Isn’t Food Beautiful? – Food from our urban balcony garden

There is nothing more satisfying than cooking with food that was picked just moments earlier, steps from your own back door.

Here are some shots of a few plants we’ve managed to grow this summer. All the of the ones below were grown from seed, except for the purple basil.

flowering cilantro, with the hopes of harvesting coriander seeds

flowering cilantro, with the hopes of harvesting coriander seeds

rainbow swiss chard

rainbow swiss chard

green leaf lettuce

green leaf lettuce

sage leaf

sage leaf

italian & purple basil

italian & purple basil

Maple Cranberry Chicken & The Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival

Now that spring is here, I have come down with what I will call a case of “winter amnesia”. It’s a state of mind where once we reach spring, all memories of the recent season become repressed…perhaps as a coping mechanism. It feels … Continue reading

Montreal: I’m Still Full.

This is a long post.

What a weekend. I wouldn’t normally post about a getaway, but this trip to Montreal for our one year anniversary ended up being extremely ‘food-centric’. We unintentionally planned our entire itinerary around when and what we were going to eat.  My tastebuds were not disappointed and I was truly impressed with the offerings. We did quite a bit of research for where we were going to eat, which is necessary. There are a lot of amazing places to eat, but there are also a lot of places that, as my wise friend Laura suggested, are merely capitalizing on their real estate.

We stayed in the Plateau Mont-Royal, which I am so pleased about. It was removed from the tourist vibe and we could just enjoy the charm of Montreal. We ended up staying in two places (a story for another time), The Auberge de la Fontaine on Rue Rachel and at a loft that we booked through AirBnB close to Mont-Royal – an awesome experience!

Okay, the food.

Hachoir

This was our first meal on Friday. We started the evening by walking around Rue Rachel and Rue St. Denis; this little number was on the corner with the windows open. I saw a girl with a burger on a wooden platter and I knew this was where we would be for dinner.

I had “Le Jean-Guy”, which is a bison burger with old cheddar, bacon, arugula and a tomato-raisin mayonnaise. When I read the menu I presumed it was a “sundried tomato mayo”, which it very well could have been…but there were raisins. It was amazing.

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Andrew had “Le Penache” which was a venison burger with cheddar and BBQ sauce. It was juicy and super flavourful. Oh, and did I mention the onion rings?

 

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What really made these burgers for me was the bun. It had a blistered top, was soft but sturdy and completed the whole experience. The fries were excellent as well!

The burgers are on the pricier side, but the meat is ground in house and the ingredients are quality.

Boulangerie Kouign-Amann

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We truly benefited from having a friend who lived in Montreal. There are tonnes of bakeries and pastry shops and I would have felt cheated if I left the city not having discovered this one. I knew it was going to be good when our host Dominique (who is a baker) recommended it, despite there being a closer option!

We went twice during our weekend stay and were never disappointed. We got a cheese croissant, a croissant ‘croque monsieur’ style, a regular croquet monsieur, and almond croissant and the most delicious raspberry juice. I cannot recommend this darling place enough!!!

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Schwartz

Schwartz is one of those places that you just need to go to when you visit Montreal. It is iconic to Rue St. Laurent and has some pretty kickin’ brisket to top it off.  We split a sandwich because, as you can tell, it’s a lot of meat. We were nervous when we saw the line out the door, but that line is only if you want to dine in. There is a takeout option, which we opted for, and dined in one of the many green spaces the Plateau had to offer.

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Banquise

Poutine.  A must eat in Montreal. I was recommended to visit this place for their poutine and wasn’t disappointed! We ordered and split “La Classique” The curds were just as squeaky as you could ever want. I could have probably halved the gravy, but go big or go home.

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Dolcetto&Co

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This was one of the best meals I have ever had. It was so beautiful. This restaurant is located in Old Montreal, on Saint-Paul Ouest. If you’ve been down to this area, you know that there are A LOT of restaurants. This nautical themed ‘Italian tapas’ restaurant stood out to us. We sat at the bar which allowed us to watch all the food being made by the talented cooks. Everything was made fresh with such precision and care – it made the food even more delicious.  We ordered 4 things off the menu to share: a caprese with burrata, gnocci with a truffle cream sauce, the calzone with duck confit and mushrooms, and a pizziette with prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella and spinach. They didn’t all come out together, which I really liked since it allowed us to enjoy each one individually. I don’t think I will forget this meal anytime soon.

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So there you have it. We did do other things on our weekend getaway that didn’t involve food, such as Bixi-ing and hiking…but that is for another time. Hopefully this post guides your belly on your next adventure to Montreal.