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Found 6 results

  1. Je ne suis pas sûr que c'est un compliment de se faire dire que Montréal goûte la poutine! Et les clichés sur notre supposée "joie-de-vivre", juste parce qu'on parle français, c'est un peu éculé, mais comme l'article est positif, on va leur pardonner... A foodie's guide to Montreal USA Today By Michele Kayal For The Associated Press Montreal may sound like Paris, but it tastes like poutines. A mess of french fries, gravy and cheese curds, this signature dish of French-speaking Canada's largest city captures its engaging and independent culinary personality. Originally inhabited by Native Americans, later populated by hunters, trappers and missionaries, and eventually battled over by the French and British, Montreal offers gutsy, creative and hearty fare that honors its diverse forbears. "There is a tradition of English cooking and French cooking, but it's taken on that lusty explorer, wilderness, joie de vivre," says Catherine MacPherson, a food columnist for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio. "It's rib sticking, and it's got that independent spirit." That wasn't always so. Until the early 1990s in Montreal, "good" cuisine meant "French" cuisine, and all the local stars had trained in France. That's also where they got their ingredients — lamb, lobster, artichokes, nearly everything. Until a young chef named Normand Laprise returned from the Continent more impressed by the freshness of ingredients in France than by their Frenchness. He began cultivating farmers and ranchers and launched a movement toward fresh, local ingredients that drew from Quebec's rich landscape. His restaurant, Toque!, opened in 1993, and remains the standard-bearer for upscale Quebequois cuisine. "When you come in Montreal, you feel that the food is more about us, about Quebec philosophy and Quebec roots," he says. "It's our produce, our chefs." Today, Montreal is "bigger and better," Laprise says, as the scene has filled with choice, from bistros to sandwich shops to corner grocers and cheese shops that offer fresh, delicious, local foods. The city claims 6,000 restaurants spanning 80 cuisines for its scant 2 million people, making it a city of foodies, by foodies, for foodies. The food scene could take weeks to explore, but with just a few days — and a big appetite — a dedicated eater can make a thorough and delicious survey. Start the tour at L'Express, a traditional bistro in the Plateau neighborhood where the floor is checkered, the ceilings are high and French is spoken all around. The steak of steak-frites is juicy and fatty, crowned with herb butter. The frites are crispy and light. Pistachio-studded pate literally melts on the tongue leaving hints of thyme and cognac behind. The chocolate tart is so glossy and thick with flavor that the otherwise stone-faced waiter is moved to speak, telling two diners that it is made with 76% cacao. Montrealers have made L'Express their local hangout for nearly three decades, but recently it's gotten some company. Around the corner, Au Pied de Cochon plumps up the bistro concept, making traditionally thrifty Quebecois cooking richer, fatter, heartier. Chef Martin Picard offers pickled venison tongue; a salad of rich, bitter greens topped with crunchy bits of fried pig cartilage; and nearly everything stuffed with foie gras, from peasant food such as pig's foot to the famous poutines. Picard's menu honors the region's sweet tooth not only with the famous tarte au sucre — literally, sugar pie — but even with a playful take on breakfast that features buckwheat pancakes, thick bacon, and yes, foie gras, all of it doused with maple syrup. On the other side of town in the Petite-Bourgogne neighborhood, Restaurant Joe Beef redefines the British pub with a decidedly modern take on roasts, puddings and other delectables. Named after a legendary tavern keeper known for scoring rations for his fellow British soldiers, the tiny restaurant's menu changes with the seasons and the whim of chef Fred Morin. But Joe Beef traffics in items such as fresh lobster tossed with bacon, baby peas and pasta, and dishes for two, such as sliced rib steak with marrow bones, or a whole rack of Quebec lamb with mint sauce. Tucked in the back, but at the establishment's heart, is the oyster bar, a half-dozen seats crowded around a dinged-up counter where three-time Canadian oyster-shucking champion John Bil recently popped dozens of briny bivalves mostly from the waters of Prince Edward Island. No matter where or what a visitor eats in Montreal, it's likely to be decadent. Butter, sugar, lard: these ingredients do not scare Montrealers. "There's never been a fear of indulgence or fats when it comes to their food," MacPherson says. "They see no reason for self-flagellation at the dinner table." Which brings us back to poutines. Gravy-and-cheese slathered french fries, are, perhaps, a dish best understood when inebriated. Or when you're very, very cold. "Imagine yourself being here in February, you're on a ski hill and it's minus 27," says Nathalie Cooke, a culinary historian at the city's McGill University. And she's talking Celsius. "You'd be amazed how good poutines can taste." Au Pied's foie gras-laden poutines are revered by gourmets, but students and bloggers seem to favor the slapped down version at Patati Patata, a tiny corner joint near McGill whose name roughly translates as "blah blah blah." But poutines aren't the city's only casual food. A flourishing culture of quick but delicious — and above all real — food can be found at patisseries, fromageries (cheese shops), and places that fall somewhere between bakery, sandwich shop and grocery store. At Olive et Gourmando in the Vieux-Montreal neighborhood, flaky palmiers are delivered alongside dense Valrhona brownies and hot sandwiches dripping with caramelized onions and succulent pork. "We're not interested in how many tables there are," Cooke says. "We're quite willing to go to a place that has two tables, or even to stand." At Au Pied de Cochon, chef Martin Picard offers a playful take on breakfast that features buckwheat pancakes, thick bacon and foie gras, all of it doused with maple syrup. Chef Yann Laguna puts the finishing touches on a salad at the McCord Cafe in downtown Montreal. The city is packed with bistros, bakeries, markets and cutting edge eateries.
