Ah,  Montréal.  So many restaurants, so little time.  I’m told that there are more restaurants per person there than anywhere else in the world?!  And this is no big news, but let’s just restate it.  Montréal is a world-class dining destination.

I was recently investigating romantic dining options in Montréal and I sampled food at twelve establishments (lucky lucky me) including:  Maison Boulud, Maison Christian Faure, Barocco, Accords, St. Viateur Bagels,  Le Contemporain, Pizzeria Romeo, Les Glaceurs, Boris Bistro, Sarah B, Les 3 petits bouchons, and Gazette at the Westin Hotel.

It was all truly an amazing experience – such quality, such ambiance, and oh so romantic (was just missing my mate!).  I would HIGHLY recommend them all!

Here are some highlights:

  • Most Memorable Moment.  WOW!!!  When I tasted what looked like a marshmallow atop my heirloom tomato salad at Maison Boulud I was transfixed.   This snowy white cube of foam was obviously made from tomato juices! But how?!  Chef Daniel Boulud is world renowned and the luxurious Montréal Ritz-Carleton is a perfect showcase for his work.

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  • My favourite bagels.  Since I’m already a huge fan of St-Viateur Montreal bagels, it was trés cool to visit the bakery and eat a sesame bagel warm out of the oven.  I must admit that I haven’t sampled what their competitor Fairmont Bagel claims is the best bagel in the world.  Maybe next time.  But meanwhile,  I haven’t had enough of my beloved St-Viateur which thankfully I can buy at home (Pete’s Frootique in Halifax, Canada).  What’s your favourite bagel?

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  • Most Creative Presentation.  Le Contemporain restaurant at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is apparently a well-kept secret.  People should be lining up there. Chef Mousseau-Rivard is a wizard with what he concocts.  Bravo!  The amuse bouche was a melt in your mouth foam vichyssoise with smoked mussels.  I can’t wait to try to recreate a garnish on my appetizer, a crumbled peppered meringue that must have been prepared in a thin sheet.  This sweet topping worked so well on the smoked ham dish (aged in house). My main was a fabulous lobster preparation.  And the dessert was my favourite  of the trip and mentioned below.  This table d’hote menu was fantastic value at $44 for four courses (plus surcharge for lobster).hungry_road_mussels

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  • Best Dessert.  I had a sampling dessert plate at Le Contemporainthe restaurant at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.  I asked for the pastry chef’s name since I was so enamoured and our server just knew her name to be Marie.  Well Marie, you are very talented.  Each bite was a good as the last and my dining companions will attest that I was sent to heaven. A macaron, sponge toffee, a canneléand the pièce de la resistance, the Saucisse Chocolat (chocolate sausage).  All beautifully presented on a piece of slate.  Oh. Come. On!

 

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  • Best Bite Award.  I often ask my server if there is anything on the menu that patrons keep returning for; that item that they have to leave on the menu to keep people happy.  Well I wasn’t disappointed at Boris Bistro with their quick recommendation of the duck risotto.  Not much to look at but the taste was everything.

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  • Most Handsome Chef.  May I say that? We had a truly splendid meal in the lovely outdoor courtyard at Accords wine bar and restaurant; really great food.  I wish I’d been quick enough to get a picture of  Chef Marc-André Lavergne when he briefly visited our table.  He’s got celebrity chef charisma.  See for yourself here.


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  • Pizza just the way I like it.  Overwhelmed by the romance of Montreal, I couldn’t resist choosing by name the Spritz Romeo and Le Pizza Romeo at Pizzeria Romeo.  Their pizza is thin with a crispy crust; just the way I like it!

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  • Most Romantic.  Barroco restaurant has a lot going for it, including a cozy romantic atmosphere.  Oh, I can just imagine snuggling in there on a snowy night.  My braised short ribs with a celeriac purée were fantastic and so beautifully presented.

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  • Best Cupcake. Well, I only had one cupcake but I can’t imagine a better one; a vanilla cake oozing with salted caramel andsalt from Les Glaceurs.  So fresh! (Confession: I had it for breakfast in bed with a Westin hotel room Starbucks coffee.  Pure decadence.)  This one pictured is the red velvet cupcake.

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  • Best Macaron.  In tiny bites, I savoured my vanilla macaron from  Maison Christian Faure, the best I’ve ever had.

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  • Most Hip.  I felt like a hip local relaxing at Les 3 petits bouchons, sipping wine and enjoying delicacies from a great charcuterie platter.  I loved how they asked what our wine tastes were and came up with selections to match our personal tastes.

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  • Most Experiential.  At Sarah B. it was so much fun to sample absinthe, as well as some spectacular and so beautifully presented appetizers in one of their romantic plush side rooms.  Green fairy anyone?

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  • Best Value and a Celebrity Sighting.  From the evening tapas menu at the Westin Hotel’s restaurant Gazette, the sliders with a side of sweet and white potato fries were a steal at $12.  My daughter and I could have shared it as light meal.  Also, we dined inches away from television Dexter’s ex, Rita, played by Julie Benz.  She met a messy deadly demise on the show but a quick google search revealed that she was alive and well as a celebrity guest at Comicon; right across the street.  Your change from a blonde to a brunette didn’t fool me Julie!

I traveled to Montréal as part of a press trip with Tourisme Montréal and Tourisme Québec; however, all views expressed are entirely my own.