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.


Art and Bugs in Montreal

June 19th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

A very rainy last full day in Montreal. La Famille split up. SJ, EM, and the grandchildren Haru and Teru braved the downpour and were off to Montreal’s Botanical Gardens where they braved the moisture and explored some of the beautiful Asian gardens. Dried off at the Insectarium which has a very diverse collection of creepy-crawlies. Culture Vultures HG/BSK went to the Musee de Beaux Arts. On last visit, HG/BSK immersed themselves in the museum’s collection of The Group of Seven, Canadian painters (of the 1920’s-30’s) who explored modernism while retaining a passionate engagement with the Canadian landscape. Today, HG/BSK started with religious art of the the 14th and 15th centuries. Gems by Veronese, Tintoretto and Mantegna. Then off to a room of contemporaries. Stella, Olitski, Hoffman, Bacon, Soulages, Beuys, Richter,. etc. A very witty Tansey. First interesting Jim Dine HG ever saw. Rested eyes over a ham-cheese-baguette in the cafeteria. With sharpened vision, HG/BSK explored an intelligently curated display of modern design. Yes, all of the masters were on display but there were plenty of the more eccentric innovators like Bonetti, Sottsass, Arad and Starck. HG/BSK reflected: Everything at the museum is beautifully lit and displayed. The attendants are courteous and helpful. Lots of clean restrooms. Two words describe it: Museum Heaven.

Tonight is HG’s last meal in Montreal. Going to L’Express. A true French bistro, Features all the golden oldies: Bone marrow, kidneys in mustard sause, beef tartare, steak frites, pot a feau, grilled calf’s liver, etc. A report will follow.


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