A Piece of Paris in Montreal

June 20th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

As anticipated, L’Express Restaurant turned out to be a piece of Paris lodged on Montreal’s Rue St. Denis. Pleasant welcome. Friendly, professional service that exemplifies restaurant management expertise. The interior, in Paris brasserie style, features plenty of mirrors, a long and lively bar, dark woods and bright — but flattering — lighting. Lots of attractive, animated people having a very good time. The HG/BSK family hit all the food highs: Octopus and lentil salad. Soupe de poisson. Duck foie gras. Asparagus vinaigrette. Roasted marrow bones with wilted lettuce, sea salt and toast. Sea bass with exemplary haricots vert. Beef tartare (with mountains of crisp French fries). Excellent bread. A big crock of cornichons and strong mustard on the table. Two bottles of red — Languedoc andBeaujolais. Desserts included (all giant size): Ile flottante, creme brulee, vanilla ice cream, baba au rhum (exuberant amounts of rum and whipped cream). A big, happy, indulgent feast.

After dinner, SJ stopped at Fairmount Bagels to bring back a sack for friends. HG tried one (with butter) with HG’s morning coffee. Not a New York bagel. A different breed. Softer. Sweeter (the Fairmount bagels are boiled in honey water before baking in wood burning ovens). Okay, but not a culinary must for HG. So, HG and BSK leave this morning for Prince Edward Island. HG/BSK leave without tasting the Montreal/Quebec obsession—Poutine (thick brown gravy and cheese curds poured over French fries). HG/BSK share an aversion to culinary perversion.


Jewish Montreal

May 15th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

On the way to summer fun (kayaking, sun bathing, swimming, beach walking, cycling, oysters, mussels, lobsters, fresh fish) on Prince Edward Island, HG and BSK will spend a week in Montreal. Have leased an apartment in the colorful Plateau district and will be joined by SJ, Exquisite Maiko and their 2 children. Gifted Daughter Lesley says she will join us for a few days. And, admittedly a long shot, Restaurateur Daughter Vicki and chef/husband Marc say they will try to get away for a brief visit. Guaranteed: Loads of fun and feasting. HG is eager to try the much vaunted Jewish food in Montreal. This means Schwartz’s (smoked meat); Fairmount Bakery (bagels); Wilensky’s (fried salami with mustard on a “pletzel”/onion roll). Will pass on Moisha’s, an expensive steak house, but will dine at Au Pied de Cochon, A Quebecois restaurant that is on the cardiology black list (savory foie gras and snout-to-tail pork specialties). Have heard good reports about Montreal dim sum, Lebanese take-out and cheap, spicy Portuguese chicken. A full report will be forthcoming. While noshing on Jewish specialties in Montreal, HG will ponder why some of his favorite Jewish writers come from that city — Saul Bellow, Mordecai Richler and the New Yorker Magazine’s brilliant Adam Gopnik. Of course, Montreal’s Leonard Cohen is an HG favorite in his roles as poet, song writer and performer.

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