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Posts posted by onionbreath

  1. Not quite India... but there are at least 5 decent Japanese Restuarants in Colombo, Sri Lanka. There is a lot of fresh tuna, and a big serving of sashimi is around $5.00. Nothing artistic or innovative, just authentic simple food.

    If you are travelling from the Americas stop in Tokyo on your way to India and go to the central fish market and have the world's best sashimi right there.

  2. Barbados is really small with great public transportation so you can eat anywhere at anytime.

    Sunday lunch buffets are great. Ask at your hotel for the current favourites. Friday nights there is a large gathering at Oistin's with about 25 stalls serving fresh fish. In a pinch there is an islandwide chain called Chefette's that makes good roti. Try a ham cutter, sliced ham on a hard roll with hot sauce @ the public market in Bridgetown.

  3. Could not agree more. I am a big fan of Union's coffee but their retail machine prices are over the top. I view it like a Software/Firmware/Hardware situation with the coffee as the software, the service as the firmware and the machine and grinder as the hardware. You often need different suppliers!

    So our hardware/firmware comes from the Daily Grind in Albany at great prices, our software from Union, Mocha Joe's in Brattelboro Vt. and occasional Gerard Van Houtte blends.

    Our Ranciliio Sylvia and Rocky are basic and very reliable. Am going to wait a year or 2 before buying new hardware.

  4. Am gearing up (and salting away) to buy a new espresso machine. While sticker shock is a common occurence here in la belle province, especially for heat exchanger and two-boiler machines, I think I've just run across the jaw-droppingest price of all.

    The QuickMill Eliane is a single-boiler, non-heat exchanger machine with the coveted E61 grouphead.

    Current price at 1st Line: US$699. Estimated price for delivery to your Montreal doorstep (including foreign exchange, shipping, duty and GST/QST): C$1,000–C$1,100.

    Current price at Café Union in Montreal's Little Italy: C$1,795. Price including GST/QST but excluding delivery: C$2,066.

    In other words, we're talking double the price to buy the machine from a local merchant. The strange thing is that the Eliane's big sister, the QuickMill Andreja, a bigger machine with a heat exchanger and a dedicated hot-water wand, lists for a mere C$200 more at Café Union. C$1,995 almost seems like a bargain, until you notice that 1st Line has the same machine for US$995.

    Will someone please make the case that local espresso machine retailers aren't taking us to the cleaners, that you wouldn't be a fool to buy an Eliane from Café Union? Haven't local merchants heard of the Internet? Why do they seem intent on pushing us to take our business and dollars out of province?

  5. First of all we had eaten at the original Uigher Resto on Sherbrooke O. in NDG about 10 times. At the time there were appr. 30 Uighers in Montreal and they were there always, whole families looking straight out of a Genghis Khan photo shoot. They were really nice people, proud and independent and made insane homemade noodles served with broths and little stuffed raviolis served with yogurt. They lasted about 18 months I think and we were sad to see them go.

    We went to Arzou Express in May, 3 people with a bottle of premium sake. They let us drink it and we let the waitress (owner I think) order for us. The meal was just about everything on the menu served for three and culminating wiith a whole chicken fricasse with vegetables. We ran up a $120.00 bill which left us speechless but of course it was our fault.

    We ate an enormous amount of soups, noodles, salads, meat stuffed pasteries and the chicken. All was adequate, fresh ingredients and homemade. But the Uighers are herders and traders, not agrarian so there is it not a great variety of vegetables or seasonality to the cuisine. The food is not heavily seasoned but does have some nice flavours and textures.

    The restaurant has been Turkish, Tamil, Phillipino, Vietnamese over the past 10 years and this is the best food to come out of that kitchen. It is family owned and deserves community support.

  6. how did you arrive at the $125 per person price? from your 'review' i guess there was 3 of you

    so your dinner was $375 for 3 persons inluding wines i guesss

    assuming $20 per appetizer, $30 per main, and $10 for dessert, that still leaves a lot unexplained

    how did u arrive at this price?

    Food (3 courses/per person) $60- 70.00 Wine( 1/3-1/2 bottle per person) $ 20.00 Drink $ 10.00 Water $ 3.00 Tax and Tip $15.00 +$15.00= $ 123.00 to $133.00.

    This is with a lower end wine, of course you could splurge.

