Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekend Getaway - Montreal

Last weekend cousin Augusta and I jetted off to Montreal for a little girls weekend away.  I seriously missed our epic Montauk weekends so it felt so great to get out of the city.  It was a quick 45 hour weekend, but we certainly packed it all in, despite cancelled flights BOTH ways.  By Sunday night when we found our our flight was cancelled it certainly felt like a joke, but we were luckily rebooked on a flight leaving an hour later, leaving just enough time for a classy plate of nachos and another glass of wine at the airport bar, when life gives you lemons....

 But back to Montreal.  We got in late Friday night, threw our bags down at the Hotel St. Paul, and headed to Garde Manger for dinner.  We walked in just after the kitchen had closed, but the nice waiter put together a lovely seafood platter of oysters, smoked salmon, and smoke trout.  The restaurant is a young, fun, buzzy vibe, and turns into quite the bar scene as the night goes on.

The classy spread at the Delta Skyclub at JFK, making the most of our delay TO Montreal.....
PEI Oysters, smoked salmon and trout at Garde Manger
Her's and ...... her's bathrobes, holding hands!
Saturday morning we were up and out early...apparently too early for this city.  We walked the streets of the old town and felt like we were the only people around.  The cobblestone and shop-lined streets were certainly reminicent of Europe.  We decided to rent bikes using their city-wide rental system, similar to NY's Citibikes.  WHile a little challeneging to navigate on bikes in a city you aren't familiar with, we made our way to the Atwater market for breakfast.  The market is open 7 days a week, and is full of stalls brimming with fresh product, cheese, charcuterie etc.  By this point it was almost 11, totally justifiable to skip breakfast and head straight for cheese and salami (our favorite food groups) with a side of grapes.  Channeling Paris in the best possible way!

Atwater Market
Back on bikes!



This little piggy......endless charcuterie!
Our spread!
After wandering the market, we spent the afternoon shopping and wandering through the various neighborhoods.  We made our way back to Old Port for steak frites lunch, only to be foiled that the restaurant listed as a top place for steak frites only serves it at dinner!  Luckily, it was warm, there was a fun ambiance, and they had an amazing duck confit salad that we added fries to in order to cure our cravings!  It didn't dissapoint!


We wandered the old town for the rest of the afternoon, and we found the people!  Once the shops opened, the neighborhood came alive, with cute shops, tons of restaurants, and people milling about.  As the sun started to set (at 4:30pm!) the lights came on and the streets were absolutely beautiful.
 








 
We went for pre-dinner drinks at Le Bremner, the sister restaurant of Garde Manger.  We bellied up to the bar for a cocktail, and chatted with the friendliest bartenders.  The exact people we needed to meet to round out our recommendations for the rest of the weekend.  Dinner was at Le Club Chasse et Peche, which means "Hunting and Fishing Club".   A bit more formal, but the food was excellent.  Our waiter wasn't joking when he described the scallops as "candy", I could have popped those things like Skittles.




 
Sunday we took our bartender's recommendations and headed up to Mile End for a boozy brunch at the Sparrow.  We settled in at the bar and had a delicious brunch, poached eggs on root vegetable latkes with a herb hollandaise!  Amazing.




We spent the afternoon wandering the Mile End area, the "Brooklyn" of Monteal.  Much better for shopping than the high street we had walked in downtown the day before.  We made our way back down to Old Port for an afternoon snackie of charcuterie before heading to the airport.





We came, we drank, we ate....and ate.  But we walked and biked!  All in all a fun weekend, but I would recommend going when the weather is a little warmer, seems like the city shuts down a bit as winter rolls in.
 
And then there were nachos.......
 

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