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Montreal Food Scene


canucklehead
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There is a great cover story on the current food scene in Montreal in the quaterly "The Art of Eating". Here is the website, but there are no excerpts from the article.

Basically - the gist of the article is that Montreal is in the middle of a real upswing as a result of a new appreciation of regional ingredients and a stronger economy. It is great to hear that Montreal is re-establishing itself as a premier food city.

Though I live in Vancouver and love it here - I have always had a real effection for Montreal (or perhaps it is a dislike of Toronto :raz: ). I look forward to visiting one day and seeing the sophistication and the down to earth 'realness' of your city.

Let me know if you want me to list out Mr Behr's top picks.

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please do list his top picks

His big recomendations include:

Informal:

Bruniose

Bu - "by far Montreal's best and most stylish bar a vin"

Formal:

Area

Le Club Chasse & Peche

Cube

Raza

Toque - "the last meal I ate at Toque was nearly perfect"

Bagels:

Fairmount Bagels

Cheese:

Yannick Fromagerie d'Exception - "Anywhere, one would be grateful for this shop filled with the reassuring rich, biological smell that comes from outstanding cheeses."

Tea:

Camellia Senesis (big kudos)

Other (generally) postive mentions:

Le Jolifou

Au Pied de Cochon (duck breast in a can!?)

Rosalie

Led Caprices de Nicolas

Les Chevres

La Chronique.

Edward Behr does discuss smoked meat a litte and mentions Schwartz only - but does not seem to a big fan of it in general. He feels that Montreal - suprisingly - lacks good bakeries but says that Le Frommentier is the best in the city and L'Amour du Pain as the best outside of the city.

He also discusses the large number of chocolatiers in the city - thumbs up to Les Chocolats de Chloe and Patisserie Gascogne - big thumbs down to Genevieve Grandbois.

I really enjoy this magazine - the writing is opinionated and informed (Montreal's Lesley Chesterman contributes in this issue). Not sure how you get a copy though unless you subscribe.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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please do list his top picks

His big recomendations include:

Informal:

Bruniose

Bu - "by far Montreal's best and most stylish bar a vin"

Formal:

Area

Le Club Chasse & Peche

Cube

Raza

Toque - "the last meal I ate at Toque was nearly perfect"

Bagels:

Fairmount Bagels

Cheese:

Yannick Fromagerie d'Exception - "Anywhere, one would be grateful for this shop filled with the reassuring rich, biological smell that comes from outstanding cheeses."

Tea:

Camellia Senesis (big kudos)

Other (generally) postive mentions:

Le Jolifou

Au Pied de Cochon (duck breast in a can!?)

Rosalie

Led Caprices de Nicolas

Les Chevres

La Chronique.

Edward Behr does discuss smoked meat a litte and mentions Schwartz only - but does not seem to a big fan of it in general. He feels that Montreal - suprisingly - lacks good bakeries but says that Le Frommentier is the best in the city and L'Amour du Pain as the best outside of the city.

He also discusses the large number of chocolatiers in the city - thumbs up to Les Chocolats de Chloe and Patisserie Gascogne - big thumbs down to Genevieve Grandbois.

I really enjoy this magazine - the writing is opinionated and informed (Montreal's Lesley Chesterman contributes in this issue). Not sure how you get a copy though unless you subscribe.

Haven't checked out the issue yet. From what you say here, it seems that Ed relied on Lesley a lot(some of them exactly mirrors Lesley's opinion). Specifically the comments on smoked meat, bakeries & chocolatiers.

-Steve

Edited by SteveW (log)
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Speaking for myself...

Grandbois produces moulded chocolates. There is very little technique in what she does, and even the moulding is poorly done. Next time you taste one of her bonbons, check out how thick the base is. That's a major mistake.

Nice flavours, attractive packaging -- granted -- but on the technique front there's little there. It's basically just the same-flavoured-ganache based candy in the same shape over and over and over and over and over...

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I was at an event earlier this summer where Grandbois' chocolates were served and I have to admit that although they do taste good, they're kinda boring. I'm in no means trying to sound pretentious but I can replicate pretty everything she does in my own kitchen and I'm far from being a chocolate pro. All I need is a good ganache base and proper infusion ingredients.

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I don't want to quote too much from the article - as you need to read it yourselves to get the full picture.

But he does seem to say that Montreal's restuarant have a uniquely European aspect to them and that he hopes that they will explore Quebec's rich food history rather than simply go down the "French Laundry" path. He is suprised that there are'nt more restaurants like Au Pied de Cochon - but with a tighter focus and concept.

He also notes that Montreal's restaurants seem more focused on cooking well rather than cooking to impress. He notes that the best cooking shows an underlying techinical precision and cocern for harmony. He quickly says though, that Montreal has not suddenly become a gastronomic leader in North America.

For me - this speaks very well of Montreal - where the food is the focus and it is the local consumers' standards are being met. To me, this seems to be an organic result of the local ingredients and the strong Quebecois (sic) food culture. In so many other cities - there is this hand wringing about how they measure up to other cities - but to my mind - Montreal (among all other cities in Canada) seems to be least angst ridden - and Montrealers are most comfortable with their own internal standards.

It was an interesting article - and makes me want to visit Montreal all the more. I need to brush up on my high school french though...

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