Restaurant: Brasserie T! (Brossard, Canada)

Its been a crazy restaurant phase lately. Unexpected to say the very least! Next up is a relatively new restaurant in Quartier Dix30 in Brossard, which is in the south shore of Montreal. Its an outdoor complex with a wide selection of many different types of stores, restaurants and entertainment.

Brasserie T! has its first restaurant in the Quartier des Spectacles area which is right next to Place des Arts in downtown Montreal. I’ve never been to that location before which is something on my to do list however, I had heard that the Brasserie T! at Quartier Dix30 was open and that it was pretty good that I decided to go there to check it out.

While my post here is going to be fairly short with only the little bit that I tried out, you can find the menu on their website HERE.

Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30

Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30 is location in the Hotel Alt! in the Square Dix30 area. Its location is pretty nice with underground parking and side lots all around it. The interior decor is classy and nice but still has the casual feeling of a brasserie. The waitress that we got was also very friendly and accommodating. She jot down my allergies and made sure to double check on the questions I had related to make sure that I could have which food with no issues. When we asked about wines, she also made her suggestions but also went to ask the more experienced staff to make sure it was a good selection.

I went with someone who had been to the Brasserie T before and therefore, we were aware to ask for the specials which were not written on the menu. If you do go, that is very important to ask because the special menu is done with the vegetables and meats that they have fresh that week (or whichever duration the special lasts because I’m not sure and didn’t ask). There are usually some entree item and then one or two main meals, I believe.

Main Meal

brasserie t

Crab Roll

If you like seafood, rolls are a really refreshing summer meal. Usually we see these in lobster variety. Its nice that Brasserie T! swapped it up and used crab as the star of their roll. This roll was very refreshing mostly because there was a good amount of crab and a very nice crunchy coleslaw to go with it. It was also done well because it had a good balance of mayonnaise as well.

DESSERT

BRASSERIE T QUARTIER DIX30

For dessert, they have a pretty nice selection. However, as usual, there wasn’t anything else that I could have so I chose to have a sorbet. You could choose to have one or two scoops. Their flavor also changes to what they have available. The one that we got was for strawberry sorbet. I’ve never had strawberry sorbet (usually its more raspberry and such) so its a really nice one to try out.

OVERALL, Brasserie T Quartier Dix30 is pretty nice. The ambiance is nice. The interior decor is very elegant. The service was also really good and knowledgeable. The food was pretty decent as well. I’d be interested to go back and try out some of the stuff on their normal menu as well as see what else they come up for specials as the season as warmer and the produce changes.

Battle of Ingredients #13 The First BBQ of 2019

Its been a while since out last Battle of Ingredients. As usual, we have our Winter through summer months of busy and crazy schedules so our off season if you can call it that. We are back to doing Battle of Ingredients in the home setting, which is always fun.

The First Barbecue of 2019 had a change of scenery from our previous barbecue settings and that had to do with the purchase of a new one on our behalf. Its still early in the season however with the long weekend, we were able to do a nice little meal to feed our 6 adults and a 1 kid crew.

Before we start, I’ll apologize that pictures are a bit incomplete so please bear with me as I try to add more in the description.

Wine

Petale de Rose

The wine for this Battle was provided by our friend as usual. This was the bottle left over from the previous battle. It was a nice match as a rosé wine called Pétale de Rose. Its a bit on the drier side but its pretty smooth in its end notes.

BBQ Food 

First up, this was my BBQ food ready to go on the grill. There’s some skewers of marinated chicken, some sliced zucchini and some baby Shanghai bok choy. Right before the grill, the zucchini got its seasoning of the simple stuff: salt, pepper and olive oil. Shanghai bok choy had no season other than oil to prevent sticking (unless the husband put some then I can’t remember).

Zucchini

Chicken Skewers

The Chicken Skewers were done fairly quickly. For the these skewers, I used:

  • chicken thighs
  • garlic
  • smoked salt (from Les As du Fumoir)
  • Plumée poultry spice (from La Pincée)

We marinated the chicken in the fridge for about 3 hours (at least) before we skewered them and got them cooking. The chicken skewers turned out really well. We hadn’t had a lot of luck with bringing out the flavor when we used the smoked salt but it works really well on the grill. I really liked this spontaneous marinade for the chicken.

