Posted by: tomciocco | July 26, 2010


I’m not sure that Montreal is the “secret hot spot” it once was, but I’d still say that it’s one of the coolest places that the fewest people go…And if you like to eat well and widely, and/or like to celebrate the day with fine libations, jostling with brothers, sisters, and cousins, this goes double. Yes, this is a stately, high-cultured, university city, but one that cuts loose with regularity, especially in the summertime. For me Montreal is a sturdier, somewhat smaller fusion of Paris and New York that harbors a deep countercultural spirit, and an appealing ham-fisted working class grit and a sort of stony, melancholic vein from which bright flowers poke here and there. If you’ve never been, go.

Here are a few restaurant recommendations:

La Colombe

554 Rue Duluth Est – BYOB!

A top line bistro that offered a prix fixe dinner with a “this or that” choice for each course. All courses came with a really nice creamy vegetable potage. I got the venison pate` and then roasted duck breast with sour cherries with two sides: haricots verts, and a parsnip puree . Jen got the mozzarella with yellow cherry tomatoes, arugula and a vanilla bean dressing, and a perfectly roasted pork tenderloin, same sides. Came with dessert too. Jen got the chocolate “jelly” with berries, and I had an apricot tart. Coffee. A really nice place, with good service. Check it out.

O’ Thym

1112 Boul. de Maisonneuve Est – BYOB!

Another super French bistro.

Tommy: Complimentary gazpacho. Fried veal sweetbreads on chickpea wafers with pistachio, star anise, and cider sauce, and roasted pork shank with cranberries haricots verts (must be in season!)

Jenny: Gazpacho, smoked duck breast and bitter green salad with shaved parm’ and then a killer filet mignon with the haricots verts. 

Le Nil Bleu

3706 Rue St. Denis

Now open twenty years, this hospitable Ethiopian was JUMPING the night we were there. Maybe not the THE BEST Ethiopian food EVER, but it’s no slouch either…see pic below…

Eating the biggest single serving of mussels I've ever seen at La Pyrenees in the old city

  gastronomic graffito

The market in petit italie (next two photos too)

Soup at La Colombe in the Plateau



Vegetarian combo for two at Le Nil Bleu (Ethiopian)


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