Saturday, 13 August 2011

Montréal, Plateau-Mont Royal

Au Festin De Babette
'Welcome to Canada'

That's what the officer said to us as we went through customs, after our twenty-hours-trip to Montréal. I felt grateful and pleased at the same time.
Happy we arrived safe and sound.
Happy. And terribly tired.

We fell asleep as soon as we laid out heads on the pillow, but guess what? M. woke me up in the middle of the night (around 3.35 a.m. to be precise) and asked me to entertain her with some storytelling and card games...This happened the second night as well, but I managed to skip card games and go back to sleep in an hour...

We had our difficult time to recover from jet lag and our daughter's insomnia... that's way I didn't feel like staying at home cooking, I'd rather explore the Plateau-Mont Royal neighbourhood, its beautiful parks (swimming pools included) and charming restaurants and cafés.

Here are some of our picks, our 'coups the coeur', as they say here.

Au Festin De Babette
Au Festin De Babette (4085, Rue St Denis) is probably our daughter's favourite one: a good selection of high quality ice-creams, slushes & milk-shakes 'maison' (homemade) are just what you need to keep her quiet on these hot and damp days here in Montrèal. There are also other luxurious treats you could indulge in, like exquisite French chocolates, crepes and cupcakes.
I simply like to sit back and relax in the decadent and charming atmosphere of this café, playing cards with M. and pouring green tea out of a stylish teapot...

Au Festin De Babette
If you like the idea of sipping a good tea as I do, another place you could head to is Kawha Café (263, Ave. Mont Royal Est) where you can find a good selection of organic and fair-trade coffees.

The shabby chic interiors and the art works displayed here will certainly capture your attention, but the thing I like the most is the back terrace: a tiny but cosy space furnished with wood benches and old arm chairs, flower pots and candle lanterns. It's definitely a good choice if you want to have a late evening rest and escape from the street buzz...

La Grand-Mère Poule
La Grand-Mère Poule (1361,  Ave. Mont Royal Est) is a family friendly, country style restaurant. It gets quite busy and crowded during lunch time I have to say, but service is quick and of a high quality. You have to like eggs though, because that's the main ingredient of almost every dish.

If you want to go vegan Aux Vivres (4631, Boul. St-Larent) is the best option in the Plateau-Mont Royal area.

Indian-inspired 'Lassi a la Mangue' with coconut milk is a real treat as well as the 'gateaux faux-mage' (vegan cheesecake) and the chocolate truffle...
As for the brunch you can choose from three different menus: 'Le complet' (grilled tofu, tempeh, spicy sweet potatos and cornbread); 'La polenta (fried polenta, guacamole, and salad.....); and 'Gaufres dorées' (two gaufres served with maple syrup and fruit salad).
I had 'Le complete' menu and I still think it's the best choice if you want to have a tasty and healthy lunch.

So far, these are the best places we went to and the food we ate.
We still have to get used to new flavours and ingredients (why are you guys here so obsessed with cilantro?), but I guess it is part of the game...

La Grand-Mère Poule

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