Auberge le St Gabriel Restaurant
26 Rue Saint Gabriel/ Sainte Therese
Phone: (514) 878-3561
Cost: $ 267.89 (excluding tip)
Chef Hats: 3.5
A special birthday celebration deserves a special venue. Auberge Le St. Gabriel is just the type of place for that special historian in my life. While doing research on the history of Montreal, she discovered that the Auberge Saint Le Saint Gabriel was the oldest Inn established in Quebec circa 1754. In the 1900 it was restored by Ludger Truteau and renamed Auberge Le St Gabriel. Since that time it has changed owners a many times and today as we know it was purchased a few years back by three iconic Quebecers, Rocker Garou, Guy Laliberte of Cirque du Soleil and Marc Boulay. With talent and resources abound they have managed to change the image of Le Saint Gabriel with the opening of The Velvet club , as not only a historic place to dine, stay and relax, but a trendy spot to celebrate any occasion, from Grand Prix in June to New Years Eve with its cool thematic parties.
In the summer it has a private terrace away from the hustle of the busy streets of Old Montreal, where you can enjoy a quiet dinner or drinks. The Inn is ideal for a staycation, completely renovated; the place takes you to back to bygone era of Nouvelle France with its dark cavernous halls, wood beams and brick walls. The place has a mysterious aura and some say it is haunted, with an actual citing of a ghost on the third floor who walks the reception hall.
I had a difficult time taking any kind of pictures while I was there, it was either too dark or I kept getting shadows of white auras flash across my pictures. Long before I had read and researched the ghost story, I mentioned that evening that I got an eerie feeling and felt the place was haunted. Of course I was dismissed with a few rolling of the eyes; and my comment was totally ignored. We were not going to let a few spirits ruin our evening as it had started out perfectly, by being greeted at the hotel entrance by valet offering to park my car.
This evening we had the privilege of having Coco with us. It is a rare occasion that she blesses us with her presence and it is always a pleasure to have her enjoy a good meal with us.After briefing her on the history of the Auberge, we were greeted by our hospital waitress and seated in Sabrevois Hall; a dark cavernous dining hall which I discovered was re-designed by Bruno Baen who was also the designer for Club Chasse & Peche. The two restaurants look identical; similarities can be found with the dark themed medieval décor, dark leather chairs, heavy wood tables and dark flooring. The massive stone wall back drop and wrought iron turn of the century chandeliers are a recurring theme in both restaurants.
We were brought our menus and wine list immediately. Our friendly yet professional waitress recommended a bottle white Sancerre, 2013, from Loire, France at $ 90.00. I later discovered they were probably pushing the Sancerre which was leftover from a prior event . Nonetheless the wine was good, it was light and crispy, with citrus notes and very refreshing to the palate. Brains really liked it and she chose to go with white this evening, being her special day.
After scanning the menu quickly, it was not difficult to make our choices. It consisted of all our favorites along with many classical French Bistro fare.
We were brought our wine immediately and a wooden boxed bread basket that had a variety of ficelles and sliced baguette. It was refilled continuously throughout dinner without question.
We started with our favorites and our usual Salmon Tartar at $ 14.00 and the Terrine de Foie Gras at $ 16.00. The tartar was fresh and savory, mixed with avocado it hit the spot. The Foie Gras which came served on a slate with a dab of sweet chutney was minimal and a little too chilled, but it did not take long to get it at room temperature. Both were unctuous and very tasty and always a good start to any meal.
For two of our main meals, Brains and Coco ordered a plate of Cavatelli pasta made with ricotta and Rapini for $ 25.00. Coco is quite adept at making this dish and was curious to see if it matched her method. She was surprised to see that the Cavatelli did not resemble anything like the ones she made.
Instead they resembled large gnocchi in lieu of the small sized Cavatelli she is so used too. Also made with a mix of pureed ricotta cheese and rapini, they were green in color. Her dish contained but a few pieces of rapini on the side; not served the typical Italian way, which usually has copious amounts of rapini on top or mixed in with sausage.
