I wanted to do one big overview post about Montreal but with my short attention span, I start skimming through long posts on blogs so I’m breaking this up into things to eat and things to do/see.
Confession: I want to be a travel writer. After girlfriend-in-tow of some hot rich guy traveling the world, my only responsibility to look pretty and wear flowy clothes, my dream job is a travel writer. I want to be the less-weathered, younger, female Anthony Bourdain. And I guess I can. So to start that off I present my new series – “Getting It Together On the Road”. I’ll probably back-track on some of the places I’ve been at some point (ideally).
My best friend Carly and I met in Italy nearly six summers ago. We love recounting the story to each other about how it was just “meant to be”. We have literally been through everything there is to go through with a person and at the end of the day, other than my dad and grandparents, Carly is the only person who puts up with my insanity and still loves me. She also loves travel as much as I do and is exceptionally fun to travel with. Enough sentimental stuff.
We decided after a strain of not-the-best New Years that we should just go away because no matter what, you’re somewhere cool and we’ll probably get a great story out of it. Originally we were thinking Jamaica but $600 plane tickets are not worth it for Jamaica – we had been talking about Montreal for months so we finally pulled the plug to do it. Here’s what we did in Montreal that was cool and some suggestions for if you ever find yourself in ‘Diet Europe’ (All of the taste, none of the crappy-ness about Europe.) Also, mad thanks to the lovely Davida from The Healthy Maven who not only gave me lots of great Montreal recommendations, but also met up with us before we left!
Truth be told, we didn’t have the chance to go to all the top Montreal eateries – many were closed for the holiday. We did eat very well, however, and had the chance to explore some lesser talked about restaurants.
The night we got into Montreal we were hungry but wanted to explore the city a little. This was before we spent a day out in the Montreal cold and ultimately basically gave up on taking the subway/walking and started driving everywhere. The owner of the bed and breakfast we stayed at told us that many places were ‘apportez votre vin’ (bring your own wine for all of my non-French-speaking friends) which we can definitely get down with.
We wandered into Les Infideles which looked cute and French and was pretty crowded, basically fulfilling our three checkboxes for a dinner place. We split a prix fix (thus keeping costs down and trying lots of things and keeping portions all in check with one fell swoop – honestly, I prefer splitting meals because then I don’t overdo it) and had a goat cheese salad, deer medallions and a chocolate mousse – all were amazing (but my dad’s venison is beyond compare). They also had horse on the menu which we thought was a joke – I’m an adventurous eater but horse is where I draw the line.
You can’t miss a bagel from St. Viateur’s Bagels. I read all about the bagel history in Montreal prior to going and basically all I could think about before going to St. Viateur’s was going to St. Viateur’s.
Montreal bagels differ from NYC (and all other bagels) because they are baked in a wood-fired grill so they are wood-smoked and baked at the same time. They are smaller than your average bagel and sweeter (they are boiled in honey-water instead of just water) so you can vaguely feel a little less guilty about indulging in one. Traditionally they are covered in poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
St. Viateur’s cafe locations have really amazing sandwiches and salads (I had a delox salad, first thinking it was detox but wondering how salmon and capers were involved in a detox… then I thought it was deluxe until I got home and got the lox part. And I’m vaguely a writer – hah!). Be sure to get the chocolate cream cheese if you’re into sweet smears for your bagels – Carly and I both agreed it was the most amazing cream cheese ever and was basically like chocolate frosting.
On New Year’s Eve we were planning on going to Olive et Gourmando for lunch but after we trekked down there, we discovered it was closed for the holiday. We ended up wandering into Marche De La Villette and splitting a charcuterie plate. The place was pretty loud and crowded and the service was kind of terrible but the rabbit tartine and duck pate were delicious so I’m willing to overlook it this time.
We also stopped by Cacao 70 one night for a late night “dinner”. Cacao 70 specializes in all things chocolate (think fondu, milkshakes, chocolate tastings, hot chocolate and dessert pizzas). I felt it upright to leave Montreal without crepes, so I had savory crepes and possibly the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had (it’s neck-to-neck with hot chocolate from The Greenbrier).
Chat with me:
Have you ever had horse? Would you ever try it?