Friday, 31 October 2014

October Round Up

Rounding up the month of October, some good brunches were the highlight.  A couple of close to work revisits that are worth a mention, had a great thai chicken meatball soup at Le Local, always a solid lunch choice and L'Orignal refurbished, rewrote the menu and relaunched.  Had a nice suckling pig dish there one night for dinner.  Here's the rest....

Restaurant Manitoba
I dined here early in the summer but didn't take pics, I was impressed with both what I ate that night and with the excellent personable charm of co-owner Elizabeth Cardin (we drank some gin shots together).  I've been meaning to revisit for brunch, which they recently started serving, but bizarrely they're not open on Saturdays.  This past Sunday Erika and I met there, it was really busy, there was a guy playing the cello and we propped ourselves up at the bar for a few hours.  Some people might find the vibe a little pretentious but I find it charming.  There's been a lot of attention to detail in the set up of the place and I really hope they do well.  It's only a 15 minute walk from my flat so I'll definitely be back again and again.  As for the food, it's really inventive.  A chalkboard on the wall lists the daily changing dishes, we both went for the squash spaghetti with poached egg and mushrooms.  I've honestly never had a dish like it.  Prices are reasonable (I paid around £15 for this and a few cups of herbal tea) and drinks are amazing.  If you're in Montreal, go.  I don't understand why more people don't rave about it already.

Dinette Triple Crown
This place has been on my list since before my first trip to Montreal.  Think fried chicken, mac & cheese, pulled pork etc.  They have a tiny little place in Mile End opposite a park, so in non snowy months you can grab a picnic basket and eat across the street.  They also deliver and, although I'm just outside the delivery zone, one hungover Sunday night they made an exception and came the extra distance to delivery to my place, wooo!  So we knew we had to have the mac & cheese, then we each picked a meat and threes, which is your pick of fried chicken, beef brisket or pulled pork with 3 sides.  We shared everything first up was brisket with mash and gravy, creamy slaw and greens.  So so so good.

The second option was 3 pieces of fried chicken with cornbread, sweet potatoes and hushpuppies.  Had to google the latter, they're like deep fried balls of corn batter served with a garlic dip.  It's obviously all hideously bad for you so a once in a while treat rather than a weekly takeout option but I was really impressed with the food.  Best mac & cheese I've had here so far, we got the small, the large must be massive.  We paid around $50 for this, but there was a lot of food.  We also opted for the pear and ginger pudding which was completely unnecessary but really lovely.  This will definitely be happening again on a cold winter night in the not too distant future.

Bar Bounya
I came here for lunch earlier in the year but didn't blog it because it was just a couple of hours before I flew back to London in July, so I was in a rush and didn't take pics.  Went back last weekend with Erika and Sar for Saturday brunch.   For $12 you get a main dish and a selection of treats including a tomato and ricotta salad (ricotta mixed with feta - so good), bread, jams, nuts, olives and honey with kaymak, a soft butter like spread.  This is such a bargain, can't wait to go back.  It's served sharing style on a board.

The main I opted for was shakshuka, served in the dish it's cooked in, it always suffers from the heat of the dish overcooking the eggs and this is exactly what happened.  2 hard cooked poached eggs is not a good thing.  The sauce of tomato, spinach and onions was nice enough, I ate that with more of the bread, but overcooked eggs is one of my worst things, unforgivable.  I do like the place though and you can't argue with a $12 breakfast, I'd pay that again for the cheese alone.

Juliette et Chocolat
I was invited to the Laval store opening of Juliette et Chocolat.  I'd not yet tried any of their cafes in the city, there are several located throughout Centre Ville and the Plateau, and now they're in Laval too. You can read about their story here.  The menu is obviously chocolate based, think hot chocolate, chocolate fountain, fruit covered chocolate, bars, truffles, mousse, biscuits, even chocolate lipstick.  They have a great range of Halloween based treats, chocolate skull anyone?  People visit for desserts apparently in the evenings, I rather like the idea of popping in after dinner somewhere.  I ate so much chocolate on the night that I felt quite queasy when I left.  Speaks volumes of the quality of the sweet treats on offer here, because I don't have much of a sweet tooth at all. 

Bolo Bolo 
I was also invited to a new restaurant opening on St Laurent in the Plateau.  The deal here is meatballs and cocktails.  The opening night was packed so it was pretty hard to get your hands on a decent drink, but there were plenty of meatballs on offer.  They even have a meatball topped bloody mary.  Best thing sampled on the night was the buffalo meatball, there are all kinds on the menu, it's a great location, more of a bar than a restaurant vibe but that could have been due to the launch party. 

La Societe
Before visiting La Societe, I'd read some negative reviews.  I was skeptical but wanted to check it out anyway and I wish I'd skipped it to be honest.  Many online reports told stories of shoddy service, ours was absolutely fine but the food was pretty poor.  It's the worst meal I've had in Montreal, actually a 4am poutine and 'burger club' at Fameux Viande Fumee probably holds that accolade.  Shudder.  Anyway, back to Societe, Lobster bisque ($13) was overly creamy and pretty tasteless, advertised as coming with truffle oil but there was none.  The New York strip steak ($29) I ordered was undercooked and tasteless and the peppercorn sauce was just awful.  Fries and aioli were good and the cheeseboard was passable.  We had a gin based cocktail which looked radioactive before moving onto white wine.  All the effort here seems to have been put into decorating the room, the floor and ceiling are both impressive, but the food really underwhelming.  I won't be revisiting. 

Restaurant Manitoba
271 Rue St Zotique Oeust
Parc Ex

Restaurant Manitoba on Urbanspoon

Dinette Triple Crown
6704 Rue Clark

Dinette Triple Crown on Urbanspoon

243 Laurier Ouest

Barbounya on Urbanspoon

Juliette et Chocolat

I dined as a guest of Juliette et Chocolat

Juliette Et Chocolat on Urbanspoon

Bolo Bolo
3540 St Laurent

I dined as a guest of Bolo Bolo

Bolo Bolo on Urbanspoon

La Societe
1415 Rue de la Montagne
Golden Square Mile

La Societe Montréal on Urbanspoon

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