September really was the month where I did a sweep of places Anthony Bourdain visited during his 24hr layover. Also it's been a breakfasty/brunchy/lunchy kind of month...
Starting with Beauty's. Went for brunch ahead of #oysterfest and Hymie Sckolnick was there to seat us. Absolute legend that he is. I copied Bourdain and opted for the Beauty's special bagel with a side of eggs. You know when you go somewhere, and they ask exactly the right questions when you order? As in, me - "I'll have a side of eggs please", them- "scrambled or fried, sunny side up or easy over", Craig - "I'll have the Superbeauty's 2 please", them - "bread, toast, brown, wholegrain, rye or white, butter or margarine". They've got this down. We even had the same waitress as Bourdain. It's touristy and unlikely to become one of my regular haunts but I loved the experience.
Also make your own bloody Mary's is a thing. Gotta love that. Cheap food but $$$ drinks.
Had a boozy night out with Grace one Sunday (reeeeally regretted that decision when my alarm went off at 7am on Monday morning) including a martini fuelled dinner at Pastaga. Jury's still out for me on this place and I feel I certainly need to revisit and give a few of the other dishes a try. We had a nice courgette and burrata starter (above) and a lovely fois gras and veal main but the third dish of crab was forgettable and I felt like everything lacked punch and could have done with a bit more seasoning. People rave about Martin Juneau’s cooking though, so I will persevere and revisit, I really liked the atmos, decor and the service was nice. No bread again though, seriously people?
Maison Christian Faure
Erika and I had brunch here, they're mostly known as a patisserie, the front counter houses a fine selection of pastries, cakes and macaroons. The brunch special for $20 is massive. Pastry, fruit salad, french toast and eggs bene/royale, I opted for salmon. My choice of hot drink was earl grey, obvs. This place is close to work and a fairly well kept secret as it's down a little side street in Old Montreal. I'll definitely bring my Mum here when she visits later in the year, it's so cute. When I arrived they were pumping out some classical music, which seamlessly segwayed into Morcheeba. Blast from the past.
I've spent a few evenings drinking cocktails at Sparrow this summer, including the night England spectacularly crashed out of the World Cup, the drinks are generally excellent. Which is why I was seriously annoyed with their piss poor Bloody Caesar. It was watery and pretty flavourless, I think the tomato juice itself is the issue, but these should be a lot better. I visited for brunch and I was also disappointed by the fact they'd sold out of the shakshuka, there aren't tonnes of options and I really wanted the shakshuka. Instead I had the 2 fried eggs with home fries, bacon and sourdough. It was good, but it wasn't baked eggs.
Special mention is way overdue for Titanic. This has been lunchtime mecca for me and the girls from work, we go all the time and I firmly believe that they miss us when we don't go for a couple of days. Sandwiches, salads, soups, mac & cheese is their thing (this is a mac & cheese grilled cheese). I usually try to be healthy and opt for the tuna salad, they mix up what comes with the main ingredient, salad leaves are always involved, sometimes roasted veggies, one time, a small portion of their legendary mac & cheese, imagine the joy. The menu is ever changing, the mushroom soup was amazing a couple of weeks ago but hasn't reappeared since. Their dessert counter tempts as it's time to pay, the carrot cake and chocolate pot look amazing. I'll be caving come winter when I need the extra calories! Love the place.
Another Montreal fave of mine is Hof Kelsten, I've been popping in most weekends to pick up an iced coffee, love their coffee. Was yet to try the gravalax sandwich until this week, what was I thinking? It's brilliant. Close second to Lawrence, who still hold the sandwich top spot with their porchetta bun. Lots of love for both places though.
93 Mont Royal West
6389 St Laurent
Maison Christian Faure
355 Place Royale
Sparrow (no website, annoying)
5322 St Laurent
445 Rue St Pierre
4524 St Laurent