Sorry for the lack of a more focused picture. Phoebe brought us the more intricate stuff with seasoned steaks which are under the Portobello mushrooms.

Mushrooms and Steak

Her steaks were marinated with:

  • salt,
  • oregano,
  • rosemary
  • homegrown fresh basil.

I don’t have the end result. We all forgot to take a picture and I thought I had taken one when I didn’t. However, the mushrooms were great and the steaks were also marinated really good also.

Non-BBQ Additions

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

In addition to the BBQ food, I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough food so I added a little carbs to our meal but making a pasta salad.

The ingredients are:

  • Rotini
  • Pedon’s More Than Pasta – Green Pea Rotini
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Orange and Yellow Peppers
  • olive oil

We kept an Italian salad dressing (normal Kraft one) on the side for anyone that wanted to use it.

The pasta salad is pretty straight-forward. It turned as expected. The only new trial here was the Green Pea Rotini which has a very odd texture. We noticed that when cooking it more, it actually got more rubbery instead of mushier (which is what happens with some gluten-free pasta when overcooked). The texture was really odd in the sense. Pushing that aside, everything else works well. I left all the seasoning and sauces to however everyone liked it so just kept it as a base salad to be modified as desired.

Dessert

Apple Muffins

No recipe for this one as this was brought by our friends who also brought the wine. They are attempting the world of baking and brought us some dairy-free soy-based apple muffins. It was pretty decent.

That’s it for this Battle of Ingredients!
We are working on the date for the next one so things are picking up again in the Battle front.

I apologize again on the rusty organization skills and forgetting to take pictures.

Goodfood Recap #37

It sure feels like a while since the last Goodfood recap. We’re back to monthly instalments of these. To be fair, we only get the ones that we think we have time to cook and also the meals work to our liking. This week has two repeats and two new ones so it’ll be interesting to see. However, we took this box mostly because it was the week after some crazy work schedule and just needed time to not think about groceries and the like.

Let’s check it out!

Seared Steaks
with Lemon-Oregano Potatoes & Roasted Zucchini

seared steaks goodfood

A word of the wise to fellow cooks, at least for myself, I’ve learned that any meal with zucchini (or other leafy vegetables) should be the first to go in regardless of when the meat expires. I’ve experienced too many times of bad zucchinis due to my not getting to it quick enough. With that said, its why the random time that steaks got put forward. This meal is actually pretty good. The roasted zucchini is nice and I’d definitely try to do that again. The potatoes were a nice blend. We don’t like eating seared anything and like this cooked completely so the husband, who is almost always responsible for cooking meat, made sure to have it well done. That’s our personal preference, of course.

Chicken Yakitori
with Roasted Carrots, Chinese Broccoli & Miso Butter

chicken yakitori goodfood

The first repeat meal is Chicken Yakitori. I’m going to say right now that starting from this meal, the husband took care of most of 90% of the cooking and I only helped with small prep work and stuff due to work and whatnot. His first attempt at Chicken Yakitori and it still tastes fantastic. I love all the elements of this meal from the sauce to the chicken and the spices and the miso butter on the roasted veggies. I would redo this one on the grill any day in the summer. Works well because its one I’ll consider for the next Battle which is coming up in just a few weeks.

Fried Eggplant Sabich
with Mango Chopped Salad & Red Cabbage

Fried Eggplant Sabich Goodfood

Every box has a meal that we just add in to try out and this time its the eggplant sabich. The husband isn’t a big fan of eggplant to start and I’m not a big fan of this type of eggplant but I’m hoping to find an eggplant recipe which I can like and eat more of because eggplant is a healthy addition to our diet. This is supposed to be put into the pita as a pouch sort of meal but the pitas turned out to be too crispy so we just put everything on top of it. I think the meal still works because its like pita chips with hummus and then the freshness of the mango chopped salad meshes well with the flavorful fried eggplant slices. This was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Pork Chops
with Honey-Glazed Cipollini Onions & Shaved Asparagus Salad

pork chops goodfood

Last meal of the box is also a repeat, one that I was a bit more than lukewarm towards and the reason why it made it in. Under the helm of the husband, I actually think it tastes better than the first time. It could be the potatoes are seasoned really well and finally not burnt as it usually turned out for me when I put it in the oven. The sauce is done really well and I liked it so much that I ended up making some toast to eat the rest up. It all goes well with the pork chops.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!

