It was a busy year on the dining scene for the Montreal Foo Foodie, even though I didn’t get to try more than half the new restos I wanted to try this year; which seems to always be the case. I stayed close to home and went back to lots of my old favourites in town. I visited lots of casual restaurants but not by choice. Not that they do not deserve a worthwhile mention in this piece. I do not feel they were food worthy material and they did not leave me with a lasting impression.
There were also a few restos on my Bucket List that I never got a chance to visit and which closed in 2016, like Les Mas des Olivier. There were so many new restaurants that opened on a monthly basis that my list keeps forever keeps expanding. Budget, money, time constraints and lack of people to dine with is always a factor. It is always a more beneficial experience when you have someone to partake in your fanciful whims and enjoy a convivial meal together. It’s an added perk when a real die-hard foodie, is able to discuss their experience with likeminded people who enjoy the meal as much as they do.
This year I joined a Social Dining group that is has lots of fun ideas. Their choices of places to visit were optimal and made up my roster for the latter part of the year. My budget situation was also remedied this year, although I am still limiting my dining out to minimal levels. Spending only a few thousands of dollars annually this year, which although seems like a good sum of money for a vacation to some, it was my treat to myself and not much really when it replaces weekly food cost and a peace of mind.
I also had plenty of free time to enjoy life and return to my roots. Even if cooking took a backseat this year, I had time in August to visit the markets and make preserves. I went to a Demo Cooking class at Mezza Luna cooking School to learn how to properly can tomatoes for Harvest. I canned Beets, Sauerkraut and hot red peppers this year and have been using them endlessly. I took two mini vacations in Quebec and Vermont this year that centered on food. The first brought me to a lovely Bed & Breakfast in Lac Megantic that gave me some insight on how to run a little Inn and also inspired me on nature’s bounty and how we can use what we have in our back yards to create delicious and healthy meals and also cure our ails.
Vermont always has a plethora of food ideas with their Farm to Table bounty; everything in Vermont has so much flavour, is so much better , the freshest and totally healthy.
I also went to two great food events that I highly recommend to all food lovers. The first was in May at The Saisons Mtl Event-with Marc Alexander Mercier, who privately cooked for us. The Second Event was The Omnivore Tour at The SAT Foodlab, in September, a series of demos by local and international chefs that showcased their special talents.
Of course I continued with my traditional Friday pizza nights and got to try some really good pizzerias that were fun ,exciting and perfection. Asian was high on the list of casual places and I discovered some local restos that merit a return. I got to fulfil many restos that were on my old and new Bucket List and 2017 will be just as successful and well planned out.
So here is my list of worthwhile mentions for 2016 that I sampled :
H4C-Place St Henri-Montreal à Table-November
Maggie Oakes- Old Montreal- Hotel William Gray
Verses- Hotel Nelligan –Old Montreal-HAPPENING GOURMAND-January
Douro-St Laurent-St Edouard
Auberge St. Gabriel- Old Montreal
Pizzeria Caldo- Vieux Rosemont
Pizzeria NO 900-Outremont
Bevo- Old Montreal
Pizzeria Piccante- Dollard des Ormeaux
BEST STEAKHOUSE/GASTRO PUB:
Labarake- Vieux Rosemont
Hoogan & Beaufort-Vieux Rosemont
Mercuri- Four à Bois- Old Montreal
BEST BURGERS/FAST FOOD:
Chez Tousignant-St Edouard
Notre Boeuf de Grace-NDG
Bishop & Bagg-Mile End
Satay Bros- St. Henri
BEST TEA HOUSES/CAFES:
Cardinal Tea Room –Plateau
Chat Noir –Verdun
Juliette & Chocolat-Various Locations
XO Cacao- West Island-Closed
Dupond & Dupont –TMR
Le Bourbon No 89-West Island
Skara- DIX 30
Rotisserie Panama –West Island
WEST ISLAND GEMS:
Guaca Mole- Mexican