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Posts Tagged ‘by the Place d’Armes metro’

Osteria Venti – or is it Venti Osteria? – is a small bistro, with a small bar area with flat-screen TV and small dining area beyond. It’s located on the quiet side of Old Montreal, but the noise inside is rather loud and I left with a headache after having to shout through my dinner conversation. I’ve been trying to get reservations here for a while, and finally, while heading to another place, we stopped inside “just in case” and got seated at a table right away. But then we sat for an interminable time waiting for service. Service was extremely slow once we were seated, whether it was to bring us something to drink, to take our order, or to bring our food. Fortunately, the food is delicious and has that delightful Italian simplicity that many Italian restos lack.

We shared an enjoyable yet forgettable eggplant mush on toast and a delightful caprese salad, which consisted of various sizes and colours of tomatoes with just the right amount of basil, olive oil, and salt. After another long wait, my husband got delicate ravioli stuffed with radicchio and rabiola cheese tossed in chervil butter sauce and I got wonderfully fluffy little ricotta gnocchi which were like little clouds of ricotta in a simple tomato basil sauce. Both were half portions, and were just the right amount. All told, two appetizers, two half portion main courses, and one latte came to over $50. We drank tap water.

This could be a romantic restaurant if it weren’t so loud inside, and despite the difficulty with getting a table, terrible service, and expense, this would still be worth a repeat visit.

Metro: Place d’Armes and Square Victoria

372, Rue Saint-Paul Ouest and Rue Saint-Pierre

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A comforting sign on the sidewalk bears the image of a cartoon sumo wrestler. Diners walk up a flight of stairs to the hole in a wall on the second floor. Multiple portable air conditioners and fans occupy every available window and at least one other one by the cash register, which displays a few Japanese snacks for sale, keeping the place reasonably cool during the summer. Diners sit at tables covered in plastic and peruse a menu with items ranging from the promised ramen (replete with helpful picture and labels), to edamame or eel appetizers and mochi ice cream dessert. I got #8, the beef ramen, the both times we’ve dined here. The large, satisfying bowl includes house-made ramen noodles (not the squiggly instant noodles, in case anyone was wondering), bean sprouts, half a medium-boiled egg, thinly sliced beef, corn, scallions, dried garlic stems. The miso broth was a tad salty and the soya broth less so. Prices are reasonable. The clientele seems to be mostly young people and families.

Metro: Place d’Armes

1007 Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Rue de la Gauchetiere Ouest

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Bustling hole-in-the-wall 2nd floor resto in Chinatown. Some might think the Cantonese food is too greasy, since most things seem to be stir fried with a thickened glaze. There is a sufficient Asian-to-Caucasian ratio to warrant it attention. It’s politically incorrect, but realistically a good gauge of Chinese restaurant quality if there are more Asians to Caucasians diners. Lots of large tables with lazy susans and lots of slurping. Yes, there is General Tao’s chicken and Kung Pao chicken, too. The soups seemed to be popular – perhaps one day I’ll get my husband to try the shark fin soup or one of the various squid and seafood dishes with me. The chowmein is tasty, but needs to be eaten quickly before the sauce soaks into it. The mushrooms, bamboo and bokchoy were ok, too. Two main dishes is sufficient for two people. Many specials are written on the walls in Chinese.

70 Rue de la Gauchetiere O. at Rue St. Urbain

metro: Place d’Armes

See my September 2009 review here.

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It’s definitely the season for ice cream, and one of the best places to get it on the Old Port is a small ice cream shop and crepe cafe distinguishable by its wooden cut-out of an iconic blonde in a poofy little red and white checkered dress by the door. It’s one of four or five ice cream shops right next to each other, but it’s worth waiting until you get to this one because the others are low-quality compared to the simple and refreshing ice creams at this place. Choices range from vanilla and chocolate soft serve, various hard ice creams, and a couple of sorbets. Service is friendly and helpful – although sometimes more helpful than efficient, as I experienced one time when my ice cream cone was dunked no less than three times into the hot chocolate shell topping, causing it to melt immediately in my hands. I disprove of their use of gummies in lieu of marachino cherries, but that might be the only hitch. They accept Interac and some credit cards and during the summer are open “until there are no people left,” which is sometimes midnight. There are several tables inside and outside, though there are other nearby public benches and places to lean while you eat.

metro: Champ de Mars, Place d’Armes

31 rue de la Commune Est and Rue Saint-Gabriel and Rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste

See my July 2011 review here.

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This seafood restaurant sits at the edge of Old Montreal, away from the port area. It has air conditioning in the summer and subtle piquant decorating via chandeliers and an intriguing mural of fish and human figures. This is a simple place without frilly names on the menu.

We were gently pressed to order cocktails, but since we don’t ordinarily drink we declined. For starters, the garlicky and buttery escargots were good, served without shells. The dark, rich lobster bisque was also good. A shrimp puree amuse bouche in a small cornet was served in between the appetizer and entree. I got the bland Filet de doré – meunière with the “house fries” or frites. The Saumon d’Atlantique – hollandaise also looked very mild, served with steamed vegetables and uninspired rice. I got the choco-raspberry “Delmo” mousse for dessert.

There were few people when we dined there, though I had called ahead for reservations. Service was fine.

Metro: Square Victoria

275 Rue Notre Dame Ouest and Rue Saint Jean

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Europea’s – and consequently its sandwich boutique’s – focus is on its image as a sexy, lavish place to eat. The sandwich boutique is really just a takeout place and there are only two small table areas by the door, but the little touches let you know that you’ve chosen your sandwich shop well. In addition to the sandwich counter and the macaroon counter, one can buy pretentious gourmet items like Himalayan black salt, an espresso machine, and bath salts. In my “boite” – a beautiful and reusable fabric lunch bag emblazoned with the Europea logo – I found my lightly toasted brie, apple, walnut, and grape sandwich, a bottle of Europea water, and chocolate mousse. The sandwich was just right – creamy, sweet, a little crunchy, and satisfying and the mousse was creamy and rich. That box option is just under $13, which is a good deal for what it is.

Europea Espace Boutique is only open for lunch Monday-Friday, and expect to wait in line during peak hours. It’s best to go closer to noon than 2pm for sandwich freshness, but anytime before then and all the desserts might not be ready…and we wouldn’t want that!

Metro: Place d’Armes

33, Rue Notre-Dame Ouest and Boulevard Saint-Laurent

See my December 2010 review here.

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Kitschy family-friendly place, dimly lit, complete with pianist playing simple showtunes on an upright. Slightly salty borsch broth with a cute puff pastry triangle. My favorite entree is the golabki- stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce, potatoes, and either a side salad or mizeria – cucumber, sour cream, and dill salad. The latkes are tad underdone for my taste, and the meat a bit dry. Entree portions are generous. Service is ok.

200 Rue St. Paul Ouest at Rue Saint Francois-Xavier

metro: Place d’Armes

See my September 2009 review here.

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