Restaurant: Brasserie Elements (Brossard, Canada)

Next up in the food adventures is a long-awaited Friday date night at a restaurant that we’ve been thinking of checking out for a while which has been only opened in the last few years called Brasserie Elements.

Brasserie Elements is for 18 and over as it is focused on its beers and cocktails while it has quite a limited but interesting menu also. You need to be aware of which days the kitchen closes at what time.

Elements Menu

I apologize that the menu is only in French but just to show you the limited choices. You can find the menu on their website. Either way, its to get an idea.

Let’s check out what we got!

Drinks

Elements Blonde Beer

Avril Sour

Avril Sour

When you go to a brasserie, it wouldn’t be right to not order some kind of drink. The husband likes beers to went ahead to try their house brew blonde beer. I had a sip (because I’m not a huge beer fan) and thought it was pretty decent. Its smooth and pretty good. I had a few items on the cocktail list that I was interested in but essentially got sold on the Avril Sour which is like an Amaretto Sour except it uses a Quebec-made almond-nut liqueur. its small and delicate and tastes really good. With any sours, its always good to keep them well-portioned mostly because its pretty acidic and sometimes the different liqueurs can be too much when the quantity is too much, which is why I’m pretty happy with their flavors, the balance and the size of the drink.

Appetizer

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings

Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings with peanuts and green onions

There were two things that caught my eye in the menu right from the get-go and one of those were this Smoked BBQ chicken wings with peanuts and green onions. They tasted really good. On top of that, I like the concept that they really promote the whole finger food thing so yeah, its casual and fun because there is no elegant way to eat wings without wasting a ton of meat. At least I’m not skilled that way.

Main Meal

Burger Elements

Burger Elements

The husband had the Burger Elements which has roasted shishitos, crispy shallots, cheese sauce infused with beer (not sure how to translate that). He really enjoyed it a lot but there was something in it that we couldn’t quite pinpoint.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich

I’m a huge fan of pulled pork sandwiches so chances are if they have that as an option, I’m going to choose it. This one had a lot of stuff in it or just very leaky coleslaw along with a good amount of pulled pork and with smoked BBQ sauce. It tasted absolutely fantastic even if it was a completely messy experience. I do say that the coleslaw was a bit too generous which made me not be able to finish up the also very generous portion of fries which was comparable to a mountain.

Overall

Brasserie Elements is a pretty nice place. Its laid back and casual which works very well with the menu it gives and all the kinds of beers that you can try. There’s a good selection of beers from all over and very unique ones that you probably won’t find everywhere. Other than that, the food menu is also pretty good with appetizers, main meals as well as desserts. For a brasserie, they had pretty decent service as the waitress is very attentive to make sure that we were satisfied with our food and drinks and anything else that we needed. However, with a brasserie experience comes a bit more of a noisier atmosphere. The music however was really good, at least to our tastes and the place was split a little bit more in half so the more drinking side definitely felt like they had more speakers than say the more restaurant side. Maybe it wasn’t deliberate but it definitely worked for the better for our preferences.

Restaurant: Mama Dumpling (St.Hubert, Canada)

Sometimes we find the things we are looking for when we aren’t quite looking for it as is the case with Mama’s Dumplings, a Chinese dumpling restaurant on the South Shore of the island of Montreal. As dumplings become quite the new thing popping up over the last few years in Chinatown, its been a hunt to find out where to find it on a more suburban setting and then I came across this place and called up my friend who is equally passionate about finding a dumpling place not in downtown. And here we are! At this point, we had gone back a second time, both recapped together. The main suggestion for going to dumpling places is to get a bigger group to be able to order more types to see which works the best to your tastes.