  2. Le spécialiste de la santé et de la nutrition enregistre un gain de 43,9 M$ au deuxième trimestre, en partie en raison de la vente de sa division Ingrédients actifs et spécialités chimiques. Pour en lire plus...
  3. In the Village, off St-Cat west of Papineau and around the corner from Pappas Tapas. Ate there last week. Was already hard to get a reservation for 2 a few days in advance, but with this review it will be even harder. Fine Dining: Mezcla is a wish come true My stellar dinner featured some seriously delicious food, filled with beautiful flavours and diverse textures BY LESLEY CHESTERMAN, GAZETTE FINE-DINING CRITIC OCTOBER 5, 2012 The pork main course at Mezcla, in Montreal on Thursday September 27, 2012. (Allen McInnis/THE GAZETTE) Mezcla Rating: 3 out of 4 $$$ 1251 de Champlain St.(at Ste. Rose St.) Phone: 514-525-9934 Website: http://www.restaurantmezcla.com Open: Tues. to Sat. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: All major Wheelchair access: No Parking: Easy on the street Vegetarian friendly: Not especially Reservations: Essential Price range: Starters: $10-$16; main courses $19-$33; desserts: $6-$9. Five-course tasting menu: $39 For a city to be considered a serious gourmet destination, there must be a good mix of established restaurants along with the new and exciting. Montreal certainly has the former, but seems to have hit a bit of a wall when it comes to the latter. Granted, restaurants like Bouillon Bilk, Van Horne and the fabulous new Park and Hotel Herman have brightened up the scene tremendously over the past few years. Yet there are also many newbies that fall flat with fuzzy cooking, tired concepts and waiters who are trying their best to hock the same ol’ seared scallops and crème brûlées. It’s starting to feel like forever since I heard someone go bonkers with happiness over a restaurant. And then, it happened, and of all places on Facebook, where chef and Journal de Montréal restaurant critic Thierry Daraize posted a wildly enthusiastic endorsement of a restaurant called Mezcla. Mez … what? I had never heard of the place. And as someone who keeps a tab on restaurant matters with an obsession some might consider disturbing, I should have. But kudos to Daraize for discovering the restaurant, which opened in May, though his unbridled enthusiasm has made Mezcla one tough table to book. Once I eventually nabbed a table, I headed down to The Village to see what he calls one of his “grands coups de cœur” of 2012. Located on a side street just off Ste. Catherine, Mezcla is a warm, 50-seat space with high ceilings, an open floor plan, and a bistro-ish vibe. The “chaleureux” ambience is further boosted by low lights, sexy background tunes and an open kitchen in the back of the room. The decor provides few clues about the style of cuisine, which isn’t the usual French bistro but … aahhh … nuevo latino. When I think nuevo latino in Montreal, I immediately picture chef Mario Navarrete Jr.’s restaurant Raza. How nice, I always thought while sipping pisco sours, would it be to have more restaurants playing with these Central and South American, Cuban, Puerto Rican and Spanish-Caribbean ingredients and flavours? And now my wish has come true. I immediately recognized our host and waiter, a handsome Venezuelan by the name of Gerardo Labarca, who last served me years ago at that great tapas restaurant Pintxo. Turns out Labarca is an owner at Mezcla along with Marie-Hélène Barrière. Already that’s great news because the ever-smiling Labarca made my first Pintxo meal so memorable. As for the talent in the kitchen, that belongs to two gentlemen, Marcel Larrea, who trained Cordon Bleu in Peru and worked here at Thai Grill, and Georges-Étienne T. Tremblay, whose Montreal experience includes La Chronique and Les Enfants Terribles. Larrea may have last been cooking Thai, yet his background is Peruvian. Peruvian cuisine is hailed as the next big thing, and whenever I hear that I roll my eyes a little as the Peruvian cuisine I’ve sampled (and I’m no authority by any measure here) hasn’t been what I’d call earth moving. Yet after tasting this kitchen’s take on it, I’m intrigued. These boys are making some seriously delicious food, filled with beautiful flavours and diverse textures. Like Daraize, I gotta say, dinner at Mezcla turned out to be one of my best meals of the year. The wine list is another plus. Spanish heavy, well-priced with a good mix of private imports and SAQ selections, the list also features bottles well suited to this spicy/meaty/seafoody cuisine. The