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Chocolatine's Profile

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Swarm Jam/Groupon Coupons

Same for me; I bought a few coupons for Su, Omnivore, Pica Pica, Kalalu, Tourtière Australienne and Ben and Jerry's and used them without any problem. The rules differ from one store to the next, but it's clearly explained on the web site before you buy.

Buying is also easy: you create an account and pay either via PayPal or credit card. You then get the coupon by email (usually a couple hours later) and print it off. All the important info is on that coupon (limits, expiry date, exlusions, etc).

A great concept!

Argentinian Asado?

You could try Argentino on Beaubien. Haven't been yet but they were featured on Curieux Bégin last week:

Le bleu d'Elizabeth

I like it too, it's creamy and not too salty (which I find is often a problem with Roquefort and other well-known blue cheeses).

Seeking eastern township cheese fun

Have a look at the cheese route over here:

you get 6 or 7 results with "cantons de l'est", all milks and all types. The other matches don't seem to work well.

I agree that La Station in Compton makes very good cheese, and is a nice place to stop. But it's 2 hrs from Montreal, so it might be better to plan a day of sight seeing and tasting rather than just a morning. You can also look into Lanaudière and Laurentides cheese makers, north of Montreal.

another cheese thread:

Cheap and good around Atwater Metro ?

Avesta café is worth a stop (turkish food) - they make homemade lavash bread in their front window! I've been only once but found the food cheap, good and comforting.

2077 Ste-Catherine West
their web site seems down...

Avesta Cafe Resto
2077 Rue Sainte-Catherine W, Montreal, QC H3H1M6, CA

Mangez Ici card

Sorry to say the Mangez Ici card has not been such a bargain for me this year... as I still wasn't able to get a hold of one. After 3 months I've given up!

I ordered it on their web site and paid by Pay Pal last April. It never arrived, so after a couple of weeks I emailed the company - they claimed a mail error and said they'd ship another one to me. Since that one didn't make it either (?), I was then promised a personal delivery. Didn't happen. I got tired of this nonsense and stopped by the Exploratours counter at the Peel infotouriste office, the only store selling the card. Well, at that time late June, they had not been supplied with cards at all in 2010!

All this tells me there were no cards out there to start with. My attemps to get my money back have failed, and now the Mangez Ici fellow doesn't return my calls or emails.
The delay to challenge a transaction with PayPal has elapsed (now I'll know better) - it's just 12$ so no big deal, but I hate being ripped off...

I'd suggest to anyone interested to buy it in person at Exploratours if they get cards at some point, not on-line ...

Hopefully this might save others some disappointment!

F bar Montreal

Not really like Ferreira Cafe... many dishes come in pots and individual casseroles for a homey / comfort food feel. I enjoyed my lunch there last week - I happened to eat next to Mr. Ferreira himself, who had a tartare.

I had the gaspacho (creamy and tasty) and the daily special of veal filet, potatoes, bok choi, a few pieces of chorizo and a yummy veal reduction. The second daily special was roasted salmon on a bed of lentils with sun dried tomatoes. My colleague really enjoyed it. Simple presentations but tasty, although those 2 plates didn't remind me of portuguese cooking (except for the bits of chorizo). Corn bread and good olive oil was brought to the table.

Some other options I remember; salmon burger, with fries and salad (big plate served on a slate), portuguese steak with an egg, pasta, daily tartare, a fish (can't remember what it was), calamari salad I think (as an app). Prices for mains were between 16-24$.

Where to purchase fresh sauerkraut

I picked up some last winter at Chopin, the Polish sausage shop on Decarie, near the Villa Maria metro.

4200, boulevard Décarie, 514-481-0302

Good places in Verdun?

Totally agree with Aja-Fuji, VIlla Wellington and Su ! Looking forward to trying Casa Manolo.

Another one to mention is MAS cuisine (3779 Wellington) already discussed a lot on this board. I would also add Nu-Art café for nice week-end brunches (3770 Wellington).

Best Feta cheese in Montreal?

I think the best feta is the one made by the Troupeau Benit nuns... look at this thread for more details:

Dieux du Ciel beer (bottles) downtown?

you can browse the list of retailers on their web site:

Passing of Mila Oh (aka moh)

Another side of our dearly missed Moh, posted on one of her friend's blog:

May 27, 2010
Chocolatine in Site Talk

Passing of Mila Oh (aka moh)

This bad news left me with a very heavy heart... what a great soul she was. I've met her only once, but will miss reading her. Ever since my discovery of CH, it was quickly clear to me she was one of the Mtl board pillars.
My deepest sympathies go out to her husband and her family & friends. I sure hope there's good wine and great food where she is now...
I still have so many places to try based on her recommendations and favorite spots!! I'm sure she made many of us discover our own city with new eyes. Thanks Moh!

I'll be sure to grab a buttery croissant at Kouign Amman next time I go by this bakery, I know it was one of her favorites too.