Food

First visit

Chicken - Mushroom Dumplings

Chicken-Shitake Mushroom Pan-fried Dumplings

Pork-Cabbage Steamed Dumplings

Pork-Cabbage Steamed Dumplings

Beef-Coriander Dumplings

Beef Coriander Pan-friend Dumplings

The first visit was just a little trial where we gave each type of meat a try so we took the more basic flavors: Chicken and Shitake mushrooms, Beef and coriander and Pork and cabbage. These are very normal ones. Some types have choices of pan-fried and steam while others one have one or the other option. For each, the wrapper skin is different. For dumplings, that is a huge component to how heavy the dumpling is and how the bite of the whole thing is. its one of the things that Mama Dumpling does well.

Talking about the food here, the first time around the one that stood out was the chicken and shitake mushroom. It had to do a lot with how the pan fried was done well and not too oily. Plus, the mushroom elevates the chicken especially because these ones have some soup sort of thing on the inside like the soup-filled dumplings (shanghai specialty) so its pretty tasty. The beef and coriander tasted almost exactly like the beef balls dim sum. While the pork and cabbage was exactly as you’d expect and the taste is good.

The first visit was a quick run and we managed to eat all three plates with just 2 people. It worked a ton for us so it was obvious that we’d come back for a second run which happened the week after….

Second Visit

Pork and Mushroom Dumplings

Pork and Mushroom Dumplings

Shrimp, Pork, Leek Dumplings

Shrimp, Pork, Leek Dumplings

Pork and Green Onion Dumplings

Pork and Green Onion Dumplings

I’m going to be honest that I can’t remember if the last one was pork or chicken with green onions. Its not like it shows that much difference. With that said the second time around, the three different types of dumplings were better than the first time. The first visits standout was the chicken and mushroom. Anything with shitake mushrooms has a really nice flavor to it so the pork and mushrooms was really good because of that. Green onions in dumplings are best pan fried because it doesn’t only taste good but smells really good also. Finally the star of the show goes to the Shrimp, pork and leek ones where the dumpling itself had a small whole shrimp in there which gave it both a nice texture and a good flavor. This choice is only available steamed and it works so very well. The wrapper was really delicate but not too thin that it’d break either. This second visit was really tasty.

Overall

Mama Dumpling is a nice environment. The description on the menu talks about it being originally a chain from China. I don’t know where but the dumplings that we’ve tried so far is good to great so definitely a place that delivers some nice stuff. The only dumplings we didn’t try yet are the vegetarian ones which I might go back one time with my mom and give it a go as well. There are also some other appetizers on the menu that look really interesting. I can feel there is a strive for authenticity here and being healthier than other places so I’m looking forward to go back and check out more items on the menu. I have a massive unexplicable love for dumplings. Its kind of my comfort food so this find is a great one especially since I don’t have to stick to the same choice available in Chinatown.

Are you a fan of dumplings?
Are there any dumpling places you’ve tried that you recommend in your city or somewhere that you’ve visited elsewhere?

Goodfood Recap #36

Goodfood (19)

Its been a month and time for another Goodfood box! This time had one repeat recipe and a few that I’ve seen but never found enough in the previous times to want to order the box. This time, we wanted to give it a go.

Let’s check it out!

Braised Cod
with Roasted Garlic Chickpeas & Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

braised cod

Kicking us off for any box is the fish recipe! This time we have braised cod. This meal was absolutely delicious. It would be paired perfectly with a baguette to just eat all the remaining sauce. I actually ending up making the closest thing I had: toast. The flavor is fantastic and the lentils give it such a nice bite. My husband cooked the fish perfectly. He actually took care of this one as he had a spontaneous day off. This is one that I’m definitely getting again if the opportunity presents itself.

Chipotle-Honey Chicken
with Pineapple, Cucumber & Tomato Salsa

Chipotle-Honey Chicken

This menu was pretty spicy. The chipotle completely covers any honey that was in there. To be honest, I think the meal works well because it has the whole rice and salsa so balance it out. Its still fairly intense (but that could be because I don’t eat spicy food a lot in the first place). My biggest issue of why I wouldn’t do this again was that I spent a good part of my time, extending the prep time a lot just taking out the seeds from the chipotle pepper and then chopping it up. That took a ton of time since it was my first time doing it.

