Step Into my Day

June 19th, 2014

Burger de Ville

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Many times before I have passed by this Westminster location thinking “Damn it smells good” without ever stepping inside. Then, one day this spring, I decided to give the burger joint a go.

The small, modest restaurant is considered among the best in the city (ranking #1 in Urbanspoon’s Burger category). The family business prides itself on 100% Canadian beef used in the patties; “Always Fresh, Never Frozen!” is their motto. They hold three locations across town (St. Laurent, Jarry East being the other two).

The menu is small, with poutine, steaks and salads as options. They serve sodas and milkshakes but the endless free toppings section (think caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, harissa mayo amongst other things) is what really left me positively surprised.

I settled on Black & Blue – with bleu cheese, pepper crust and caramelized onions (and the standard lettuce and tomatoes). Monsieur picked the bacon + cheese with various toppings. They asked us the doneness of the patty, and three seconds later, the food was served.

My hamburger was delicious! (I sometimes catch myself daydreaming of its flavour combination). The bleu cheese added an unexpected pang, and the portion was just right. Side note: we shared a portion of fries and it was plenty. One interesting burger variation that my Mom would enjoy – the Mediterranean (with goat cheese, grilled veggies and black pepper mayo).

If you’re looking for an incredibly high-quality burger for a ridiculously small price, look no further. This place is the bomb.

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Burger de Ville on Urbanspoon

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June 5th, 2014

Quartier Général

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The other week, Monsieur  turned 25! To celebrate, we headed to the well-known Plateau Mont-Royal favourite – le Quartier Général.

The bustling neighbourhood restaurant features a glass wall, an open kitchen and a small menu curated to perfection. But the main reason I’ve been shamelessly recommending this bistro to every living soul I know (for the past few years) without ever having set foot in here is their BYOB factor. Of course, BOY did I not expect for the food to be THAT good.

The french cuisine puts an emphasis on high-quality area-sourced products (with the origin of the ingredient sometimes mentioned on the menu). And, for only 12$, you can add any soup/salad, appetizer and dessert to your main, instantly making your meal a night to remember.

Now, because we were a party of 6, I sampled the menu almost entirely. To start, make sure to order the octopus “fine tart”, the gravlax-style marinated tuna or the tartare du soir. On our night, it was the deer variety, served with wild mushrooms and a delicious sauce. There is also a lamb carpaccio and a quail duo, along with pan-seared foie gras, the flavour of which changes daily.

In the mains, you have the choice of five meats and an Arctic char (I tried a bite… and it melted in my mouth! Definitely one of the most tender fish I’ve ever tried). The Boileau deer was very juicy, the Marieville duck was heavenly and I didn’t get a taste of the milk-fed piglet but overheard it was delicious. I, of course, had the most decadent dish: grain-fed veal chops topped with foie gras and hazelnuts and served with mashed potatoes with a hint of vanilla. Everyone at the table was raving about their food, and I kept thinking “Good thing I send people here all these years” :)

For dessert, I settled on the Lemon Curd (which was a little sweet for my taste) and goggled the Chocolate Marquise and the Cheese Cake (served in a little mason jar) of my dinner’s companions. It was a wonderful evening, but as with all things too amazing, there was a catch: make sure to reserve wayyy ahead of time. My parents weren’t so enthralled by the 9pm reservation we secured… on a Monday night. So make sure to reserve, bring a bottle of very good wine and enjoy! It’s really worth it.

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May 10th, 2013

Chez Lévêque

Living in Montreal, surely you might know that many greatest places offer an “After 10″ menu (Milos, Leméac or Ferreira Café to name a few). But when searching for an emplacement for this celebratory evening, I was pleased to learn that one Outremont specialty had a “21 after 21″ offering.

Restaurant Chez Lévêque, is one Laurier street institution. Monsieur tells me his godfather has been a regular for the past 30-something years. That is why, on a quiet Monday evening, after finishing my class at 9pm, I met Monsieur in front of the french bistro-style restaurant. Inside, tables were full with the nocturnal clientele. We sat by the window and got a glimpse of the kitchen in the back. A waiter brought a selection of breads (I chose baguette white), baked in house by Daphné, the baker/pastry chef. The 21$ night menu includes an entrée or dessert with a main dish, and given the price, the selection is fabulous! You get a choice of ten complex and fine dishes – sautéed beef bourguignon served with mashed potatoes or crab cake with horseradish sauce with french fries/salad are some on the list. The entrées and desserts are just as interesting.

I started with a gratinéed two-cheese French onion soup while Monsieur opted for poultry liver mousse with porto jelly and onion jam. As per usual, I didn’t try my better half’s liver but was comforted by my delicious soup. Not too cheesy, not too salty, a real treat on a cold evening (the dish is seasonally available, so consider me lucky). Next came our mains. I ate my heart out with a Herford 8 oz sirloin steak with choron sauce, served with French fries and sautéed vegetables. A velvety mayonnaise was served with my fries, which made it all the more gluttonous (and amazing). Monsieur chose duck fillets in madera sauce with linguine, served in a little Asian inspired bowl. He said he loved his dish… but frankly I was too transported enjoying mine that I can’t remember much from the conversation. The portions, I must note, were in accordance with the clock. A tad smaller (I assume) than those of the Main Courses menu, and just right so you don’t roll out of there when the clock hits midnight.

Given our 7 year anniversary, we went a little naughty… and ordered the Chocolate Royal Cake with crispy praline to end our feast. It hit a high note on an already marvellous supper. Served with strawberries, it made our hearts melt a little.

In the end, I loved our discovery (and urge you to try it out). How they make money with that impressive after 21h menu, I know not. Frankly, I’m more concerned with when’s the next time I’ll be there…

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