  7. all you people that say the prices are not cheap, onionbreath + bigorre

    what is cheap for you?

    this is not mcdo or buffet maharaja or peelpub spaghetti $0.99

    this is not one but twoof the best chef in the city and also a famous oyster champion for veryreasonable priced food

    i think onionbreath was in a bad mood that night (drink more wine to be happy next time) or maybe you are another person in montreal that wants to get something more than what they paid and then complain about it after

    in time i think these guys will have a classic like l'express but more montreal not montreal pretending to be paris

    now we are seeing  a trend where great cooks in montreal are trying something new on their own smaller more personal, not trying to compete with new york or toronto or really bigger cities. joe beef is reflecting montreal and i hope it is  new classic. we are luck to have even 2 good restos opening new each year, in my old home of new york there is 2 for each day of the weekend, but here we have a chance to make somehting unique and small and special like montreal


    I am relieved to see a trend towards the smaller, less glitzy style of restaurant. The concept is terrific. That was why we chose to dine at JB in the first place.

    A restaurant on this model has to have a concise and appealing menu of what is fresh and outstanding in the market. That is the only way to offer value to the customer and to justify premium prices. The food can be elaborate or minimalist, modern or classic depending on the chef’s style, but flavors have to come through and ingredients must be of the highest standard. The ingredients were good, but of the many dishes we tried, all lacked the intense or subtle flavors of great food.

    I admit “cheap” was not the right choice of word but lets talk about value here. It was too easy to spend $64.00 and get 12 average oysters and 4 breaded scallops with fries. The chef’s input was to create sauces and quickly deep fry. Both the mignonette with the oysters and the tartar sauce with the scallops were tasteless.

    Does shucking oysters and serving up pre-cooked cold lobster plates define a chef’s cooking abilities?

    To praise the chefs at JB as trendsetting local heroes, “the best in the city” is a bit much at this stage. Menu prices are high and a very limited segment of the population can spend $125+/per person for dinner. At that price point comes expectations of excellence.

  8. Last weekend while walking along Notre Dame I stopped to admire the facade of newcomer Joe Beef. In the window there was an enormous squash resting on a butcher block, next to it a lovely vase of fresh flowers. It looked really inviting. Cozy, low key. I decided to make a reservation not having heard much about the place.

    We dined there last weekend. The place was jam packed.

    Service is super- friendly and gracious. Our waitress recommended the fresh watermelon martini which we found a bit too sweet and not that smooth, a surprising choice for a fall cocktail.

    We tried three appetizers: the beet fennel salad with chevre, fois gras chaud on ginger toast and the highly recommended cape breton oysters which were exclusive to the restaurant.

    The beet salad consisted of large quarters of golden beets, fennel shavings, topped off with a huge dollop of chevre. It was a very generous portion which unfortunately got pretty boring pretty fast. No inspired flavor, not even salt.

    The fois gras on ginger toast could have been great but also failed to please. The foie gras was massive, cool in the center but the problem was with the fried ginger toast, which left a bad aftertaste of gristle.

    The special import oysters were medium sized to large, fresh, served on a bed of ice and had a nice texture but there was no sparkle or sea salty briny taste, very strange.

    The appetizers are not cheap $12-$21, the oysters $31 a dozen.

    Our mains:

    (Halibut, Fried Scallops and Lamb)

    The halibut with marjoram was served piping hot in individual pottery bowls; it was perfectly cooked. The filet was in a broth I can’t recall (cream or yogurt base?) with a hint of marjoram. It was a tad bland and some of our crew found it surprisingly boney for a filet.

    Fried scallops and frites a la fish n’ chips were presented in a cute stainless steel mini bucket. The greaseless pale-looking batter did not adhere to the plump scallops, which meant you could eat either the batter or a naked scallop but you couldn’t eat a “fried scallop.”

    While the rack of lamb was tender and juicy it looked conventional next to its overly sweet fresh mint chutney. The chutney was really quite awful.

    The vegetable sides of romanesco and potatoes were plain looking and seemed an afterthought. The way in which they were presented, squished into small side plates, did not help.

    Dessert was so lame I’d rather not elaborate.

    The evening was not exactly a culinary experience and it was pretty expensive to boot. Again the staff are terrific, no complaints there but the food seems amateurish, almost institutional. Not sure who is in the kitchen.

    Perhaps its just growing pains, let’s hope so. It sure doesn’t leave one with the impression that there is a discerning chef at the wheel.

  9. Except for Malawry's post noone else has commented on Hank's. Wondering if its worthwhile. Also what is the scoop on jOHNNY'S hALF Shell,it seems very popular ?

    And, on an other foodie site there was mention of a mexican resto in Arlington called El Charito Caminante,anyone been there?

  10. Thanks Gullets!!!

    Have discovered that in between eats we must also sightsee and go to the Saturday Nat's game.

    This seriously limits chow time!! So Sunday Night @ Ray's has been booked and we will fill in with,

    Ebbitt's, Oohs and Aaghs( which sounds really special), Capital, one of the Andres' places for lunch.

