I haven’t written a Current Crush post in a few months and it’s about time! Just a quick reminder that these “Current Crush” posts are here so I can share a few of my latest coups de cœur with you. Some of these spots may be new, some a bit more honed but they’re all fantastic and definitely worth a visit. Enjoy this edition and don’t forget to check out the others here!

345 rue Villeray, Montreal / 514 439 9089
Tuesday to Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm / Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 2:30pm

restaurant meson spanish tapas montreal © Will Travel for Food

Dinner (top row) and brunch at restaurant Mesón

From the group who run Tapeo, one of the best restaurants in town, comes Mesón, located a couple of doors down Villeray Street. The focus at this casual neighbourhood bistro is not on tapas this time around but more on comfort, homey food (mesón meaning home in Spanish).  I visited for brunch and dinner and came away feeling happy that this spot had opened just a couple of blocks up from where I live. For brunch, try the crab cake with hollandaise sauce or the shrimp toast with soft boiled egg and don’t forget to end your meal with some churros con salsa de caramelo (Spanish donuts with caramel). For dinner, start with a coca, a dough topped with a variety of ingredients from the excellent sardines and egg yolk to Serrano ham and Manchego cheese. Whatever you order, it will be good.


764 rue Bélanger, Montreal / 514 508 5450
Saturday & Sunday: 10am – 3pm

la recole brunch montreal © Will Travel for Food

Lobster benedict with homemade tater tots

La récolte is not very new and I’d been hearing about it for a while now. The mission at this neighbourhood spot is to use organic, local and seasonal products only. La récolte’s main business is one of catering but they are open for brunch on weekends and the menu is created according to what local producers have on hand that week. What I loved most is how dedicated this young team is about their mission and although coffee is not very local, they do have some on hand (thank god!) but they will quickly suggest local apple juice when you order orange juice. The lobster eggs benedicts and the asparagus with poached egg I tried when I went were delicious, organic, local and seasonal, a true taste of Quebec in the spring. Watch for special events and pop-up dinners with or without guest chefs that La récolte organizes every once in a while.


2000 Rue Amherst, Montreal /514 521 8467
Monday to Friday: 11am – 8pm / Saturday: 10am – 7pm / Sunday: 10am – 5pm

la réserve du comptoir charcuteries montreal © Will Travel for Food

Sandwich and sausages at La réserve du comptoir

Le comptoir vins et charcuteries is a great restaurant located in the Mile-End and known for its housemade charcuteries which chef Segué Lepage was making in the restaurant’s basement. When the sausage-making outgrew its facilities, La réserve opened up and is now making several kinds of charcuteries and preserves for sale. The decor is minimalist with beautiful industrial lighting fixtures, a tin ceiling and a large window with a view of the walk-in refrigerator containing all the hanging meat and sausages. La réserve also make some pretty good sandwiches using their own sausages of course. Surprisingly, the sandwich that I enjoyed the most while I was there was a vegan roasted cauliflower and chickpea sandwich with pine nuts, basil and a red wine emulsion. I even added it to my list of best sandwiches in Montreal here.


114 Avenue Laurier West, Montreal / 514 227 8712
Tuesday to Saturday: 5:30pm – 10pm

callao peruvian restaurant montreal © Will Travel for Food

Dinner at Peruvian restaurant Callao

Chef Mario Navarrete’s latest venture brings us a more accessible Peruvian cuisine in the same local that had brought us his high end Nuevo Latino restaurant Raza on Laurier Avenue. I was invited to a media dinner to launch new Callao – named after the largest port in Peru – and was blown away by how absolutely gorgeous the dishes are, like true paintings on the plate. The menu at Callao is fairly short with a few appetizers, five main meals and a couple of desserts. Ceviches, tiraditos, anticuchos, papa rellenas, escabeche are all on the menu and I especially enjoyed the fish ceviche, the octopus anticucho and the quinoa con leche dessert. I am a big fan of chef Navarrete’s cuisine and this new incarnation does not disappoint.


257 Prince Street, Montreal / 514 316 4666
Tuesday to Friday: 11:30am – 2pm / Monday to Saturday: 6pm – 11pm

le serpent restaurant old montreal © Will Travel for Food

Lunch at Le Serpent

Le serpent is the latest venture from chef Claude Pelletier of Club Chasse et Pêche and Le Filet fame. Located inside the fabulous Darling Foundry – an industrial space with high ceilings, very tall windows, brick walls and wood beams I have always loved in the heart of Old Montreal – the restaurant’s decor matches the space’s spirit in its vintage, industrial yet somehow chic ambiance, including a long bar right at the entrance that just begs to be seated at. The lunch crowd the day I visited was chic and hip and so was the staff. Chef Michele Mercuri spins a modern Italian menu and plates everything beautifully. Everything we ordered – warm octopus with potato mousseline and salsa verde, foie gras parfait with date jelly and salty crumble, duck confit with braised endives and a dessert of maple pudding with biscuit Breton with olives and compressed apple – was a hit except for the pork shank risotto that was a bit of a miss in looks as well as taste. I can’t wait to go back and try the dinner menu soon.


5670 Rue Jarry East, Saint-Leonard / 514 328 1845

pretzels company montreal © Will Travel for Food

Pretzels from Bretzels & Compagnie [photo Bretzels & Compagnie]

Did you know that we have a company making traditional bretzels in Montreal? I first came across Bretzels & Compagnie at the last Food Revolution Day at the Jean Talon Market. I tried one of the soft, moist and chewy traditional bretzels with little crunchy salt crystals and it was just perfect. They are currently located in Saint-Leonard in the east part of town and the bulk of their business is done through ordering, which is a great idea for your next party! The bretzels come in various savoury and sweet flavours like cheddar and chili, roasted garlic, chocolate, maple, and a bagel bretzel or poppy seed bretzel that would be great with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

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