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Entries in Old Montreal (4)

Wednesday
Mar212012

Communion

Past and present collide at Communion, the old Montreal restaurant that has recently become one of my new favourites for brunch in the city. Housed on the corner of Place Royale and de la Commune, the old stone interior received an industrial-meets-oriental update with a gorgeous new brass bar, tobacco toned leather seating, and a beautifully illuminated emerald tiled wall, complete with two large-scale Tretchikoff prints depicting his most famous muse, the Chinese girl, who surveys the space. 

Although the cool new interior (including communal bathrooms that are not to be missed) is a huge draw, the brunch at this restaurant is what has kept me coming back since its inauguration not long ago. Based on a communal style meal (think Cabane a Sucre), a table of two or more will choose from one of the four brunch options, which then come to share. The Classique ($18 per person) offers a classic, Montreal style brunch, with a heaping portion of maple baked beans and braised ham in a cast iron skillet, alongside perfectly scrambled eggs with chives and potatoes, fresh fruit and pancakes. Other options include the Cosmopolitan ($19), which features an egg-in-the-hole St. Viateur bagel topped with bubbling local cheddar, gravlax, and salad on the side, or the Sante($16) which contains nutbread pudding, buttermilk crepes, and amazing almond milk oatmeal made from homemade granola, peach, and whipped coconut cream. Just last weekend, I devoured the Almost eggs benedict($20) which included poached eggs on a bed of carmelized onion and sides of goat cheese, duck confit, and watercress. All brunches come with a large shot of freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee, and in case you are joined by an indecisive group of friends, small plates can be ordered separately a la carte.

Restaurant Communion   |   135 Rue De La Commune Est   |   Montreal, QC H2Y 2V2   |  

(514) 937-6555

www.facebook.com/restaurant.communion

Communion on Urbanspoon

Sunday
Dec112011

Le Gros Jambon Diner

photo: Riccardo Cellere

Given its short existence of only three weeks, news about Le Gros Jambon has picked up with dizzying speed. But when you go, its not hard to imagine why; as this small, charming little resto takes you back to a vintage era when diners - and the greasy, comfort food they provided - were at their height.

If you're expecting run-of-the-mill diner food, don't be fooled by the vintage frigidaire; Le Gros Jambon has been brought to us by the owners of L'Orignal, who, by reputation alone, know good food. The first time I went, I tried their Pumpkin pancakes, which felt both seasonal and rich, coming served with bubbling bacon caramel for a sweet finish. Meanwhile, my boyfriend took on the seasoned eggs benedict, coated with an herbed hollandaise sauce and finished with a biscuit of coursely grated parmesan to give it added dimension. 

photo: Riccardo CellereThis weekend, I tried their fat french toast, which featured a festive eggnog batter and a large dollop of rich apple cinnamon sauce, with slices of pomegranate seeds, mango and home-made granola on the side. And of course, I was delighted when my breakfast partner (who wasn't too pleased when I cut his sleep in time by half by forcing him out of bed) was impressed to find crunchy fried chicken and waffles on the menu, the most perfect salt-filled guilty pleasure to sink your teeth into after a long night out.

 

Le Gros Jambon Diner   |   286 Notre Dame West (between St. Pierre and St. Alexis)   |   Montreal, QC   |   H2Y 2N7   |  

(514) 508-3872

Website under construction 

 Le Gros Jambon on Urbanspoon

 

Photos I + III from the very talented Riccardo Cellere, whose website you can visit here: Montreal photographer Riccardo Cellere.

 

Sunday
Feb072010

Olive + Gourmando

Located on the corner of Rue St. Pierre and Rue St. Paul, Olive + Gourmando is one of those charming corner cafés and bakeries, serving up some of the best breads and pastries in the city. Famous for their brownies and renowned for their brioche*, it's the perfect Saturday spot to indulge in a little comfort sugar. I myself skip over there every weekend to grab a scone ($3) (Ohhh cherry ginger scone, I love you...) and a latté, though they are currently experimenting with different coffee companies in an effort to find the perfect, socially conscious brand, so don't be surprised if you find a slight variation in the beans between visits. 

*If you are in want of pure decadence, try the Brioche érable + pacanes ($3.75), its fantastic.

If pastries won't suffice and you are in want of something more substantial for brunch, try their Poached Egg on Your Face ($8.95), a cheese, prosciutto and poached egg concoction sandwiched between their house bio bread.

Olive + Gourmando also serves up lunch fare throughout the week, and is a popular destination for all the trendy design and marketing types that work in the area. Try either their cajun chicken, cuban or goat cheese panini ($9.95) or their salad du jour, which is always tasty. 

 

Olive + Gourmando   |   351 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest   |   Montreal, QC   |   H2Y 2A7   |   (514) 350-1083   |

http://www.oliveetgourmando.com/

Note: Only open for brunch on Saturdays (closed Sundays)

Note: Only accept cash and debit.

Olive Et Gourmando on Urbanspoon

Saturday
Aug152009

Le Cartet

During Montreal winters, women like me transform from glass-half-full girls to more glass-of-vodka-quite-empty types. Mother Nature doesn’t allow us to be fashion forward; even if we have beautiful coats in our closets, we experience the temptation of wearing ugly puffy parkas.

 

During these cold months, some courageous types even take to the ice covered sidewalks in heels, while others (like me) who lack toned core muscles (me) and have had their fair share of humiliating tumbles (like me at a busy intersection at the busiest time of day) don’t see this as a viable option. Nothing seems right. Every outfit...ugly.

 

This is where Le Cartet comes in. It quickly became my second home last winter due to their knack for kicking up a fabulous brunch. I can't explain it...I just felt happy there; it made all my winter blues go away. 

The room is industrial chic (white washed exposed brick walls and textural subway tiles compliment the communal wooden tables that span the length of the restaurant) and the food is excellent. If you prefer savoury to sweet, try their carnivore pleaser Le brunch des Cantons, a bacon and eggs style concoction cooked to perfection in a cast-iron skillet. On the other hand, Le Brunch Sante (yogurt with granola, fig and cheese, two poached eggs dressed up on organic bread) is the perfect choice for any health nut, while Le Brunch Sucre is amazing for a sweet tooth. While the menu contains many more lighter options, I highly recommend any of the above, which come with freshly squeezed orange juice (or mimosas!), coffee, and fresh fruit.

Although it is now summer and I’m at le Cartet less, I still go quite often and am content to wait in their perennially long lineups for a table. Luckily, the boutique alimentaire in the front of the restaurant provides a lot to look at while you wait, and the staff are friendly so you really don’t mind.

Cartet is also open for lunch and dinner throughout the week and have an excellent take out selection within the boutique. Try their salmon tartar or their cheese platter for a light dinner for one with wine. Both are an easy, fresh solution for anyone on the go.

 

 

Le Cartet   |   106 Rue McGill   |   Montreal, QC, H2Y 2E5   |

(514) 871-8887

Le Cartet on Urbanspoon