While in Montréal for our latest AFAR Experiences, editors Davina Baum and Derk Richardson toured the Marché Jean-Talon, met a designer who works with only recycled fur, and heard whispers of the one-time Montréal mafia in Little Italy. But, perhaps more importantly for these two food-first travelers, they ate well. Extremely well. Here’s how to follow their path.
Le Vin Papillon: “This was my favorite, which I went to on my last night because the concierge at the Ritz-Carlton recommended it. We had two incredible bottles of organic wine. One was a minerally white from the French Alps. The red was from Alsace. It had a back patio and was causal but still very funky. The food was really elevated, but not at all pretentious. The white ham salad (a Québécois thing) was super. The meat was so thinly sliced, it was almost the texture of butter lettuce.” —Derk Richardson
2519 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Pullman: “They do these things here called trios—it’s basically a flight—which they change up all the time. I had a flight of Burgundy wines, two red and one red. And the bar food is equally amazing. We had asparagus with an extremely light béarnaise sauce, and a charcuterie plate with incredible salumi. It was all very fresh and delicious.” —Davina Baum
3424 du Parc avenue
St-Viateur Bagel: “The Mile End, the old Jewish quarter, is where the bagels are. You walk in and see thirty bags of flour and whole bagel production, from forming the bagels to making them into a circle to putting them in the wood-fired oven via a conveyor belt. You can buy them hot. They’re better than any bagels you can get here in San Francisco!” —D.B.
263 Rue Saint Viateur O
Maison Publique: “We ate the most unusual dish here: horse carpaccio. It was actually very good—super dark in color.” —D.B.
“It was smoked, but not gamey or tough. Horse is raised especially for meat there, which is surprising. We also had foie gras, so it was a very decadent meal.” —D.R.
4720 Rue Marquette
Maison Bouloud in the Ritz-Carlton: “The bar here is so comfortable and the service so warm—not pretentious at all. The lighting is beautiful in here. I had a really good, herbal Arianna Occhipinti Grappa.” —D.B.
1228 Sherbrooke St W.
In the Mouth: “It’s hard to describe this meal. It was performance art plus amazing food. The conceit of the dinner (real or not) was that the chef had lost his sense of smell and taste; from there it just got weirder. This is the second course, composed of foods we had said that we loved or hated in a survey sent out ahead of time. That meant a lot of lobster, caviar, guacamole, celery, sea urchin, pork, and so much more, all laid out extremely artfully. We had cocktails based on a word we used to describe how the evening would go. Mine was beautiful, so they made a Scotch-based drink that was lightly sweetened.” —D.B.
>>Next: Explore Montréal like a local with our guide to the Canadian city.