Wandering Chef: Chris Cosentino in Montreal
Chris Cosentino, the offal-obsessed chef of San Francisco’s Incanto restaurant, recently stopped in Montreal to promote his new cookbook, Beginnings. “The feeling of being in a European city in the middle of North America is incredible,” says Cosentino. “It’s an easy introduction into a dual language culture with the Quebecois-French lifestyle mix. And the city’s love for great food is unbeatable.” Here, Cosentino shares his favorite Montreal markets and restaurants.
At this point anyone who knows food knows Au Pied de Cochon, a Montreal staple (536 Avenue Duluth Est, (514) 281-1114, restaurantaupieddecochon.ca). So, if you want something off the beaten path and a true Montreal experience, go to the Little Burgundy neighborhood and try Joe Beef (2491 Notre Dame West, (514) 935-6504, joebeef.ca). It’s the best place to get a true taste of Montreal food, with a whole lot of fun. Chefs Fred (Morin) and Dave (McMillan) are always going to make you smile with a great meal. You will not go wrong with a cheval steak or the infamous foie gras double down.
Liverpool House (2501 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, (514) 313-6049) is located just next door to Joe Beef and has the best selection of oysters. In the winter, you can watch the hockey games, drink great wine, and pound oysters to your heart’s content.
Atwater Market (138 rue Atwater, marchespublics-mtl.com), also in Little Burgundy, has the most jaw dropping meat stalls. Its shops carry all types of meat from horse, elk, and venison to beef pork and game birds. It’s a market that will make you want to run back to your place and cook.
For cheese, go to Fromagerie Atwater (134 rue Atwater, (514) 932-4653, fromagerieatwater.ca). It has so many types of cheese to choose from that your head will spin, but the best part is the selection of French and Canadian cheeses that we never get the chance to see here in the US.
Jean-Talon Market (7070 avenue Henri-Julien at the corner of Jean-Talon, marchespublics-mtl.com) is the place where local chefs buy all their produce. The stalls are packed with an incredible variety of local Quebec produce as well as Italian produce that is grown locally. It’s a perfect place to pick up items to take home with you, like local honey and phenomenal maple syrup.
Dante (6851 rue Saint Dominique,(514) 271-2057, dantesports.com) is a fantastic kitchen supply store but it’s unique in that it is also a gun shop. You can come here and get all your tomato canning needs, pans for cooking, as well as a rifle and a hunting license for the amazing wild game season here in Montreal.
Cabane à Sucre (cabaneasucreaupieddecochon.com) is a sugar shack about 35 minutes outside of town that is run by Martin Picard, the chef of Au Pied de Cochon. If you hurry you can make a reservation for this year’s first-ever apple version of the sugar shack.