May 26, 2010
Chocolatine in Site Talk

Is Île d'Orléans a worthy destination?

I'd say yes! If you're into wine, fine alcohols and sweet treats (jams, chocolates, etc), it's surely worth it. With so many orchards and wineries, there's a lot to see and try!

I'd recommend a stop at Cassis Mona et Filles (especially for their Port like specialty), a winery (many options, I'll let the wine experts on this board tell you which is best), a cider spot, the cheese factory, where they make and sell the first North American cheese (, and at least one jam store ... check out this interactive map for all the options:

If you drive without stopping much, the circle is quickly done. But take your time, enjoy the beautiful views, stop in all the nice shops (some have touring visits of their installations or take the time to present their products, and many are very generous with samples), make a picnic!

And of course, in season, the Island strawberries are truly something special.

In terms of dining, I've had a very nice experience at l'Auberge le Canard Huppé.

Cooking classes

I took 3 classes at Ateliers et Saveurs in Old Montreal.
They usually keep groups below 15 people and offer many options. I did 2 lunch courses (about 1h30 in all, with the lunch) and one 3 hrs foie gras special which was really nice. Everybody gets to do something even if we don't each have a station.
Courses are in French, but in my experience there was usually a few US tourists, so the instructor sumarizes the info in English when needed.

They have food, wine and drink classes.

Nice and friendly place, with cool fixtures made out of cutlery!

Any resto suggestion for a Sunday Lunch in Montreal with a group of friends?

I recently tried Grange + Vin on McGill in the Old Port and would recommend it. Their brunch is made up of a dozen options, which come in tapas sizes. Nice bread basket for 5$, enough for 4 persons.
See their menu here:
The chorizo / potatoes / egg plate is the most generous and quite good. Fruit crumble was also a hit, and I liked their coffee.

Prices are about 4-6$ per plate, if I recall right.
Nice ambiance with a modern barn decor and friendly staff.

The Cartet is next door, also serving brunch.

120, rue McGill, Montreal, QC H2Y 2E5, CA

Table of Hope

thx BLM - glad to know it's informal.
I have yet to try many of the featured restaurants, so I'm looking forward to it!

Table of Hope

This seems like a great combo of good food and good cause.
Is it more like a buffet, or sit-down dinner?
Can you comment on the dress code (ie is a jacket and tie required for men)?

5 days in Quebec City. What must we eat. (Children in tow.)

another nice place to try would be the Billig on St-Jean street, for ther crepe bretonne. Comfy and easy going, with nice choices and very reasonable prices.
526 St-Jean, (418) 524-8341

Best Desserts at Au Pied de Cochon?

I confirm, the lemon tart is very good and 'refreshing' after all that heavy food. I also tried the pouding chomeur; very, very sweet, piping hot and very good! It's pure decadence.. Be careful not to burn yourself with the first (big) bite!

In Martin Picard's book, he gives his recipe for the pouding chomeur. It's in fact Caroline Dumas' recipe, from closeby SoupSoup.

Liberté chèvre crème fraîche

I found some at the IGA on Cote St-Luc, next to the regular crème fraîche. I haven't figured out how to use it, but I just had to take one!

Festival Montréal en Lumières 2010 : New-Orleans & Portugal

Had a nice time at Cocagne yestesday, with their Maple and Foie Gras special menu for the festival. 6 courses and a pairing of 4 wines (70$ / 125$ with wines). To me, one of Cocagne's strong elements is plate composition; everything is there for a reason, often in subtility. We had very high expectations, based on our first visit a few months ago which enchanted us; food was generally very good but sometimes lacked that little something to make it great. I have to say we were the very first customers to get the special menu for the festival, so some indulgence might be in order!

First course is a delicious cauliflower /nutmeg creamy soup, with a foie gras covered "cracker". It was meant to be cracked, like you would break a creme brûlée's crust, to get both the top and soup at once - but it was way too hard to work, and made the soup splash out. Both items were good, even if the "pressé " de foie gras tasted more like "pâté de foie" to us.

The second course is maple syrup marinated foie gras with a nice aragula salad. The foie gras was very cold, seemingly just coming out of the fridge. The taste increased as it warmed up. The wait staff mentioned that it should have been torched, which it wasn't. That course was a half success.

Things got better at the 3rd course; the seared foie gras was very good, silky inside and nicely crusted outside. A great chutney made up of apples and almonds, and a few pieces of boudin made for a great dish. And the special "gaillac doux" served with it was simply excellent. It reminded us of a special Pedro Jimenez we brought back from Spain, with aromas of dried prunes and raisins. The sommelier was very proud of that wine (made from moût and not technically a wine, it seems), imported especially for the festival.

The main dish also shined : maple syrup braised pork shoulder (so tender) with a perigourdine sauce, a delicate white carrot mash, salsifis and "trompette de la mort" mushrooms. WOW. That was perfect.
The cheese course was delicate: a milk foam and a thin, slightly melted Qc cheese slice over a nutty base . Clearly not your typical cheese and bread concept! It was mostly milk to me, and the tiny bit of cheese wasn't satisfying, even if the taste was good.

