My husband and i spent two days, three nights in Montreal together with some friends and here is some of the adventures we experienced....
Poutin @ Frites Alores
A while back I was watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, Montreal. I remember feeling sick to the bone when seeing the humongous plates stacked with fries, gravy and any desired topping! However, one must when visiting Canada was the Poutin, according to Wiki this dish originated in Quebec but is now a staple dish in many diners. I also read somewhere that this dish is a the national dish of Canada but I am not sure so don't take it as true until confirmed by a Canadian.
I received a recommendation to try the Poutin at Frites Alores. The four of us did the mistake of ordering two Large Poutin on top of the burgers, one would have been enough to feed the four of us. I am not sure how to review this dish other then I tried it, it tasted good but I think I had enough of it for the year or maybe lifetime! My husband might not agree, he would eat a bowl of this every day if his health allowed it.
Au Pied de Cochon
I am not a foie gras fan because of the way foie gras comes about. Up to our Montreal trip I have had one mouth full, or maybe half a mouth full of foie gras in my life. Also, from Anthony Bourdan´s episode in Montreal, Bourdane goes to the restaurant A Pied de Cochon and the chef said said he would serve him every dish the restaurant had on their menu that contained foie gras until he would pretty much drop dead. Prior to leaving for Montreal we researched restaurants online and asked friends for recommendations and this specific restaurant was recurring with positive reviews. However, It was clear to us that it was hard to get a reservation and we were not big fans of foie gras and we thought no more about it. The plan for our final dinner in Montreal was a recommended fondue restaurant but after all the weekend eatings we all though we should go for a lighter meal. In the late afternoon we were having a drink at the M´ckibbin´s Irish Pub and thought of Au Pied de Cochon, gave them a call and got a reservation for 8pm. We were all very excited and the guys were looking up which dishes that were recommended highly in the reviews.
I was the least adventures person and had the Steak Frites (Frites in duck fat), delicious! The menu was quite expensive but not overwhelming and my table quickly found something of their choice. Pork, duck and foie gras were main ingredients. The waiter was sure to let us know during the placement of our order that we would not be needing anything else because the dishes we chose were heavy!!!!!! He was right!!! There was not even room for dessert. Apart from the food, we loved the ambiance, the music and the people.
Apart from eating poutin and all the rich foods above we also had crepes, Canadian bagels, risotto and steaks and sweet buns. Very full and content food wise by the time we left Montreal. However, eating was not the only thing we did, there was some sightseeing squeezed i nbetween the meals as well. We climbed up Mount Royal which provided us with a stunning view of Montreal, we strolled the hip streets of St Denis, St Laurent street, Crescent street, the cobble stone streets of the Plateau and old Montreal and took a windy and chilly cruise on St Lawrence river. Something that I loved about Montreal was that many of the old buildings had been restored and there was color on the buildings which added funness without creating a mess or tastelessness. Here are some buildings that intrigued me...
One of the things I wish I had done was to visit a cozy cafe. However, prior to leaving the city I made a quick stop at the local boulangerie to buy some croissants and bread to bring back to NY. The croissants were so fresh and warm that I had to eat them right away (saved one chocolate croassant for the car trip). With me back to NY I bought a raisin and hazelnut loaf which in hindsight I regret, I should have bought at least 5 of them. The bread had loads of raisins and nuts and was still fresh and soft and moist the following day. I pay more for a freshly baked loaf of bread in NY and get bread that is dryer than dry the following morning!
Oh, by the way, our hotel was a cute little boutiquie hotel that I can highly recommend, Chateau Versailles!