Instead they came topped with a schiuma “foam” and slivers of parmesan shavings. Different she thought, but she enjoyed them nonetheless and learned something outside the realm of her typical Italian box. We always enjoy enlightening her and seeing her marvel at different food.
I ordered the Pot au Feu for $ 29.00, which was a big dish for my standards. A little disappointed with my meal as I found it flavorless, but then what did I expect from boiled dinner. I have got to say it not one of my favorites. I like anything with red wine inductions and with more flavors. The consommé was too generic and bland for my liking.
I bet if Eric Gonzalez was still Executive Chef at Le Saint Gabriel, things may have been different with my Pot a Feu, as he would have changed things up a little. But he has since been replaced by Ola Claesson, a native Swede coming from a line of chefs; he has worked in Paris at Meurice and Le Pre Catalan, and has a passion for Quebec Market cuisine and our local products. Therefore my Pot a Feu was as classical as it can get. So I am pleased in this respect that I got to sample it.
For dessert we had a Tourteau au Fromage for $ 12.00 and a Glace Vanille for $10.00 and two short espressos for $ 8.00.
The Tourteau au Fromage, resembled a Boston cream pie filled with mascarpone, with quenelles of vanilla ice cream, compote of fresh strawberry and coulis. The presentation and freshness were good. The vanilla ice cream also resembled the Tourteau platter with a more strawberry compote and strawberry ice cream on a bed of crushed nuts. A little unimaginative I thought. The dessert platters were similar in construction; a little variation was in order.
Overall, I enjoyed the meal and the ambiance. It had become hipper to dine here as it started to fill up with late night patrons. The music got louder and the terrasse filled up with tourists looking for a bite to eat. After our meal we walked around the Velvet and imagined what a New Year’s Party would be like here and vowed to give it a try soon. The mysterious aura would make for a good party, but one thing this Foo-Foodie will say, you would never catch me sleeping here at the Auberge or having an event in the third floor reception hall. I am too superstitious.
4091 Rue Molson/ Rachel
Telephone: (438) 385-3555
Cost: $ 78.88 Tax and tip included
Chef Hats: 4
I had the pleasure this summer of dining out with one of my sister’s friend the Red Headed Vixen.The occasion brought on by delivering a package she had left behind in Vermont to Vieux Rosemont.A little out of the my way, but when she recommended we do lunch at a pizzeria around the corner I jumped at the chance to venture a little further out of my comfort zone.I love eating out with the Vixen as she is well versed and a great connoisseur of fine food. She always dines at the newest and hippest restos; and with her discernable palate she always has the best restaurant recommendations. Her partner also another great foodie indulges in her every whim making them the proverbial couple to hang out with when dining out and trying the latest and the best.
Our lunch date was set at Pizzeria Caldo, a relatively new pizzeria, around the corner from her home. Pizzeria Caldo opened in August 2015 in the old Angus Shop. (You can read about the history of Angus Shops in my review of Labarake). Pizzeria Caldo is the latest project from Daniel Lacombe one of the partners behind the now defunct M sur Masson, who has added to his credentials of late, the incredible Hoogan & Beaufort. One can easily notice upon entering both establishments the similarity in style when it comes to look and set up of space.
Having the benefit of trying both places before their 1st anniversary mark, gave me a better insight on how personal style is reflective of an individuals’ taste. Knowing who the principles are behind a restaurant also familiarizes me with my expectations of what is to come. In the past it took me forever to try some restos to the point that there was almost no value added to dining there; as they were already dépassé. Today I jump at the chance to try new upcoming restos before they have become popular to the masses.
Pizzeria Caldo is not easy to find. It is hidden away in the husk of an old abandoned warehouse behind a grassy knoll on Rachel Street. The easiest access is to park in the lot on Molson st. and walk around the exterior on the front of the building. Very cachée from traffic, it boasts a wonderful terrace with its huge red umbrellas, making it is a private and cozy affair in summer.
The facade boasts floor to ceiling glass windows all around and red brick exterior. Once inside the décor is modern chic, with a warehouse feel to it with its tall ceilings, metal and wood themes and open kitchen. The space is large and airy and can get noisy with the influx of dinners. The space is well managed and simplistic. The ambiance is décontracte, cool and relaxed.