    This probably leaves us some snacking room so keep the recs coming.

  11. We will be in DC for 8 or 9 meals this weekend. We live in Montreal and are adventurous eaters.

    What we can't get here are


    We are flying in, staying at Layayette Sq. and want to use public transportation as much as possible. Please Advice and consent.

  12. Mr. Fagioli:

    I have exactly the same questions, so I try to limit consumption of what I know to be farm-raised and organic (premium farm raised). I can live without salmon and use mackeral or king fish or sardines when I want an oily fish. We used to eat salmon alot, but I don't think our quality of life has gone down without it.

    The fish store on Victoria @ Linton ( Frank's) sells a large quantity of New Brunswick salmon @ $3.99-$4.99 a pound for whole fish. Most of the Chinese owned fish stores sell it @ $4.99 also.

  13. There is alot of misinformation in this thread. I am not expert on fish farming but can state without hestitation that:

    1. Atlantic Salmon is a specie, not a geographical location. The largest concentration of Farmed Atlantic Salmon is on the B.C. coast.

    2. Salmon are carnivores and are fed large quantities of small fish like anchovies that are caught off the coast of Chile, causing huge environmental damage and economic devastation to local fishers.

    3. Bio or Organic refers to farmed, not wild fish. The grower is certifying that the feed used is organic and that less chemicals are used.

    4. Most farmed salmon live in large cages, in extremely crowded and unheathy conditions. They are fed large quantities of antibotics to prevent diseases. The beautiful flesh colour comes from dyes placed in their food 1 week before harvesting.

    5. When you cook farmed salmon, notice the margarine quality of the fat that separates from the flesh.

    6. When I was a kid, salmon was a premium food@ about $ 4.00 a pound. Other fish where under a dollar. Now good quality ocean fish are $10.00 a pound on the bone and salmon fillets are $ 5.00 a pound.

    7. Restaurants that serve this very low quality product should be taken to task.

    8. I used to eat salmon regularly but after a vacation in N.B.where we saw fish farms I have reduced my consumption to the odd morsel of smoked B.C. salmon. I did try Nouveau Falero's "Wild Chinook" but strongly believe that it is just a premium farmed fish. Wild salmon is seasonal and rarely has visable fat in the flesh.

    9. Almost all ocean fish are endangered and I am as guilty as anyone else in the food chain. But I rarely order salmon in a restaurant.

    10. Almost every fish is being farmed, so every time you see uniform sized fillets you can be almost certain that they have been farmed.

    I am more foodie than environmentalist, but large scale fish farming is getting a reputation worldwide as being ecologically and socially damaging. We are what we eat and must make responsible choices in what we consume.

    Recommended reading----The Empty Ocean by Richard Ellis.

  14. We bought our Rancilio Sylvia a year ago at The Daily Grind in Albany. It was $450 U.S. and for the money a great machine. Although it does not have an E61 head, its performance has been solid. The one thing to do is find the right grind and stick to it . We get a pretty thick steady stream with a decent cremma, even when we have to use decaf and its utilitarian look is timeless. :smile:

  15. Had very nice meal at le club chasse et peche, the appetizers ( risotto , scallops) were perfectly cooked as previously described above. The mains delicious, rich in flavor with buttery purees, porgy with truffle vinaigrette, surf and turf -sweet breads and scallop(no lobster this time). Some minor problems with the timing and service, our vegetable plate seemed to get lost in the kitchen but was a delight when it finally arrived ( baby green beans, mushrooms and creamy polenta , and i cant recall the rest..) The recommended wine was a real treat, La Richeaume 2001 syrah, which just got better and better throughout dinner. Our desserts were unique and not overly sweet , try "EARTH". The espresso had good flavor but on the thin side. There's something about the ambience, a blend of urban and bohemian with dark grey walls and comfy leather chairs that's cozy and inviting, not at all stiff nor serious. Looking forward to a return visit.

  16. Dinner at Lemeac with guest chef Marco Fadiga started with an atypical cocktail. Unlike the liquid version, this was a red campari flavored square of gelatin presented in a spoon . I found it to be a playful, imaginative beginning. It was followed by an amuse of Caprese a la cuillere, a soft fresh cheese (probably mozarella) with an underlying hint of pesto, pleasant but not really memorable.

    The next course was scallop tartare with pink peppercorn on a bed of broccoli cream and garlic foam. This was paired with a crisp Greco di Tufo, 2003 Mastroberardino. The smooth texture of the scallop against the crunch of the mild peppercorn was very satisfying, but the broccoli cream seemed lifeless and bland.