Albarino Condes de Albarei 2011 we enjoyed not only enhanced everything we ate, but at $42, didn’t put a dent on my budget. Nice. Now on to the food, which started with a simple plate of ceviche. Wait, did I say simple? Scratch that, because what started out looking like a pretty mound of raw fish and seafood bathed in a slightly spicy sauce turned into a complex dish when we were given a trio of crispy ingredients to mix in, including fried corn kernels, twisty yucca chips and a tangle of deep-fried carrot strands. Was it ever great, with the soft and silky seafood and salmon chunks mixing in with the crisp bits of chips and the crunch of the corn. Every taste was so clean, so fresh and I loved the surf and turf contrast between the fish and the vegetables. Huge. The next dish was almost as amazing, and consisted of tuna tartare set atop potato croquettes placed alongside mounds of crabmeat with avocado and coriander. Again, what a play of textures — dewy, crispy, creamy, chewy — along with all those fresh and bracing flavours. Really gorgeous. And I saved the best starter, the shrimp, for last. Served wrapped in fried yucca ribbons, the jumbo shrimp were meaty, fresh, resilient and cleverly served with two contrasting sauces: a close-to-fluffy avocado cream and a sweet chicha syrup made with smoky black corn. With every bite I said to myself, this is the best thing I’ve tasted all year, and considering the amount I eat, that’s saying a lot. I can’t wait to come back and try this dish again. There’s more. When I asked for a menu recommendation, Labarca’s face lit up and he said the blood pudding was a must. He’s right, it’s very good. Served on a light corn cake, the round of blood pudding is layered with julienned apple and slices of chorizo. Don’t want to get boring here, but again, the mix of textures won me over, and I also admired that these boys are using organic chorizo from Charlevoix, and finished the dish off with a Calvados-laced beurre blanc. What a pleasure to see updated ethnic cuisine made with the best local ingredients. Now that’s what I call modern cooking! More traditional but just as scrumptious was a simple plate of grilled duck hearts, with papa amarilla (yellow potatoes), choclo (corn cob, in this case, black corn) and gently spiced “panka” sauce made with dried amarillo peppers. I’m big on hearts for their filet mignon-meets liver taste and consistency, and these babies were wolfed back in record time. The size of the starters is larger than tapas, yet I’d still recommend ordering many plates to share. Main courses are more costly (in the $30 range), but the quality of ingredients merits such prices. For instance, the main I enjoyed was a duo of Gaspor pork that included three chops from the rack as well as a melting slice of braised flanc. Add to that chanterelles, carrots, parsnip purée and a light ’n’ herby sauce, and you have yet another reason to race over to Mezcla. As for desserts, I cannot deny I was discouraged to see only three, and three that included that predictable Montreal trio: crème brûlée, molten chocolate cake and pouding chômeur. Cue the groans. But wait, not so fast. Just when I thought I’d had my fill of molten chocolate cake, along came one so deeply chocolatey and ideally crusty-melty that I remembered what seduced me about this famous dessert in the first place. And that unemployment pud was also staggeringly good, full of maple flavour, firm yet still unctuous without falling into the dreaded mushy/icky/cloying pouding chômeur trap. To say I had a faultless meal at Mezcla would be an understatement as it was so creative and just downright delicious as well. And I only scratched the surface of this menu. All I want to do now is go back, go back to try the clams with chimichurri, the braised bison, the fish stew, the Cornish hen with yucca fries. Or better yet the five-course $39 tasting menu, which considering the quality of ingredients sounds like the deal of the century. What an orgy of tastes this restaurant has to offer. And at risk of never being able to get a last-minute table here myself, I end this review with just one suggestion: GO. [email protected] For more food and wine talk, tune in to Dinner Rush with Lesley Chesterman on Saturdays from 4 to 5 p.m. on News Talk Radio CJAD 800. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Fine+Dining+Mezcla+wish+come+true/7343470/story.html#ixzz28X00XnVC
  4. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Montreal+school+pizza/4423732/story.html#ixzz1GSJTeJ7g There is also a video with the link