The menu is classic Italian. The table hote does not only consists of pizza but Italian specialties such as pastas, risottos and entrees like burrata, Carpaccio and grilled octopus all at reasonable prices. The pizzas are cooked in wood ovens and are topped with freshest of local ingredients. You will not get bored with the plethora of choices some very original in concept. The daily lunch menu has special pizzas created for the day that are not usually found on the regular lunch menu; this was the case the day we visited.
What is really cool about Pizzeria Caldo is its warm and unpretentious atmosphere, where you can sit at the bar alone or come in a group or have a little tète a tète with that special someone. Lunch can get busy with the local work crowd coming in for a quick bite, so reservations are a must at any time.
Lunchtime also means a special lunchtime menu where you can have your choice of pizza and salad and a glass of wine for $5.00. Today we chose a grilled vegetable pizza for $ 15.95 which came with a Tuna Tatami on a bed of arugula and marinated radishes. The Tuna Tatami was delicious and included with the price of the pizza. Not bad for starters, along with a glass of white wine for $ 5.00 which I did not note the name of, but found it refreshingly light and not overly sweet or dry, just perfect with our entrée of salad and our main meal.
The second pizza ordered came topped with pulled pork meat from pork cheeks, marinated jalapenos and goat cheese; this also came with a Tuna Tatami salad for $16.95. The pizzas were well cooked, crispy on the ends and the underside but thicker in quality than many Neapolitan pizzerias that claim authenticity. The toppings and flavor are fresh and agreeable. This place is for you if you like a harder crust pizza. I found the thickness just perfect as I detest paper thin pizza. I love the smokiness of a wood burning oven and the taste it yields, and I prefer a pizza that is thicker and chewier. But this is subjective as we all have our own preferences. Just don’t give me generic pizza.
For dessert I had the strawberry cake with a short espresso for $ 9.75. A mound of deconstructed cake on the bottom, topped with crème fraîche and slices of fresh strawberries. It was delightfully good, not too sweet and very appetizing and refreshing for a hot summer day. Vixen had her slice of creamy unctuous tarte au chocolat for $ 7.00 which she could not resist, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles of crunchy praline. She enjoyed it immensely and got her fix for the day.
Service was to the point, attentive and fast but professional. Our waiter must have thought that we needed to get back to work. Instead we were women of leisure for the day. I truly enjoyed my time at Pizzeria Caldo; it changed the ideas in my head. We also managed to talk business and both Vixen and I got some insight on how we can advance our careers. Maybe, we could turn our passions into a business, which would be grand. On second thought, we would be GRANDE, especially eating out for lunch on a daily basis.
If left to our own demise we would have stayed and ordered everything on the menu, lingered on the terrace all day and night, and just kept eating. The mood was just so intoxicating. This is just what type of place Pizzeria Caldo is.
Le Mam’zelle Pub Bistro
382 Rue Principale O,
Magog, QC J1X 2A9
Phone: (819) 769-8665
Cost: $ 46.28 (tax & tip included)
Chef Hats: 3.5
With the summer over and the weather well into fall, there is no reason that on a nice day we cannot squeeze in some more great days of good weather by day tripping to the out skirts of Montreal to spend a day in the country. We did just that a few weekends ago to sample some of the fall activities being offered in the Eastern Townships. As always we worked up quite an appetite and stopped for lunch in the town of Magog. While walking around shopping we decided to look for a place to eat. We stumbled across a pub which had a pretty interesting menu that we were in agreement with. It was pretty late in the afternoon, but they were open so we took a chance and walked in.
Mam’zelle Pub, meaning Miss in French was coined by one of the owner Roxanne, whose previous job as a waitress had patrons calling her mademoiselle to get her attention, the adage stuck and as she found herself out of work, decided on opening her own place and called it as thus.
The pub is a cozy, family run business which is owned by the Lemay clan, which comprises of two sisters Roxanne and Anick and their mother Diane Lemay, who is a third partner and investor. Anick Lemay as some may recognize the name is a popular French Canadian actress from local TV series and a Quebec movie called Frisson des Collines (2011), a story of a girl from Quebec who goes to Woodstock to see her idol Jimmy Hendrix.
