Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of adventure, good eating and fine wines. This blog provides you with “A Sites & Bites Mini-Holiday Guide for Montreal”.
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The Sites & Bites Mini-Holiday Guides continue to generate lots of interest, excitement and comments. In order to add cities and areas to our blog we are reaching out to our cousins to provide us with insight, information and recommendations. Their input will keep our guides personal and locally focused to show you the best Sites & Bites in each city and area.
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• Plan your trip
• Follow your plan
• Always make a restaurant reservation
• Cancel it if your plans change
• Be considerate to fellow travelers and service people
• Have fun, you may not be immortal
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Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Montreal you can see finches, crossbills, northern woodpecker, barred owl, scarlet tnanger and the ovenbird.
Birding is made easy at the Morgan Arboretum (morganarboretum.org) where more than 180 species have been sighted.
A really good site to check out is the Bird Protection Quebec (http://pqspb.org/). They organize field trips, lectures and other educational birding activities.
Here’s where you’ll find your Birding Pals (birdingpal.org/) in Montreal.
Grape Experience – This is a really good site to learn about Canadian wines and wineries (winesofcanada.com/)
Shopping: Everywhere you go in Montreal there are shops, boutiques, stores and galleries to tempt your indulgence. Check out the rue de Sherbrooke and the rue St.-Denis for those treasures you can’t live without.
Day One: Drop your bags at your hotel and head over to the Red Path Museum – M-F: 9-5, Su: 11-5, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, 514-398-4086
The Redpath Museum is the oldest building in Canada built as a museum. Completed in 1882, the museum currently holds extensive collections in the fields of paleontology, zoology, mineralogy, and world cultures (ethnology). A new exhibit about water resources and conservation has recently been installed in Stewart Biology, 4th floor.
We always make a bee-line to L’Express – M-F: 8 AM-@ AM, Sa: 10 AM-@ AM, Su: 10AM-1AM, 3927 rue St-Denis, 514/845-5333
You should follow the same bee. Start with the soupe de poisson followed by the pot-au-feu or the loup-de-mer. They are famous for their anglet-frites. What ever you choose a ’10 Saint-Joseph, Dard and Ribo will set it off.
After lunch we suggest a visit to the Montreal Botanical Gardens - Tu-Su: 9-5, 4101, rue Sherbrooke Est, 514 872-1400
Space for Life is a place that brings together the Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Garden and Planetarium making a commitment to biodiversity as a guide for humans to better experience nature. Their horticultural information service is staffed by experts to provide lots of useful information.
Wine time is at 3 Petits Cochon – M-Sa: 6-11, 4668 St. Denis, 514-285-4444
Mai oui, do we have the Guy Breton Morgan or the Alice et Olivier Demont Chablis to go with our terrine and grilled octopus.
Dinner is at Restaurant Le Local – L: M-F, D: Nightly, 740 Williams, 514-397-7737
Our cousin recommends sharing the crispy pork belly with wafu salad and shrimp tempura. Follow this with the either the roasted monkfish with shitake risotto and brussel sprout leaves in a lobster emulsion or the veal liver with shallot marmalade and mashed potatoes with mustard seeds and a charcuterie sauce. Enjoy the ’10 SpierHead Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley with either choice.
Day Two: Start your day at Beauty’s – M-F: 7-3, Sa,Su: 8-4, 93 Mont-Royal West, 514 849 8883
There are lots of beautiful choices for breakfast such as: pancakes with fruit or chocolate chips, waffles with bacon, ham or sausage with home fries and big omelets for the big eater. They also have really fresh juices and coffee.
Our cousins think a good way to understand Montréal is a visit to the Musuem of Archaeology and History – Tu-F: 10-5, Sa,Su: 11-5, 350 Place Royale Corner of de la Commune, 514 872-9150
The Museum was founded as part of the celebrations to mark Montréal’s 350th birthday. It houses remarkable architectural remains, displayed in situ with absolute respect for their integrity. We found the archaeological crypt on the lower level fascinating where you can see six centuries of history, from the times when Natives camped here to the present day.
I guess you could go to Montreal and not go to Schwartz’s Deli – M-Th: 8-12:30 AM, F: 8-1:30 AM, Sa: 8-2:30 AM, 3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard, 514-842-4813
But we wouldn’t recommend it. We suggest that you share either the smoked meat sandwich or the smoked meat plate, an order of the homemade French fries and ½ sour pickle or the peppers. No wine or bar. You’re on your own.
This afternoon we suggest visiting the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – M-F: 11-5, Sa, Su: 10-5, 1380 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, 514-285-2000
The Museum’s collections are deployed in its four pavilions dedicated to world cultures, art and ancient European contemporary decorative arts and design. The fourth pavilion is devoted exclusively to Quebec and Canadian Art. There is a wonderful Peruvian exhibit on display until June 16.
Wine time brings us to Le Comptoir - L: TU-F, D: Nightly, Br: Su, 4807, boul. Saint-Laurent, 514 844 8467
We suggest sharing a small plate of the Lobster tart with blond onion, tomato confit, tarragon, cream and arugula. A nice wine pairing is the ’11 Cour-Cheverny.
Dinner is at Europa – L: M-F, D: Nightly, 1227 rue de la Montagne, 514-398-9229
Start with the chestnut, porcini and artichoke confit with burrata cheese and fried quinoa. The Brut Rose from Fleury Pere et Fils would be nice with this dish. Then experience either the sea bass filet in rice paper with mussels or the Cornish Hen cooked in a casserole with root vegetables. Pair either or both with the Mercury Domain Charles Andoin 2010.
Day Three: Breakfast is at Eggspectation – B,L,D: Daily, 198 Laurier O Montreal, 514-278-7450
“Grab the day by the eggs” The puns get worse but the choices are immense and pretty darn good. Espresso bar, fruit and yogurt, “Benedict and Beyond” features the Lobster Benny and on it goes to maybe your Eggspectation Omelette.
Today’s cultural outing is not a big venue but a low key walk around “Old Montreal” to check out the boutiques and shops. Along the way you can check out the Bank of Montreal Museum which was Canada’s first bank. Another interesting stop is the Chateau Ramezay Museum that features 18th century paintings, furniture and clothing. We found the Notre-Dame de Bonsecours Chapel or “Sailors’ Church” well worth a visit.
Today’s feast is at Au Pied de Cochon – D: W-Su, 536 Avenue Duluth Est, 514-281-1114
Start off with the pickled herring or the onion soup and a glass of Griffin Rousse. Then I suggest the signature dish “pied de Cochon” stuffed with braised pork and foie gras or the “Canned Duck” which is a heart attack combination of cream, butter and cheese curds topped with half of a Mallard duck, foie gras, garlic and lots of jus.
A great pairing is the ‘09 Coccigrues or the L’Engoulevent by Yannick Pelletier. It’s not over yet. To really make your cardiologist’s day go for the dark chocolate cream pie and a dual espresso.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick Welge aka Mr. Sites & Bites
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