Péché De Gourmandise Tastes So Good!

Steph and me being, well, Steph and me.

Monday in Montreal was fantastic. Steph and I woke relatively early in order to work on a project that we hope we’ll be able to submit for peer review and publication in the very near future.

Amazingly, the apartment we were staying in just so happened to have a blackboard. Clearly, the gods of math and stats wanted us to work. And we did. After some initial discussion regarding the general project outline, Steph gave me a bit of a refresher on survival analysis. You see, while Steph and I both have PhDs in Statistics, she focussed on survival analysis, while I focussed on spatial analysis. Thankfully, having worked together for so long, and having taken an interest in each other’s work, we aren’t complete n00bs when it comes to what the other is doing.

But enough about that nerdery.

Following a morning full of getting our nerd on, Steph, Jamie, Kathy, Jon and I headed out for lunch. After a short adventure on the Metro, we made our way to Limon, a most awesome Mexican restaurant.

My glass is no longer empty. Hurrah!

Given that the weather was sunny and beautiful, we had hoped to have lunch on the patio. However, being full we opted for an indoor sit down and a pitcher of sangria for which to drown our sorrows. Appetizers and mains were ordered, and we then past the time chatting and laughing, as per usual. Having a small appetite still, my appetizer was shared with Jon – calamari. Simple, but delicious. It also came with a sauce, but it looked to be full of dairy so I bypassed that. I also may have stolen a few of Steph’s corn chips and guacamole. And can we talk about the guac? Holy cripes on a cracker that stuff was AWESOME. Refreshing and light, just enough garlic, and so good it may have demanded that I steal more. Demanded I say.

At first I was torn with what to order for lunch, as everything looked so good. But then something jumped out at me and everything else faded from memory. The attention-grabbing foodstuff was, in fact, ceviche camarones; shrimp, cooked with lime juice, and served with cilantro and oh so refreshing. It was also served on avocado (which in my opinion was a brilliant way to serve it) with corn chips. I definitely squeed when I tried it. It was light, and refreshing. The citrus and cilantro complementing each other perfectly. I think it may have also had a slight sprinkling of sea salt on top, but that might have been the salt flavouring from the corn chips. Regardless, the combination of flavours was excellent. My taste buds and my belly were very happy.

Patron XO Cafe. You should buy this. DO IT.

After lunch, Jamie recommended that I try the Patron XO Cafe on ice. It’s tequila, but with coffee flavours infused within it. If you like Kahlua or Tia Maria, I guarantee you will like this. In fact, I enjoyed this so much that I immediately jumped on the LCBO website to figure out if they carry it. And they do! As for Jamie, she gets +1000000 interweb points for that recommendation.

We wandered the city following lunch so that we might walk off some of the food that we just ate. We all felt painfully full. We also headed to the market so that necessary supplies could be picked up. Supplies such as cheese and fruit.

Eventually we made our way to the Latin Quarter and ultimately to the Sainte Elisabeth pub, which has one of the best, most unique patios I’ve been on in a long while. We sat there for a few hours chatting, laughing, and drinking a few pints, all while surrounded on all sides by the high walls of the whatever-the-building-used-to-be. I think it was probably a factory or old apartment building, but I’m honestly not sure. The walls were almost overgrown with ivy, making them appear alive. Ever time a breeze came through, the walls would respond as if they were breathing. Amazing. The walls also served to keep out the noises of the city, creating a rather sheltered spot for which to enjoy the day, and the company.

This wine surprised me. At first, I wasn't a huge fan, but it went so well with my venison that I'd definitely get it again.

There was a quick return back to the apartment where we enjoyed some bad TV together, and then we were off again. This time for a late dinner at La Salle a Manger. In a word – unfreakingbelievalable. Dinner was amazing. It started with an appetizer of oysters and some sparkling wine, followed by a sweet bun stuffed with pulled duck. My main was venison steak with mixed veggies, and that was paired with a very light red wine. On its own, I wasn’t overly impressed with the wine, but served with the venison and it suddenly changed. It was light, but the perfect accent for the richness of the meat. Honestly, it was the best meal I’ve had in a long time, and I highly recommend anyone that is in Montreal to check this place out. The service was great, the environment was awesome. I’m going to make sure to return when I’m next visiting the city.

Once dinner ended, we sauntered back to the apartment, very full, and very happy. Steph and I stayed up chatting until the wee hours of the morning which is why my early morning wake up to fly home was less than awesome. Regardless, it was so worth getting to spend time in an awesome city, with great friends, great food, and most importantly, a chance to see both Rick and Steph in one weekend. Amazing!

Thanks Rick and Steph for an awesome visit. And thank you Kathy, Jamie and Jon for introducing me to so many great new restaurants. Hopefully next time I won’t have to leave so early.

Note: I believe that péché de gourmandise translates to the sin of gluttony


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