Mam’Zelle is a friendly place, with its eclectic décor and photos of the Lemay clan on the walls. It is filled with different artworks and artifacts that were purchased here and there by the owners. The pub can be classified as rustic in aspect with the large deer head that dominates the room, the green tapestry walls and its recycled wood bar stools and tables. But the place has character and the food although labeled a pub, is also very bistro in feel and very gourmet with some of the food choices listed on the menu.
Foodies can enjoy the likes of Salmon & Beef Tartar, as well as crème brûlée au foie gras. Food items sound like typical pub food, but rest assured they are not created as such. Mam’zelle dishes are executed better than most typical pubs and are beautifully presented. Most dishes a very health conscious and super tasty. We were blown away by the presentation and amazed at the taste of the food. I considered it a real gem, hidden in the hills of the Eastern townships.
On this day we sampled the BLT at $ 10.00 which was not a sandwich but an entrée of tomato layered with melted Mozzarella and bacon on a bed of arugula and topped with micro greens.The entrée was simply delicious and totally healthy, perfect for those with gluten intolerances and an ingenious way of serving a BLT with a modern twist. The dish was refreshing, the tomato was cold, yet the cheese was warm and melted, the bacon gave it the perfect saltiness and crunch. At the base of the dish surrounding the layered tomato was a little arugula, large croutons and streams of balsamic vinegar complimenting the rest of the dish and turning it into a plus salad.
I sampled the Fish and Chips at $ 19.00, a decent price for two thick slabs of haddock dipped in a beer batter and served with a generous portion of frites with skins on, and a coleslaw made of avocado and mint , topped with micro greens and an accompaniment of tartar sauces.
The fish was tender and tasty and the coleslaw was nothing like I ever tasted before. It was so refreshing and appeasing to the senses. The fries could have been crisper but they were okay. We topped our meals with two iced teas at $ 3.00 each.
The pub was a quiet respite for being on the road and we really enjoyed our lunch here, the feeling was comforting and the service very “chalereux”.
Mam’zelle serves true comfort food and we have bookmarked it as a place to return to try other items on the menu.
3721 Notre Dame O. /Bourget
Montréal, QC H4C 1P8
Phone: (514) 933-3507
Cost: $ 62.35 (for two with tax & tip included)
Chef Hats: 3.5
Ever since I tasted the steamed pork buns at The Satay Bros stall at Atwater market three years ago, during my usual Sunday morning visits to the markets; I fell in love with Singapourian/Malaysian food. More specifically, I fell in love with the flavors that the Satay Bros. inspired and were creating in their small open stall located at the end of the market.
I knew it had to be good when I saw the amount of people that had congregated in front of the food stand. The surrounding picnic tables in front of the kiosk were full of patrons slurping delicious coconut milk laced Laksa Soups, and devouring small pocket of pork steamed buns infused with cucumber and coriander.
I stopped and sampled the Pork buns and since then I have been craving and dreaming of delicious Steamed Pork Buns and counting them in my sleep. Three years has been a long wait and I have been meaning to return with Brains who I knew would appreciate the food but fate only allowed me the chance now.
Meanwhile the Satay Bros. had become so popular that Alex and Mat Winnicki decided to open a second location in January 2015 at 3721 Notre-Dame St. W., a few blocks from Atwater Ave. in St-Henri.
It is not often these days that I am in the area, so I took the opportunity this year after our weekend getaway in the Eastern Townships to stop for dinner, after being stuck in traffic for hours and having to navigate another route home. I ended up passing through St Henri and suggested we stop for dinner.
Brains and I were not surprised to see that the place was very busy and bustling. We however managed to get a seat at the counter right in front of the cooks who were preparing the steamed pork buns. I was pleased as I love to watch and being in the crux of the action. Our little spot was the coolest place to sit as we were able to people watch and got special attention and fantastic service.
We started with Steamed Pork Buns for $9.99, two steamed buns with crispy sautéed pork belly, copious amounts of coriander and cucumber in light vinaigrette of rice vinegar.