Spicy Peanut Tofu Bao Buns
with Charred Miso Broccoli & Chili Mayonnaise

Tofu Bao Buns

Bring on the next fire-breathing dish. The chili mayonnaise was extremely spicy because of the sambal oelek which I only used half of the portion in the first part and then my husband also used half of the portion in the second part of when we had to use it. Props to the instructions for the broccoli being pretty accurate and it turned out to be pretty good. Plus they gave us much more than the recipe asked for. Bao buns are something that I don’t have frequently and a Taiwanese street food style and in this recipe, it is pretty decent. Its spicy but the different elements and the sauce and everything really pulls it together.

Fresh Udon Noodles
with Ground Pork & Napa Cabbage

Udon Ground Pork Napa

The last meal is the repeat meal that we’ve had before. I love udon noodle meals and this one is really easy to put together. Its almost like a one pan dish aside from the having to cook the noodles in advance and then it just basically turns into a stir fry. Plus, it tastes really great.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!
Some new stuff and one repeat meal!
My favorite meal in box had to go to braised cod but then everything else worked well. 

My Weekly Adventures: The Calm Before the Storm

Welcome to the mid-April Weekly Adventures! Its a bit weird to call this the calm before the storm as we supposedly should have had a rain storm (there was a rainfall warning on The Weather Network) but it was a lot more mild than expected. Regardless, my meaning is that the first half of April was relatively calm but the second half of April is going to be crazy. I sometimes skip the month end April Adventures post because my life is going to be mostly work and more overtime work so just putting it out there in case, things get crazy. For now though, April was a little quiet, mostly because there weren’t any holidays and then nothing huge happened and I didn’t really do a whole lot of anything. Still, let’s see if I can rummage something to talk about. I will end with some little planning things I have set for myself in anticipation for some stuff down the line.

Restaurant ChuChai

I’m going to keep this short since I already did a small post on it before. ChuChai is a Thai vegan restaurant. It was a spontaneous visit to say the least while being in the area.

You can check out the entire Restaurant ChuChai post HERE.

Courses Thematiques Le Tour D’Horloge (& Old Montreal Stroll)

old montreal

old montreal

old montreal

To be clear, my outdoor running season hasn’t started. I’ll talk about that at the end of the post. My friend’s that I help out has. This was a new one for him but it was a nice double race to start with a 5 km and 8 km. To be honest, I’m considering this one for next year, the 5km probably since its still early in the season and on the rare occasion, I’d have time to run in March. Either way, my friend did alright especially for the first outdoor races. However, I liked it mostly because I got to finally walk around during that time and take some nice pictures in Old Montreal. I work around the area but its not the same on a weekend morning or when its gloomy and stuff. The emptiness of it in some areas makes for some nice pictures. I only showed two with actual runners in the background. Talking about the race, the course looks pretty nice.

L’Instant at Casino De Montreal (again)

Casino de Montreal

One of my friends are on a gaining casino points mission so its been all about taking advantage of the bonus points events so on the start of a gloomy weekend, we went out to have dinner. I finally got to try Fish & Chips there which was what I wanted to try last time but decided to choose the pasta instead. It was the special of the day and I don’t think its a permanent selection? I really don’t know the menu here at the L’Instant, the deli at the casino that well. Either way, it was pretty good. I only went to the casino to eat so it was pretty much in and out.

Upcoming Plans: Workout Plan

As the 2 months and one week countdown starts until my best friend’s wedding and I’m one of the bridesmaids, I need to lose some of my winter fat and get a little more in shape (at least to make sure that I can still get into the dress at the end of June. I have started walking the stairs to the office at our building and trying to not take the elevator. Its been  pretty nice. The project coming up is finding a cardio and weights workout schedule that I know that I can stick to and try to eat more healthier. I’d like to start clean eating again but I’m not sure that I’m totally ready for it. Either way, I’m going to gradually try to get back to a more balanced diet, more veggies probably. Gardening season also starts soon and weather is starting to be good for running so I’m looking forward to putting some outdoors activities in as well as in May, hiking starts. So, I’ll work it out accordingly. Especially going to try to add in using the park workout stations facilities to incorporate something different to the running path. I won’t do a segment specifically for workout (too many segments right now) but I will do some updates here. 🙂

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this Adventures post!
Its been relatively calm lately and its nice since I’m enjoying the staying at home time.

