Being known as a huge foodie among my friends, I guess it's not surprising that I still went out for a Dishcrawl event just the day before my first final exam! I was invited by the Dishcrawl ambassador, Jenny, to take some photos for the event - Taste of Mont Royal. What I love about Dishcrawl is that guests will receive the name and location of the first restaurant by email 48 hours in advance and the rest are kept in top secret! Dishcrawl never fails to surprise me with their carefully selected restaurants. Our first stop was Plein Stud, a southern French restaurant, and the friendly owner gave us an introduction of the appetizers that we would be having.
We were served with a small platter of three different bouchées: Pissaladiera, a Niçoise specialty pizza with confit onions, anchovy, and black olives. Then we had a serving of crispy semolina salmon gnocchi in a chive cream sauce. Lastly, the bite size 'tatin au boudin noir', made with apples on a light pastry, was the show stealer. The caramelized apples were very rich with a sweetness that lingered.
To our surprise, our next destination was right next door! Tazah is a Syrian restaurant that believes only the freshest ingredient can make the best food. We were served a trio of Mutabbal, a paste similar to hummus but made with beets instead of chickpea along with some pita. The paste was made with generous amount of garlic and it was a nice dip to go with the pita! The lamb kebab was garnished with pomegranate and the sauce was so good that it melt my heart. The yebrat (stuffed grape leaves with some rice mixed with mint) was refreshing. Our second dish was lamb kebbeh in a creamy sauce made with yougurt and lamb broth. It was my first time having Syrian food and I would love to come back for more.
We walked a few blocks further and we arrived at the Italian restaurant, Pizzeria Romeo. The restaurant was buzzing with a lively crowd, I even saw my English TA having dinner with her friends! Once we were seated, the waiters served us some garlic bread and marinara dipping sauce to start off the meal. We were then treated a set of Italian classics: House lasagna made with béchamel sauce, house meat sauce, and mozzarella, and two most popular pizzas of the restaurants, La Flamade (cream sauce, pancetta, leeks, mozza, and parmesan) and Le Romeo (tomato sauce, leeks, mozzarella, tomato confit, goat cheese, roquette). The food was yummy (I like anything that has goat cheese in it) but to be honest, it didn't stand out much compared to Plein Sud and Tazah. Romeo is more like a place full with energy where you spend a chill night with your friends along some drinks and comfort food.
By the end of the night, we were almost full but of course we still had room for desserts! We arrived at Renard Artisan Bistro and we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. The chef/owner Jason Nelsons greeted us and told us about the quality ingredients (from apples, wood to wheat) he sources just outside of Montreal.
Apple cake with a scoop of maple ice cream and home smoked white chocolate foam. Trust me, this is everything that you're looking for in a dessert. The hint of smoky bacon mixed with maple was just mindblowing. I'm definitely going to visit Renard Artisan Bistro to try out their main course and more desserts! I stumbled upon this hippy cafe during one of our walks. Must check this place out when I'm back to Montreal after summer!
I brought my best friend, Jaye, to Dishcrawl with me and it was a great pre-birthday dinner for him! And yes, I've been "bullying" him pretty much since grade 8. Just me being silly imitating Jaye.
p.s. I'm back to Hong Kong for summer so this is my last post on Montreal for a while. Stay tuned for the coming posts of my foodie adventure in Hong Kong!