppole (£4) were another favourite, these are like little dough balls stuffed with Nduja, again genius, love what they're doing here.  Crab and avocado was fantastic, served tien style with loads of lemon and bitter leaves sitting on top.  Really fresh and zingy flavours.  
Also enjoyed the octopus with chick peas and the anchovies and eggs.  There wasn't a disappointing dish.  We loitered (to the dismay of the waiters who very clearly wanted to leave) and sat outside finishing our prosecco.  Really enjoyable meal, I preferred it to sister restaurant 10 Greek Street actually.  Lucky East Londoners.  
8 Hoxton Square on Urbanspoon
Art and I popped into Rotorino for lunch on my last day in town. 
We started off with cocktails of orange infused fizz.  The menu is separated into first, second and third categories, we went for a couple of dishes from each.  Thin crispy bread type things splashed with olive oil were presented while we perused the menu.  Odd by themselves really but we ate them all.  They're good snacks for drinks I guess, but they're not bread, I'm not fooled.

From the first section we chose the peach, tomato and ricotta salad.  This was crying out for salt, which we had to ask for.  The tomatoes were brilliant, bit of a mushy consistency on the whole.  Not the greatest start, the croque n'duja was much better.  Really felt the kick of the spicy sausage, served on bread with a fried egg.  Lovely.

My second dish of mussel fregola was incredible.  A rich tomato sauce and an ample serving for £7.50, I really loved this.  Best dish of the day.  Art's gnudi were nice too but the fregola pipped it for me.
Then we had the pork and veal meatballs (£9.50) with a side of fried garlic and rosemary potatoes which were really nicely done.  We were beaten and couldn't face dessert, a theme of my trip to London, and overall were perhaps not as happy as we thought we would be. 

There were some standouts and we really lingered for the afternoon, the bar is open all day, My friend Carly came to meet us for some cocktails, we sat out front sipping on lemon possets and negronis into the early evening.  Really liked the place and the casual vibe, would definitely recommend the pasta dishes. 
434 Kingsland Road
Rotorino on Urbanspoon

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