Brains ordered the Gado Gado for $8.99 a plate of assorted vegetables like green beans, bean sprouts tofu and ramen noodles in Satay sauce. She loved the flavors and especially the sauce.
Only, it was not enough so we ordered another round of Steamed Pork Buns to satisfy our cravings and get our fill till the next time we were around here.
What Brains and I enjoyed the most about this location of The Satay Bros was the festive atmosphere. The place is not pretentious and appeals to the millennial crowd which makes it hip and cool. Decorated in red with red and white walls and Chinese paper lanterns, it may seem kitschy to some but it is vibrant and fun.
Hoogan & Beaufort
4095 Molson St. (Angus Yards)
Cost: $ 135.67 for two
Chef Hats: 4
Summer has come and gone; the warm weather is waning and the hot summer days and terrace weather days are numbered. If weather not permitting, the warmth of a pub is so comforting and Hoogan and Beaufort with it fire pit kitchen is the perfect place. Falling into the category of Gastro pub, it is always optimal inside and out when comfort food is in check. Garnishing great reviews of late, I would classify it a notch or more above just a regular pub.
Set in Rosemont in the trendy area surrounding Angus yards it gets its name from the original owners who used to own the farmland before Canadian Pacific Railway purchased the property. Enter Marc-André Jetté (a class act) and Sommelier William Saulnier of Restaurant Les 400 Coups fame, who in December 2015 opened Hoogan and Beaufort on the same spot all while paying homage to its agricultural past and the buildings history. Furthermore, the space was revamped by none other Alexander Baldwin of Dominion Square Tavern, all while incorporating recycled products from the old shipyards.
Well thought out in process, this is evident in the decor as soon as you enter. The place has a trendy buzz with its industrial look. One can’t help but notice the high ceiling with wood beams, the large windows and open kitchen concept and central bar. The decor is modest yet modern in a way. Seating is comfortable, lines clean and unfussy. What is awesome for the patrons of Hoogan and Beaufort is definitely its kitchen and its fire pit. Strategically placed at the center of the room you can watch the staff creating their lovely gastronomic dishes that incorporate local products and ingenious creations of dishes with the most original of ingredients. The show itself can keep you inspired for hours.
Service here is excellent, impeccably professional, solicitous and accommodating. The restaurant caters to people with allergies; as well their dishes are free of nitrates and nuts, a big plus for those who have severe food allergies. The staff is very knowledgeable when it comes to the menu and wine list.
Saulnier has compiled an extensive and original wine list, with a great selection of local and European imported beers as well. They serve great wines by the glass at reasonable prices and the classic refined digestifs to please any palate. All are a must try.
The menu is something else; it reads more like a fancy French bistro than a pub. If you are a table of 8 or more, they suggest a menu degustation at $ 65.00 all around. Otherwise you can choose a la carte. Be warned they do not serve complimentary baskets of bread, if bread is desired with the meal you will have to purchase their Focaccia Brulée et Beurre for $ 3.00; but it is well worth it.
Hoogan & Beaufort is for those traditional foodies who appreciate good food in a cool hip environment. It is not a typical hungry man pub, or for those with very big appetites. The portions are small, but the quality and reasonable prices are fair and balances things out.
The food is fantastic. All items sampled were very tasty, flavourful and outright delicious. For entrée we had the Tataki de Cerf de Boileau, with Oignon Vert Grille, armillaire de Miel, raifort cresson tournesol for $ 17 00. Five generous slices topped with tiny mushrooms and watercress. Beautifully presented, it was very tender and not at all gamy.
For seconds we had two pasta dishes the Agnoletti au fromage frais, carotte, Yuzu Kosho, & coppa for $14.00. The Agnoletti were filled with fresh cheese, the carrot sauce was deliciously creamy The prescribed coppa looked more like strips of regular bacon than salt cured ham , but then it is hard to tell sometimes, the texture was interesting and a winning combination with the pine nuts and Yuzu broth.
The second pasta dish sampled, was the Garganelli au Canard Confit et Chevre Noir for $15.00. These were just as good yet different in taste & texture. Mixed with pieces of duck confit, crispy chicken skin and Chinese artichokes and chevre noir cheese all mixed in to create an even deeper flavor.