Dessert was very tasty and rich, a moist cake mixing hazelnuts and chocolate layers, with maple syrup of course.

The service was also efficient and friendly, and both waiters welcomed our comments and took them back to the kitchen.

Overall a very tasty experience, nicely bringing foie gras and maple syrup in most courses without being overwhelming. But not decadent - this is as far as can be from the APDC cabane à sucre experience, showcasing the same ingredients!

belgian waffles

haven't tried them yet, but a few months ago, the owner of Copette et Cie cheese shop told me that they make some every Sunday . His wife's family is from Belgium, and apparently they are pretty authentic.
4560 Wellington, corner 2nd ave

where to eat before a show at TOHU, tonight?

Thanks for your suggestions! Not being too hungry, we decided to try the TribuTerre bistro, which is indeed really close to la Tohu. It's a very welcoming and colorful space, where musical events, speaker nights and other activities seem to be regularly organized. Last night it was quite lively /noisy as a kid's carnaval was happening (seems that it's carnaval time in Brazil too!), and the place was packed!! We had a few glasses of wine (drinks by the glass are half-price during the "5 à 7") and nibbled on the blue cheese grilled polenta (meh) and a Greca pizza - nice thin crust, but almost raw onions on top. They have a 10$ buffet special on Tuesdays (pasta, paninis, pizza, salads, desserts) but food was disappearing quite fast so we ordered from the menu.
Desserts was the best part; Italian specialties they were introducing for the first time yesterday - I forget the names, but there was nutella and pastry cream filled half moon cookies, chestnut miniballs and sugared thin strips of fried dough. All were very good, and cheap! We bought a few to take home. The best part was chatting with the Italian barman, which talks just like Roberto Benigni!

This place has a good vibe, staff is made of volunteers, they use local/organic food as much as possible and there is a real community involvement. Maybe not the most quiet cafe /bistro around, but quite charming.

where to eat before a show at TOHU, tonight?

Our usual suspects are Les 2 fours on Belanger (BYOW Peruvian/Italian place) or le Petit coin du Mexique (JTalon corner Iberville). Any other suggestions in the area, open on a Tuesday? We're coming from downtown (metro) after work and need to be at la TOHU for about 7h40 pm to pick up the tickets, so a place where you can have a good main and dessert within 1h30 would be ideal.

traditional quebecois fare in Quebec City?

Aux anciens Canadiens is probably a good bet:
34 Rue Saint-Louis, Vieux-Quebec
(418) 692-1627

Fantastic Big Flat Lamb Noodle Soup in Verdun

I'm glad I tried this place last night after seeing this thread. It was about 8h30 pm and the place was empty, but I went in anyways. The owner (I suppose) was very nice but we had some trouble understanding each other ; didn't look like he spoke French at all, English just a little bit. I still managed to order a lamb soup and a plate of pork/chives dumplings. I asked about the soup bowl sizes; he smiled and said a small bowl would be plenty for me! Rightly so, even being super hungry I couldn't finish the flat noodles and ate just 5 dumplings, keeping the rest for lunch today. They are really good and a steal at 3.99$ for 20 !!
He offered to bring me tea - it came in a big pot with a disposable foam cup. The soup came quickly, with a great aroma and lots of garnishes. There was about 2-3 tablespoons' worth of sauteed lamb pieces, a couple being mostly fat. The broth is very " lamby", which I very much liked at first but found a little overwhelming after a while. The noodle serving is very generous; they're thick and still have some bite. They filled me up very quickly. I didn't care much for the transparent bean noodles (no taste) and ate just some of the seaweed (a litle crunchy). Takes some getting use to I suppose.

My favorite part was definitely the dumplings - I'd love to go back and try some of the other ones. I asked the owner how best to reheat them, but he didn't really understand me and thought I was asking if there were vegetables in the dumplings. I had to mime a microwave! Quite funny :)

I have to say the decor / atmostphere isn't great; I'd order for take-out next time. There is a giant flat screen in the middle of the place, with CCTV4 on real loud. 2 Chinese guys came in while I was there and seemed to be regulars; they yelled out something to get the owner out of the kitchen at some point. Felt like I was in China for a while! A great trip for 12$ :)

looking for kebab -e-koobideh

They do carry it; I would advise to call first as I've been disappointed on my last visit, looking for koobideh as well (I ended up taking kafta).
Their take-out counter has great grilled meats and saffron rice, among other things.

Heading to Eastern Townships - any recs?

Magog is a nice little town - lots of cafes and restaurants. Can't recommend any in particular, it's been too long since my last visit!
For smoke meat, you have to come to Montreal!

To get you started, here are a few threads on the Eastern townships:

Papineau Metro

I quite enjoyed O'Chalet a while ago, 1393 René-Lévesque East, in front of Radio-Canada. Great gnocchis!