    Next was the pasta course, a potato gnocchi with black trompette mushroom, pancetta and basil sauce. This was complemented by a generous glass of pinot grigio Alto-Adige 2002. While the gnocchi were quite tasty and soft, the dish was just not hot enough and its pesto sauce competed with the delicate mushroom flavors. It seemed as if the addition of pesto was a safe, mainstream way to please.

    The main course was a good balance of flavors and very appealing. A hefty serving of roasted pork tenderloin rolled in dried fruits on a bed of braised green cabbage. A true winter dish. It was tender but for most, slightly overcooked. This was served up with a really nice Chianti Colli Senesi 2001.

    The salad Parmigiano that followed was very disappointing and overly complicated. It consisted of a few sprigs of frisee stuffed into a glass with a foamy white dressing (too thick to coat the frisee) and a skewered parmesan chew of sorts. An unfortunate bomb. Why not serve really good greens with the real thing, reggiano.

    The dessert was a light rum cream with an unusual cohiba cigar sauce served up with a Breganze 2001, Torcolato. Pretty nice touch to end the meal.

    Somehow it felt like in the planning of this event , the chef was not really up for a challenge. He chose to play it safe, choosing easy to construct dishes which in the end looked obviously assembled. With all its faults the night out at Lemeac during the highlights festival, mid -February, still felt pretty special, the restaurant was packed with a real buzz, the service terrific. I knew in my heart I could not count on this meal replicating the meals I’d experienced in Bologna, but, hey, it was worth a shot.

  17. Whoops! Pressed the wrong key, must be fatigue setting in from all the latenight gorging. The guest chef was Marco Fadiga. There was much anticipation in the air, and overall an enjoyable evening. I would like to say more about the food but wonder if it would be better etiquette to wait a few more days?

    On another note, I understand there is a guest chef, Spigaroli, at cafe melies that is connected with culatello production. Does anyone know if culatello will be available to purchase in Montreal finally?

  18. Hi Carswell:

    Here is my post from a thread titled Le Jolifou on Nov 13 2004.

    The menu is mexican influenced modern, with a three course table d’hote for 25$ and a reasonable wine list. The decor is simple, cream coloured walls with a scattering of folkart Mexican toys and a semi-open kitchen.

    We started with “ taquine bouche” , a single raw oyster drizzled with homemade green salsa spotted with chopped mango. Perfectly satisfying. The best $2.50 I have spent in a long time.

    The waitress suggested a delicious Minervois for under $40.00. The wine is $24.00 at the SAQ.

    For appetizers we had the grilled octopus flanked by a cumin flavored crema on a bed of mixed greens, cresson and frisee.( Its such a relief to see chefs moving away from the bagged tasteless mesclun). The octopus was incredibly tender, a really nice combination of flavors. The carpaccio of cerf with “ salsa espesciale” had a silky texture and a great harmony of flavour.

    That night the choice of mains consisted of Magret de canard with pozole, lamb shank with grilled cactus. Cerf ( i can’t recall the details on this one) ,cornish game hen with mole and a salmon with a sauce of ancho chile and biere noire. We opted for the latter two.

    I was fore- warned that the cornish hen came with a true mole with chocolate and spices, not for everybody’s palate. It didn’t disappoint. The richness of the chocolate came through never too sweet nor bitter. My only complaint was that there was too much food for the plate: asparagus ,beets and sweet potato puree. The beets were terrific with the flavors of the mole. The hen was juicy, partially boned and easy to eat.

    I rarely eat salmon because of it’s horrible farmed-raised oily flavour. This plate was really nice, lots of diverse vegetables and a very lively chili and stout infused sauce. The salmon was melting and a perfect serving of about 6 ounces, not a monsterously large fillet.

    We finished with a decent lemon tart and a fresh chocolate/banana brownie cake and good quality organic teas. Both deserts were polished off in a minute.

    We were there on a quiet Wednesday night and the service was warm and very friendly. I think a husband/wife team are chef and hostess and they seem committed to developing a neighborhood restaurant. We are planning to go back.

  19. Today's Gazoo has a background article, titled Constructive Chef and written by Julian Armstrong, on the new 40-seat Rosemont resto run by chef David Ferguson (Toqué!, Senzala, Au Pied de Cochon, Coyote Cafe) and Hélène Brault. And for once the article is available on line, though probably not for long.


    1840 Beaubien East

    514 722-2175

    Website: www.jolifou.com

    Lunch M-F: mains run $11-13

    Dinner Tu-Su: three-course table d'hôte $27


    Cooking is said to be French with Latin accents. Anybody been?

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