My partner had the bouillabaisse. This was fine but not the typical dish as it lacked the broth that he is so typically accustomed too when eating this fishy stew. We are used to seeing a red tomato sauce, but these came with a green sauce, obviously made out of sort of greens. The origins unknown in this case.
Our friends shared the Magret de Canard de la Ferme La Canardiere for two at $60.00.They loved the dish and thought it excellent; the duck was really tender and not fatty at all. They could have had second portions and felt it just was not enough.
Dessert taken was a Chocolate au lait with Poire meringue an l’érable and a crumble of cacao for $ 9.00, totally decadent and shared by two with good coffee and a digestif of chartreuse for the ladies and whisky and scotch for the guys. It was a great end to a great meal and lots of great conversation, laughs and showmanship experienced by all. We had such a good time we wanted to stay till the wee hours of the morning.
Saisons Mtl Event-May 09, 2016
Held at: Le Tulipier Fleuriste
438 St-Pierre, Old Montreal, Québec
Chef: Marc Alexander Mercier Chef-Hotel Herman
Cost: $ 105.00 plus tax
At the beginning of this year as I was reading the Life section the Montreal Gazette on a Saturday morning and came across an article written by Susan Semenak about a new dinner series that had begun last fall, organized by food blogger Mayssam Samaha –Will Travel for Food. She started planning local seasonal food events in Montreal, showcasing some of this city’s young and upcoming local chefs; who were cooking their speciality dishes in a private setting in different venues throughout the city.
For those who know of the blog, you are familiar with Mayssam and her writings, for those who are not familiar, let me just mention that her body of work is exceptional. Having won many awards, she is a seasoned professional and perfectionist and so are her events. Never an easy task to organize any type of event, hers are a breath of fresh air every time and totally educational. All die hard foodies must apply and experience one of these events at least once or over and over again in their foodie lifetime.
I had the privilege this May to experience the spring dinner after coming out of my winter hibernation. Having signed up immediately after seeing the article I grabbed the last ticket. The fall season event is next Monday Sept 26, but has been sold out months in advance, so you must sign up for her newsletter at http://www.saisonsmtl.com and get first digs within 24 hrs of posting.
What we know about the event firsthand is the name of the chef who will be cooking privately for you that evening. The venue is a surprise and is usually announced in the coming weeks before the event. Don’t fret the venues are well thought out and traditional of the season.
On this particular evening I headed out to Old Montreal to discover the venue was being held in a florist shop appropriately called Le Tulipier. How best to honour the spring season with none other than tulips. In the center of the shop sat a long table seating about a dozen people. The table setting was gorgeous with white tablecloths, white tulips and hydrangeas all the appropriate table accouterments.
Beforehand we were asked to purchase and bring wine to the event, we were given hints to what was required, and the rest was at our discretion. The menu was a secret to the guests and we had to explain why and what we had chosen in terms of wine. It’s all very casual and a real learning curve.
Upon entering you are greeted by the hostesses, Janice & Mayssam. You are urged to find your place setting at the table. A brief introduction and conversations ensued with my dining partners, and I discovered that we were all likeminded foodies who had a real passion for food. To my surprise I met some old neighbourhood friends there by chance and felt content in my discovery that over the years they had developed a taste for fine cuisine like me and appreciated gourmet food events.
It truly is a small world as I also had the pleasure of meeting Susan Semenak.
Her knowledge on food is extensive, offering insight on foraging garlic in Quebec and Vermont. I felt like I was getting a lesson from Mother Nature herself. The evening was so uplifting and refreshing and when the food started to arrive I was totally flabbergasted at the masterpieces presented to us. Local food products so melded in different textures that I could never have imagined and I cannot ever replicate. Cooking from two burners Marc Alexander Mercier blew us totally out of the water by spinning magic. Voted Young gun by Eater in 2015 he is a total perfectionist but yet ever so humble and now I understand why.
Our first serving and introduction to this marvellous meal was an amuse bouche of Crème fraîche, smoked pickerel eggs -bottarga-style and paired with Veuve Clicquot & Prosecco.
