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  1. Does anyone know where I might be able to purchase good quality nuts in Montreal or in Canada? I was looking for Iranian pistachios, but as it turns out, the trade agreements between Iran and US have made them near impossible to get. I looked elsewhere and found a few places that sell Turkish pistachios, but none of the online purveyors from the US ship to Canada. Is there a way to find Iranian or Turkish pistachios in Canada? Or even Indian cashews? I'm guessing with our Arab population, there should be some sources for these treats.
  2. I don't believe the prices are insane, they're about what you would pay for a bistro, maybe a tad higher. But you have to back it up with food that is good enough. They failed miserably in my opinion. I just don't understand how a new restaurant can treat their customers this way and yet still pride themselves in their customer service. It's just so sad to see that they go to all the trouble of making sure the linens are starched, the glasses polished and the waiters/waitresses properly educated and dressed, but that the food is mouldy and that there are inedible bits in the salad. L'Express certainly doesn't have the best food in town, but I've never seen anything like that happen. I've been pretty critical about these restaurants for a simple reason. QDC, Trinity and Pois Penche are not cheap. If they have the guts to charge so much for food, at least make it reasonable food. Old berries, branches and ill prepared oysters is not reasonable food for the price they charge. I would much rather pay 2-3 times that price to go to places like CC&P or $10 for a Schwartz smoked meat sandwich. And trust me that even with the attitude of the Schwartz waiters, they wouldn't hesitate to give you another sandwich if I said my medium fat sandwich was dry.
  3. I don't like his restaurants much and I don't like the food that much either, but despite that, yes, he has contributed a lot to the food scene for better or for worse. Like they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity. I was there a few days ago to have quiet brunch. It does look like a classic french bistro, wine glasses clean and comfortable. Just like QDC and Trinity, service and decor seem important and it shows that a significant portion to the bill will help pay for these luxuries. There's not problem with that, but I prefer to concentrate on food, then everything else, which brings me to the food. We ordered a dozen oysters to start off with. All of them were very fresh and clean, however, 8 of them didn't have the adductor muscles cleanly cut. That's the first mistake. When you pay $3 each, I expect more. We also ordered a french onion soup which was very good, but not quite worth the $10 they are charging imho. I ordered the french toast brioche with fresh fruits. It was certainly one of the better french toasts I've had but portions were very small. Not only that, but the fresh berries were not fresh. Dried up blueberries and mouldy raspberries composed most of the dish. For something that costs $13, I also expected at least fruits that weren't dried out and mouldy. Last, we had the bavette with a salad replacing the fries cooked medium rare. The temperature was fine, but the salad had a large piece of inedible dried twigs in them. This should not be acceptable for a McDonalds, let alone a restaurant that wants to make its mark in Montreal. If that wasn't enough, the piece of hangar steak was the toughest piece of meat I'd ever eaten. I know hanger isn't supposed to be a tender cut, but this HAD to be the toughest I've ever had. If Pois Penche wants to compete with L'Express, Lemeac, Ptit Plateau or even other bistros in food quality, they will need to step it up several notches. Even worse than the food was the attitude of the maitre'd. I told my waitress about what was wrong with the food, and she had talked to him about these problems. She came back to us saying they would give us a free coffee on the house. I asked to speak to the maitre'd directly and already his attitude towards everything was obviously bad from the start. He said the fruits aren't bad, but they are out of season, that he didn't prepare the oysters, that the chef can't sift through all the leaves to pick out bad bits. Finally, he said he would comp the french toast. Lets just say I didn't have the best brunch of my life. Worst than coming out dissatisfied because of bad food, I left angry because they tried to defend food that was obviously subpar. To be honest, I WANTED to see this restaurant succeed because I live close by, and because it's good for Montreal EVEN if it's a Morentzos restaurant. But unless I see people chiming in saying that things have improved, I won't be going back. ←
  4. Has anyone had the chance to rate Mesquite's Q vs Bofinger's?
  5. Does anyone know if there is a supplier or a place I can buy fresh duck eggs in Montreal?
  6. I love XLB's and have had the XLB's in Vancouver at most of the places mentioned. However, I really don't think any of them compare to Toronto's DTF, let alone the one in TW. Is there must less demand for northern chinese cuisine out in the west?
  7. If you're considering spending the money on an Isomac Millennium, don't just consider, but budget in a grinder. You can make pretty good espresso with a crappy machine, but fresh beans and a good grinder. There's NO way you can make decent espresso with preground or a bad grinder. The grinder is more important than the machine. Once you've had a good shot prepared by any decent machine and a good grinder, you'll never go back to pods or preground. The difference is night and day. Not only should you grind yourself, but you should grind fresh for every shot. It makes that much of a difference. Isomac's are fine choices. If you make many milk-based drinks, the Millennium is great, but if your focus is mainly on espresso and your budget is limited, a single boiler might be sufficient. I don't know about the Giada that much, but there are a few good machines in that class. Rancilio Silvia, Solis SL90, ECM Botticelli, etc... I'm sure I've left out a few, but that's all I can think of right now. Myself, I'm considering buying a Quickmill Andreja Premium and currently have a Silvia. I hope that will be the last upgrade I make in a while, but upgrade fever hits hard.
  8. It seems like most of the better restaurants in Montreal are only opened from Tuesday onwards. Are there any recommended restaurants opened on Mondays?
  9. I've never had a shot there. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to try them out this weekend.
  10. Does anyone know if there's another place in Montreal that is capable of pulling a proper ristretto shot? I'd like to have a better basis for comparison, but all the other coffee places I've visited lately have given me practically a half a capuccino worth of espresso when I ask for a double.
  11. I went to ArtJava tonight to check it out and had a double espresso. It was certainly the best I've had in Montreal. Perfect crema, lots of complex chocolate flavors and a very good finish. It did seem a little on the acidic side and don't know if it has more to do with the beans, roast or low water temp, but despite that, it was still the best shot I've had in Montreal. Does anyone know what kind of roast they put on their beans? I'll be returning tomorrow to try their latte. I just hope they're able to keep this level of standard in the years to come. They've really got the grind, extraction time and tamp correctly, which I find a rarity even amongst decent coffee places in Montreal.
  12. I've tried the butter at Qui Lait Cru and it's definately pasturized. It's good stuff, but I'd been hoping to taste some raw milk butter. I've never had the chance to try and guessing from the way raw milk cheese is generally that much more interesting than their counterparts, raw milk butter shouldn't dissapoint either. I'll definately be back to Qui Lait Cru though...
  13. Does anyone know if it's possible to find raw milk butter in Quebec? I know it isn't legal to sell, but does anyone know if there any milk producers or cheese makers making it for their own consumption and willing to share as a fair trade?
  14. That would be great! I would prefer not to order if I didn't have to. I'm not sure which one I would want. What is the difference between the two in terms of taste?
  15. I might be interested to buy some Manni as well, to satisfy my curiosity. Honestly, I have no idea how good that stuff is or even whether it's worth it. But if others are interested, maybe I could split an order (for those that can pick up locally) so that I could buy 10 bottles, and share the costs depending on how many bottles you want. I'm interested in 4 bottles myself. I have no intention in making money out of this; I only want to try this "famed" oil.
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