Hopefully I keep up with posting (or getting things done in bulk beforehand) for the second half of April.

Restaurant: ChuChai (Montreal, Canada)

A random Friday evening outing and a sudden change of plans due to the original spontaneous restaurant visit my friend and I chose had a huge line-up lead us to go check out ChuChai, or according to my friend who had gone a few times before a few years back, a more hip and lounge version of it. I didn’t take any pictures of the decor but you can check out their site HERE.

ChuChai is a Thai restaurant with vegetarian and vegan foods, although to me, I think the menu is pretty much vegan as a lot of stuff worked for me. I’ve never been to a vegan restaurant before and its a nice feeling to know that I can eat everything on the menu even with my lactose intolerance. Of course, with any benefit you get, there is always a premium to be paid for the atmosphere and the vegan angle so just something to think about, for myself, it was pretty much expected.

ChuChai

Appetizers/Tapas

Spring Rolls (1pc – $8)

I’m a huge fan of Spring Rolls. I actually had learned how to do them from my best friend before but then its been years since I’ve done these. However, I always prefer them over the deep fried versions. ChuChai does a good one. It has a nice bite and its wrapped really firmly. The peanut sauce has a little spicy kick to it that really compliments the roll well. The roll does seem to also be a bigger piece than other restaurants.

Main Meal

Chu Chai

Royal Pad Thai

Vegan shrimp and vegan duck makes its appearance in this dish. Its been a while since I’ve had any vegetarian or vegan versions of anything. I do think that the vegan duck is better than the vegan shrimp in terms of how genuine in texture. But then, it was a decent taste so seeing as I don’t really go to vegan restaurant to go eat meat and have the meat taste because in my mind, its not about that. The Royal Pad Thai was alright. The noodles were done well and it wasn’t too much sauce and just right. Its a Pad Thai and it tasted like one.

Vegan Duck with Spinach

My friend took the Vegan Duck with Spinach and ordered a bowl of steamed rice to go with it. I had a little taste of it. The vegan duck is really great. The texture and the taste was pretty good. The spinach is also decent. My only deal, also a preference issue, was that the dish itself was really salty. Of course, with a bowl of rice, this might just work really well.

A little something aside from my personal preference is that the presentation for all of the dishes (appetizers, main meals & desserts) were done really well and matched the atmosphere and class that the restaurant itself presented itself as.

Dessert

Fried Banana with Maple Syrup

The dessert menu has a lot of nice little things to it that I would consider trying out. Of course, the one with the most representation is Fried Bananas with Maple Syrup. It tastes the asian dessert and adds a little Canadian twist to it. To be honest, the fried bananas were fantastic. Probably the best part of this entire meal.

Overall…

ChuChai is a decent restaurant. It targets a certain audience that appreciates a nice atmosphere and ambiance and raises the level of how we’d normally view Asian cuisine in general, in this case, Thai food and then giving it a nice little twist of vegetarian and vegan specialty. I won’t say its a challenge to make vegetarian food tasty because its doable and I’ve been to other restaurants that have done it well but vegan food has the impression (from those that haven’t had it before or less frequently) of being a lot of healthy and not so good food so its nice to see restaurants such of these pop up where it not only benefits those with allergies (like myself) but also provide a place to enjoy some good food. In terms of food and creativity and ambiance, ChuChai is a good choice. For my own standards, I think the food is still fairly basic and for that, the premium paid for the vegan angle is a bit on the higher side. If you were to ask whether I’d go back. Maybe, mostly to try out some of the other desserts and some of the tapas/appetizers/soup (they have a lemongrass one which caught my eye).

Additional discussion: The question (which I’m not vegan so don’t know how to answer): would it matter so much to someone who is permanently converted to vegan or is vegan in their eating habits from the start whether there is vegan meat on the menu? Or is it more for the normal person going in for a vegan experience to have an easier point of entry into this type of eating lifestyle?

