Romantic and Delicious Montreal

A street scene on the Plateau

We’ve just returned from a quick trip to Montreal, mainly to catch our breath after a busy spring and summer, and to celebrate our wedding anniversary. While there, Jeff and I made a pact to visit at least once a year from now on.

I need to tell you about some of the places we went.

If you ever need a take-no-prisoners romantic, romantic, romantic meal, please make a reservation at les Heritiers. The food will live on in my memory for the rest of my life. I lucked out by grabbing a perfect Cote du Rhone from the dépanneur near our hotel – the restaurant is a BYOW (bring your own wine) and the wrong wine could have diminished the experience. Probably the most seamlessly perfect evening out ever – perfect service, food, hell, even the other diners were perfect too. It was like being in our own little world for the evening. Like being in a movie or something. THAT good.  You will get lucky that night. You’ll notice that I keep using the word perfect. That’s because it was. Perfect. I almost don’t want to tell anyone about the place. But I’ll tell you.

Jardin Nelson was the only place worth going (imho) in Old Montreal – very pretty, very touristy, but they make a mean Kir Royale and I got quite tipsy. Food was good, but the bill got expensive very fast – we had just arrived and went there right after the long drive and checking in to the hotel.

L’Express is really buzzy right now and if you’re in the mood for a bustling Parisian bistro, this is the place. Don’t expect to have a quiet conversation though. My steak and frites were so-so, but everything else was fantastic. The appetizers could have been meals, and it affected my ability to eat my steak. Not BYOW.  They don’t have a website but googling it will give you what you want to know. This was an AskMefi suggestion. More $$ than les Heritiers.

Le Saint Bock – pub on St. Denis
The 3 Brewers WISH they could be this place. I was really tipsy (see above KIR ROYALE) so I had water, but Jeff’s pints were delicious. Two nice men kept stealing glances at me so either I was really drunk, or devastatingly attractive to them. Not sure, but the men of Montreal are a bit more on the gregarious and lascivious side than their Toronto compatriots, which is a nice change for an old married lady like me.

I don’t have to tell you about Schwarz’s. Didn’t have to wait in line – which is a rare thing. That’s twice now. We seem to have a lot of good luck with that place. Walked past a huge lineup on our way out. Tried to keep smug smiles off our faces. Failed.

Ate breakfast at the hotel we stayed at – Auberge Bonaparte – currently #2 rated on TripAdvisor. Very romantic, comfy, free wifi, great cooked-to-order breakfasts, excellent service. If you know anyone looking to celebrate an anniversary or get engaged or get wrapped up in romantic cliches, mention it to them.  No bar fridge, which was a bit of a huh? moment when we arrived but no big deal with at least 2 deps within a stone’s throw. Rooftop terrasse was empty so we stargazed with drinks up there at night. Nice view of Notre Dame which is right around the corner – woke up to church bells.

Marche Jean Talon – kind of rushed through it on our way home unfortunately, but remember resolving that if we ever take a sabbatical and live temporarily in Montreal, that I’d look for an apartment near this market. Wish I had more time to browse and a cooler with an ice pack to bring perishables home.

City vibe=Paris+NYC’s lovechild. But that’s only an approximation. Damn these people know how to live, eat, garden, smoke and drink.

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