Two Small French Restaurants You Have To Try In Montreal!!

Two Small French Restaurants You Have To Try In Montreal!!

Although we ate wonderful food in Montreal, two restaurants stood out among the pack.  They both had french flair to them. Both were unpredentenditous in appearance and atmosphere; wooden tables, unmatched chairs, with a small visible kitchen. No paper menus here, just a chalk board with a hand written menu with today’s tasty delights written in french, carefully scripted on the board. But from this point the two restaurants diverge. Both take you down a path of culinary delights, but how they get you there is quite different.

Le Renard et la Choeuette

Our first experience was at Le Renard et la Choeuette.  We would describe the menu that evening as comfort food you wish your french grandmother would have cooked for you. My sister and I decided on the Gratin de Chouflueur (cauliflower au gratin) and the Cassoulet de Carnard (duck).  You may wonder what can be so exciting about cauliflower and melted cheese? But this is not ordinarily dressed cauliflower, it comes to the table in a seasoned cast iron pan with lightly brown roasted cauliflower and the smell of the pungent melted cheese. The cheese either, goat or sheep, added a complementary flavor to the nuttiness of the roasted cauliflower. The hot cast iron pan kept the cheese melted and the flourettes hot while you dip them in the melted cheese .. oh so good!!    

Now for the cassoulet.  It arrived at the table in a large casserole dish bubbling hot with beans, duck pieces and sausages. It was supposed to be a dish for two but frankly we thought it could easily had feed three.  The duck was served three ways.  I love the fact that the duck breast was cooked separate and served medium rare, my only complaint was the skin could have been a bit crispier. The duck legs and meat were very tender and in combination with the beans.  Everything just melted in your mouth with a savory tomato goodness.  The very best part was the in-house made duck sausages, the delicate bundle of duck meat and flavoring just dissolved in your mouth leaving you wanting more. We were disappointed there was only one sausage in the cassoulet as we craved at least another.  As good as it was, we could not finish it, and frankly had no room for dessert.  As it happened, on my way to the ladies room, the owner of the establishment was sitting at the bar.  I mentioned how much I enjoyed the food.  He sent over a special created desert with wine to top off the meal.  As there is always room for dessert, we certainly enjoyed it.

L’affaire Est Ketchup our second culinary adventure was quite a different surprise.!!

 

 

The restaurant was a small storefront space with a few tables.  The menu was again written on a chalkboard in french with just a few choice items. But what a few items they where!! Culinary delights created in a open kitchen. To our amazement, on a tiny electric stove. We were lucky enough to taste some of the best sweetbreads we have ever tasted,  The down-side was there were not enough of them they were that good.  Then we shared the pork dish which can only be described as a gourmet’s delight. The tables are very close togethers and made rapid friends with the folks sitting next to us. We ended up tasting each others dishes giving us even more heavenly bites. Dee even got up a did a dance with our new friends and a fun evening was had by all. 

So we recommend L’affaire Est Ketchup for a real gourmet experience in an unpretentious environment. 

Maine: Family and exploring the coast 23 – 26 June

Maine: Family and exploring the coast 23 – 26 June

We spent the first two days visiting with our Aunt and Uncle.  From there we took the coastal route to  Portland.  We enjoyed taking in the sea air and we stopped at J’s Oyster House for a wonderful meal of oyster’s on the half shell, Bloody Mary’s, and Michelle had the best clam chowder evah.

After some window shopping, we continued on our coastal route to the destination of  Rockland, Maine. The drive along the coast was beautiful.  We arrived in Rockland mid-afternoon. We checked into the 250 Maine.  We had a wonderful room overlooking the water.  The hotel had a lovely roof top lounge area, and we enjoyed complimentary wine whilst enjoying the view and the warm breeze.

The main reason for going to Rockland was to have dinner at a boutique restaurant, Primo Restaurant.  The restaurant has it’s own farm and garden.  We shared:

  • Charcuterie… Warm Pork Rillions, Head Cheese, Lonza, Rillettes and Liverwurst with pickles, radish, crostini and house mustard …mustard jelly
  • Seared Day Boat Scallops…roasted cauliflower & romanesco,Tuscan Black Rice, garden padrones and ‘Nduja sauce
  • Special of the Day… Black cod with mussels

Our 1st Week in NH June 3rd 2017 →

 

June 3 2017

We arrived in Boston a little ahead of schedule after a red-eyed flight from San Fransisco around 6:15 AM. After taking a shuttle from Logan airport to to Manchester airport we rented arrived at AVIS to pick up our rental car for our duration in Manchester.  The guy behind the car rental counter was the slowest I have experienced in some time…..snooze….. we finally got the car and received great news that our hotel rooms which were not expected to be available till 4pm were ready.  This was a great relief as having traveled all night and having a sad task of attending a funeral this am and quick shower and change was a great relief.

Our dear friend Jacqui Gallagher lost her sister Stephanie to ALS over the memorial day weekend. Our heart was grieving for our dear friend as she has suffered so many dear losses over the last year. We will miss you Stephanie and know you are no longer suffering.  http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/unionleader/obituary.aspx?pid=185670866

Checking in with Mom. The purpose of this week is to see mom in person again.  We have been face timing her everyday for the last year and it will be good to spend quality time with her.