My Weekly Adventures: Birthday Post!

Welcome to the weekly adventures!

I’m 33 today! Just taking it easy like every other year. Some plans are postponed to next week and some keeping to this one. However, this post might seem a bit long although very suitable that its a food heavy post seeing as I love to try new things and hang out with friends over meals.

Festival G: Perles et Paddock

perles et paddock

Kicking off was the replacement for Battle of Ingredients in March and we went to check out Perles et Paddock and their menu for the Festival G, a new festival in Griffintown area of Montreal. I’ve already talked extensively about it in a post before so I’m not going to talk too much about it.

You can find the post HERE.

Casino de Montreal: L’Instant

L'Instant Casino de Montreal

My office move finally happened after much delay. Its a whole lot of adapting and such. I have no pictures as I don’t really want to share that part of my life. However, after that early start, things wrapped up a tad early as well and my friend who eats some expensive meals at the casino wanted to redeem some points so picked me up from work and we went to eat at the deli there called L’Instant. I hadn’t been there since it had been renovated. I got the pasta quattro which is a fairly good deal at $15.95 for pasta (where you can choose out of 4 types of pasta, 3 kinds of sauce and 4 groups of ingredients), soup, garlic bread and a drink. I like the whole having a choice to DIY your own pasta.

March Birthdays Group Celebration

Last Saturday, we had a big family party as the whole in-laws side (almost) has their birthdays in March, just like myself. We got together for a delivery chicken meal like previous years and spent time just catching up and chatting. Its always a nice time with family to just hang out. We’re all busy with our own lives so we take these moments when we can.

Plattsburgh US Grocery/Snack Haul

Market 32 by Pricechoppers

Walmart

Target

Last Sunday, I headed out with my friend to Plattsburgh to do a little grocery run. It was more for snacks and such and it was to pick up some goodies for the husband’s birthday. We had an early start so came back fairly early as well. We went to Target where I stocked up on some Spring & Easter Oreos, Easter Lindt bunnies, some L’arabar flavors that we don’t have in Montreal and some Pressed Coconut Coconut Water. The coconut water isn’t here either the last time I checked. Next stop was Walmart where I kept it fairly tight as I picked up unfrosted Pop Tarts (which I don’t get why isn’t in Montreal), Birthday Oreos (they are my husband’s favorite), and some Love Crunch granola which are super expensive and much smaller package. Last stop was Market 32 by Pricechoppers where I picked up some discounted Kind bars. They were $10 for 10 which is, even after exchange, a better deal. I’m stocked up for snacks for at least 2 to 3 months now.

Restaurant: Le Belle et La Boeuf

Le Belle et La Boeuf

For the husband’s birthday, I took him out for a long-awaited date together. We rarely go eat out together unless its for film festivals or something so we wanted to go try something new. I already posted about La Belle et La Boeuf HERE.

Birthday Breakfast & Marché Jean Talon

Le Cartet

Every year for my birthday, my friend takes me out for a big meal. Although I get to choose any breakfast place, I can’t seem to get past going to Le Cartet which is super delicious. My fave is their Brunch Canton which I absolutely love. The ham is so awesome and the sausages are good. Its really great. I probably talked about it in previous posts but still, if you are in Montreal, like breakfasts and want somewhere delicious in the Old Montreal area, this one is definitely one to consider and probably go to.

Marché Jean Talon

Westrose

Westrose

After that, we had some parking left so we headed to a new bakery that opened around the corner that I walk by to go to work called Westrose and picked up a loaf of bread for my husband. We took a quick run to Marché Jean Talon. I haven’t been there since at least 15 years ago. I remember going when I was really young so it was nice to head back. I didn’t buy a ton of food since we still had stuff at home but got so beautiful looking brussel sprouts and since I can’t eat most cakes and don’t want to bake a cake for myself, I decided to pick up a strawberry-rhubarb pie at Creations Madeleine. Its a really delicious pie.

Its my Birthday so shameless selfie time 😉

That’s it for this Adventures post!
It was a bit overloaded with stuff but hey, promise April will be much less adventurous!

