Sunday, 4 December 2011

Montreal

The wonders of modern technology are allowing me to blog on the VIA Rail train back to Toronto after an awesome weekend in Montreal.  The purpose of this weekend was to give the stomach a proper workout while catching up with some super fun people in la belle province.  

Our gastro-tour started with breakfast bagels from St-Viateur Bagel in the 'le plateau' area of Montreal, complete with French Pressed coffee and fresh grapefruits.  
Carb-o-licious Goodness
To work up an appetite for our next round of culinary delights, we ran a 13.5K loop up and down Mont Royal on a sunny fall afternoon.  We weren't part of the Running Room's 5K Santa Shuffle, but we saw tons of kids making their way back down the mountain after their race.  Great to see so many people out and active on a sunny Saturday!
The Cross marking the turnaround point on the Mont Royal loop
Post-run snack was homemade sliders with oven-baked potato chips and homemade hummus, with a few beers thrown in during the Canadiens-Kings game.  All of this was just a prelude to the weekend's main course, dinner at Verses Restaurant in Old Montreal, where my good friend from university, Anthony Joyce, is the chef-en-cuisine.
Delicieux.
Our feast included the following:
- Beet salad with caramelized nuts, Ciel de Charlevoix cheese, pickled cucumber and sorrel pesto
- Poutine revisitee with foie gras, aged Quebec cheddar, French anna potatoes and roasted chicken sauce
- Braised sweetbreads with lentils and wild mushrooms
- Seared giant scallop with squash fritter, house bacon, herbed green pea puree and shellfish emulsion
- Bison tartar with crispy root vegetables
- Homemade ravioli stuffed with squash and aged Quebec cheddar, topped with black trumpet mushrooms and port reduction
- Truffle crusted beef tenderloin in a Madeira sauce served with French anna potatoes and seasonal vegetables
- Wild boar loin with chestnut crumble, braised cabbage roll stuffed with Jerusalem artichokes and  spiced apple sauce
- A sampling of all the desserts on the menu.

The aftermath of this consumption massacre was quick onset of the food coma and a very lazy Sunday morning.

Sunday brunch was at Lawrence Restaurant in le plateau - super busy spot, we waited 40 minutes for a table but they call when your table is ready allowing us to prep with cappucinos and caffe lattes at the home of Montreal's best coffee, Cafe Olimpico.  Lawrence makes their own beignes, sugar-coated and stuffed with either chocolate, custard or lemon.  Great start to the meal (we had all three types), I finished brunch off with the English breakfast - fried egg, home fries, sausage, bacon, French bread just soaked in butter, and blood pudding. 

Stomach has been fully worked-out, will likely feel a touch heavy in the pool tomorrow morning but it was well worth it! 

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