Montrealers love their brunch and it seems like new brunch spots are springing up every week. i recently tried three restaurants that I quite enjoyed for different reasons. Here they are below and please don’t hesitate to let me know if there are some you’ve tried and enjoyed lately so I may try them and write about them.
This new Westmount spot is a partnership between chefs Antonio Park and Bertrand Bazin. Pastry chef Bazin has been making great desserts in Montreal for a few years now but it was hard for anyone who didn’t have access to Club 357c to taste them. This new café changes things and gives us all access not only to the delicious French pastries but also to Café Bazin’s savoury menu. The café is open from 8am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays and has an open layout which allows all 20 seats to have a view of the open kitchen. The savoury French bistro menu is created and executed by chef Takashi Horinoue and includes classics such as bœuf bourguignon, ratatouille, vol-au-vent and a take on salade Niçoise in the shape of a tartine. A mousse de foie and foie gras Paris-Brest sounded great but I didn’t order it because I was saving space for all the desserts. I tried the gnocchi à la parisienne and the Niçoise tartine, both great although the tuna in the Niçoise was a bit on the dry side. The desserts were far better than the savoury side of the menu, in my opinion, and deserve a trek to Westmount. The coffee and chocolate tart is a must, as is the chocolate cake. The chou à la crème with pistachio cream and fresh raspberries would’ve probably been better if filled à la minute but was still delicious nonetheless.
In conclusion: a great addition to the neighbourhood and to the pastry offer in Montreal.
It was a cry that reverberated throughout the Montreal food-loving community: Hotel Herman was closing. The much beloved Mile End restaurant had to unexpectedly close about a year ago, much to the chagrin of its many fans, including me. It was one of my favourite restaurants in Montreal and one that I often recommended to tourists and Montrealers alike. Luckily for us, the Herman team had purchased Brasserie Réservoir just before Herman closed. I finally visited Réservoir for brunch recently and I loved it. Although chef Marc-Alexandre Mercier’s menu is not the same as it was at Herman, this is not your average brunch menu. Yes, there are more traditional egg dishes on the menu but you will also find some dishes that will make you willfully reminiscent of Hotel Herman. With a silent sigh and a palpable pleasure to be tasting Marc-Alexandre’s cuisine again, I dug into some of the dishes on the menu. The strawberry scone with beurre noisette was delicious, the corn soup with lobster mushroom absolutely luscious and the tuna tataki with cantaloup a perfect balance of flavours. The Nordic shrimp tartine with kohlrabi, horseradish and a poached egg was my favourite main dish. I cannot wait to go back for lunch, dinner and more brunches!
In conclusion: one of my new favourite brunch spots!
The west part of Old Montreal is going through a huge revival with many condo and office buildings being built and quite a few cafés and restaurants opening up. One of these restaurants is Mélisse, a Pinterest-perfect space with enough Instagrammable angles to last you through a long Montreal winter. Mélisse is open for breakfast (or brunch) and lunch 7 days a week. Take a seat in one of the many different areas that include dinner or cocktail tables, a loungey area or counter seating. The service is very friendly and the dishes just as picture perfect as the space. For brunch, I went with the $25/3 course menu which includes a light and airy salmon rillette, a small and colourful piece of croissant bread pudding and one of their breakfast tartines. I picked the hard boiled egg tartine with a side of gravlax and also had a taste of the ham, cheese and poached egg tartine.
In conclusion: Mélisse is a great new addition to the Old Montreal restaurant offer.