Le Festival G.: Perles & Paddock (Montreal, Canada)

Le Festival G., Griffintown Gourmand Gastronomique, is a new food festival held from March 7 to 17th. As a replacement for this month’s Battle of Ingredients that was cancelled last minute due to all kinds of different things going on, we decided to give this new food festival a go. One of our friends wanted to try out Perles & Paddock after being rather impressed with their menu so after a lot of hard hurdles to get a reservation, we finally managed to get one via their online system. Peculiar, right? Take that as a good or bad thing as you wish, but just our suggestion, try online instead of reserving by phone.

There was an option of 3 menus: Brunch (which we obviously didn’t fit because we went for dinner and was unavailable); 5 a 7 Happy Hour or Table d’hote Menu. I’m not going to go into detail about it all however we all chose the Table d’Hote Menu except for the little one who got the Happy Hour menu.

Table d’Hote Menu includes a choice of two cocktails, 3 oysters, 3 choices of tasting dishes and a dessert. ($42)

Happy Hour Menu includes a choice of two cocktails, 6 oysters or 3 cheese plate, 1 choice of tasting dish ($17)

Cocktails

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Left to right: Cirka Gin Cocktail, Prosecco & Mocktail

We had a half and half experience here. A few of us took the festival special cocktail which is made by a Quebec gin (if I remember correctly). I had a sip of it and it tasted a bit like grass but that might be the matcha powder sprinkled on top. The second one and what I took was the Prosecco champagne which is a little on the more acidic dry side of the spectrum. Its not horrible but not my first choice. My fantastic Battle of Ingredients co-host and friend Phoebe had the mocktail due to personal reasons.

Starters

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Oysters

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3 Cheese Plate

I didn’t have any of these. The little one got the 3 cheese plate. Phoebe, my husband and I all didn’t eat the oysters for our individual reasons and passed it on to our friends.

Tasting Dishes

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Arctic Char

I’m going to start with my own choices which are the first three here. I started with the Arctic Char which was really good. It is paired with Enoki and Daikon and kaffir broth. Its all very delicious.

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Braised Endives

The second one was the braised endives with a very acidic citrus sort of thing going on. I like the endives and the grapefruit but whatever other citrus was going on here was a bit much for me personally.

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Lamb

The lamb was done really nicely. It had a lot of the lamb taste to it. The pickled vegetables were also done really well. There is a nice balance to it and the sauce here is good as well.

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Broccoli

My husband choice the Arctic char, braised endives and this broccoli plate. He actually liked this one the best. He liked how the broccoli was prepared and the whole deal with the egg breaking and mixing up with the elements here worked well together (his words paraphrased).

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Duck Tataki

I can’t remember what everyone else got but I know that Phoebe chose this as one of hers. Not sure how she feels about it exactly. I was interested to see how this tasted thought because it uses argousier, which is called sea berries or sea buckthorn, something I had never tasted before.

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I’m sure that I left out some tasting dishes and then I can’t remember which one this dish was but I still wanted to add it in.

Desserts

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Pamplemousse confit

The lactose free dessert option was this Grapefruit confit. I think they deserve kudos for have a lactose free choice and its one that is pretty good as well. With the whole confit thing, it has this little citrus treasure wrapped around the sorbet. Its pretty good. I’m not huge on grapefruit so that was more a personal preference because my husband liked this quite a bit.

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Mousse a la Noisette

So, missing one dessert choice in the pictures and didn’t ask how anyone thought about this one. It certainly looks really good.

Overall Dining Experience

Perles and Paddock offered us a pretty nice dining experience. The restaurant decor is beautiful. The ambiance is also quite comfortable. There is a stable theme here from the bathrooms to the logo to the setup of the area and hallways. Its pretty unique. The waitress who served us was very nice and offered us a lot of patience and helped us clear things up. At the same time, there was a lot of people serving up the food that gave us descriptions of what we’re eating. We did have a few little hiccups throughout the meal but they were fixed immediately or compensated for in another format. These things show respect for their customers and their dining experience. The only difficulty and mixed messages we got was the reservation process and trying to get a clear answer on allergen free menu items and such.