Montreal Virgin

I have dreamt of faraway places and some not so far away …. growing up in Vancouver, Coquitlam was considered far away!

Looking back, I realize how little I had travelled in comparison to my counterparts.  My friends would drive off to Kelowna or the Sunshine Coast for a long weekend while I stayed behind.  Although I am an adventurous person, travelling was not a high priority.  I always had something better to do, the timing never seemed right.  I was either taking classes, starting a new venture, or creating …..

An opportunity came up for a four-day getaway to Montreal over Canadian Thanksgiving.  My husband was working there and said I should join him – after all, I hadn’t been and Montreal is a wonderful place to be – why not?  I have heard so much about the fashion in Montreal (from years ago when I was in Fashion) that suddenly, this became my focus.  This particular weekend was hot, unusual at this time of year — 29-30 degrees.  I got slightly sunburnt when I ripped off my west-coast Gortex rain gear, only to reveal my Lululemon yoga wear, yahoo for me (not!).  I actually felt out of place.  I enjoyed admiring the different styles of dress by men and women alike.  A lot of accessorizing!  Naturally, I went shopping.  I did do a few touristy things, but had the intent to visit some nice boutiques along the way.  Lucky me, as I already done a lot of  shopping in Dallas only a couple weeks’ prior.

I had friends tell me what to see, where to shop and dine; literally, I would have needed a month to research and complete the lists!  I stayed at the W–trendy, upscale, with a very popular bar scene.  Across the street stood three cafe concepts.  I chose Green Traiteur & Cafe.  The coffee was very smooth, rich in flavour, and the breakfast items were generously portioned.  Here’s a picture of my breakfast, and no, I did not finish it.


We had dinner with hubby’s peeps at Le Club Chasse et Peche.  From the outside, you could not tell it was a high-end restaurant.  Once inside, the ambience reminded me of One if By Land, Two if By Sea, in New York’s Greenwich Village  — cozy, romantic, intimate.  Here is some of what was on the menu:


Seared Scallops


Oysters with Charisma




Surf n Turf


Sides of Vegetables


I don’t recall the name of this dessert.

We ended up at Holder Restaurant-Bar for dinner one night.  We were unprepared and did not book ahead any restaurants, so were allowed spontaneity.  It was more casual fare, but one thing I noticed, it did not matter whether we were in a higher end or average restaurant, the wine lists, wow!



I’m not much of a bar rat, and it was my first time (not hubby’s) to Montreal, I decided to stay up and check out the scene.  Do people say this anymore?  We went to Wienstein & Gavino’s afterwards.  I enjoyed a glass of white – this bar had a neighbourhood pub-like feel to it.  As it turns out, we weren’t out as late as we thought we would.  Here’s a picture of me on a bike in a dress!  We were on our way back to the hotel in the dark, no helmet!  Mind you, I would not be interested in renting a sweaty helmet anyway.


Our last day was spent mostly on foot in old Montreal.  So many eateries to choose from, we decided to go with Le Gros Jambon Diner.

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The coffee was uneventful, but the breakfast was nice.

And the trip would be wasted if we did not pick up Montreal Smoked Meat, according to hubby and friends.  We had lunch at Dunn’s but picked up three briskets from Schwartz’ to bring back home.

Luggage was heavy …

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I love Montreal, and even before we left for the airport, I was already thinking of visiting again.  Though this time, it would be strictly a foodie tour, with the restaurants researched and booked in advance, etc.  It would make for a good girls’ trip, don’t you think?

So . . . . . . . . . . . .
you are probably wondering how I fared with my Grade 12 French skills (I got A’s!).  OK, I was a bit rusty.  I started to wonder why I was spoken to in English after the initial greeting.  She would say “Bonjour”.  I would respond “Bonjour”.  Then the English rolled in.  I saw her greet others as they walked into the store.  She spoke to the others in French.  I felt slighted … then I knew.  They all responded with “Allo”.

For my next trip, which restaurant would you recommend?








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This entry was posted by Lillian on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 8:15 am and is filed under Restaurant Adventures. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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