2nd course: Lobster, lobster coral, lobster consommé, raw and cooked Jerusalem artichokes .Pairing: Viognier 2014.
4th course: Lamb confit, sheep yogurt, chamomile, crispy buttermilk, herbs
Pairing: Côte du Rhône Les Cranilles 2014.
Dessert: Gelified goat milk yogurt, goat milk skin crackers, lavender emulsion, and pistachios .Pairing: Muscat de Rivesaltes.
I will not go into elaborate details about every dish. I just want to mention that each dish out did the other. Each awed and inspired, each perfectly executed and paired. Everything was to everyone’s liking; ambiance, décor, food and venue choices. Amazement and questions ensued after every dish and when it all ended Marc Alexander came to talk to us to get our feedback and we got a little insight at what makes him so dedicated.
Kudos! To a great evening and to Marc Alexander Mercier, Mayssam, Janice and the guests for your successful event and a good interesting evening shared by all.
This is one to add to your agendas and not to be missed.
Bishop & Bagg
52 Rue Saint Viateur O. / Clarke
Phone: (514) 277-4400
Cost-$ 68.15 (excluding tip)
Chef Hats: 3.5
There are three things this foodie likes. One is going to a place that has an interesting story/history. Places that are different in concept or design with a specific idea in mind and places that have created such a media buzz that people flock to it. Bishop and Bagg fall into all three categories.
A few times a year I crave the comfort and hominess of a pub. As a student I always found I could walk into a pub, strike up a decent conversation with the barman, eat some good grub and hang out for a few hours. It was definitely my comfort zone and Bishop & Bagg is definitely one of these places. Since its opening in 2014, it’s been on my bucket list for my annual pub crawl. I like going around early spring or fall, when the weather is just about right to sit outdoors or the weather is starting to get cold and the warmth inside is soothing,
What I like about Bishop and Bagg is that it is full of soul and comes very close to a traditional British pub right here at home in the heart of Mile End district. It is a fun and cool place to hang out and is not just for the locals. You can spot people from all over and some media personalities too, as we did on this day. The service, hospitality and warmth of the staff is great and they make you feel right at home. No pretentiousness here.
Bishop & Bagg is the latest venture by the guys behind Burgundy Lion Pub in St Henri, (Toby Lyle, Jean Michel Creusot, Paul Desbaillets, Will Allen & Steven Owen). It has all the winning formulas and more. The pub’s name is coined after the first Bishop of Montreal circa 1840 and Bagg a famous landowner in the Mile End district about the same era. More can be read about Bishop & Bagg on their website which a brief synopsis describing the mark they left on our city.
Bishop & Bagg Chef Pelo Tsavoussis has created food that fits the warmth and comfort of a rural English Pub. The menu changes constantly but you can find on their menu such items as Ploughman’s Lunch, Cornish Hens, Lamb Kebabs, BSB Rarebit, Bagg Burger, and Pork Belly & Bangers & Mash. Typical English fare with their special twist. Call it “Gastro pub” if you like, but they do not like appreciate the connotation; “it’s more likely really good home comfort food”.
They also have as a good repertoire of spirits, cocktails and beer, a must try is their Burgundy Lion Ale for $10.00 or Okanogan Spring for $ 6.96 which was sampled on this visit.
We started with the Lamb Kebabs for $13.00, which came folded into two thick pita pockets, these were really good, the lamb meat had the right blend of flavors and spices, it came with an iceberg salad that was a little too bland for this dish, a little more greens would have been suffice .
The Jerk Chicken for $ 16.00 had the right amount of fire and heat but our dinner guest was not impressed. I think it was more a matter of taste and expectations than the real food as it tasted authentic, The Bishop & Bagg burger with cheese for $ 12.00 was delicious and very good, a large quarter pound of beef with fixings and a creamy potato salad with slivers of red onion and pickle ,perfect with the beer.
Everything sampled was up to par and above standard typical pub food. We could not ask for anything more except maybe more free beer, as we would and could have sat in the sun all day on the terrace people watching and talking.
Bishop & Bagg Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info – Zomato
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