- La Taberna - Potuguese - Chicken piri-piri is the star of the menu. The bird is perfectly cooked and had us plotting future visits. It's Montreal so, of course, the restaurant offers its own version of poutine featuring said chicken. We didn't try it but we will next time. They offer pastéis de natas: lovely but overpriced. There are more reasonable Portuguese bakeries in town, including the one I wrote about here.
- Otto - Japanese - There are a couple aspects of Japanese culture that I will miss for the rest of my life: good train service and great bars. Izakayas are magical places for me and North America facsimiles rarely live up to my memories of the real thing. Otto comes pretty darn close. For starters, it smells right. The music's a little loud but the food's great and not outrageously priced at all. Kawa (chicken skin) yakitori was my favorite, not included in the photo as we'd already gobbled it up before we thought to take pictures.
- Mei Yuan - Chinese - Our daughter loves dumplings of all varieties so we generally try to find at least one good dumpling restaurant when we travel. Mei Yuan has many to offer, including soup pork dumplings. My favorite was the curry dumplings, a little soupy themselves and yummy.
- Café Reine Garçon - café - True to its French roots, Montreal has a thriving café culture. There are Starbucks around, though they seem more than a little silly with so many high-quality local options. Café Reine Garçon was right around the corner from our hotel, a delightful spot for breakfast. The offerings are simple and wonderful. I had the smoked salmon bagel and pain chocolat both mornings we went.
We also attended part of the String Quartet Marathon held as part of the city's Montréal en Lumière festival. The group we saw was quite capable, though the selections a bit too modern for our tastes, even our daughter who likes the weirder stuff. Modern string music is interesting for its exploration of the full instrument, using harmonics and other unusual techniques. Three of the composers were in attendance, too, which is always fun. But afterwards, I could have used a heavy dose of Vivaldi to bring me back to equilibrium.
As always, we were sad to leave but happy to get home. We'll be back. There's talk of gathering the family in Montreal for Christmas, in fact.