351 Place D'Yountville | Montreal
Metro Square Victoria (then a short walk)
Is it time to eat again?
Tonight, I walked a short distance from my hotel to "Vieux Montreal" (Old Montreal) to check out a few restaurants recommended in the guide books. To make my decision, I passed 3 restaurants to check out the atmosphere and the menu. The first one was a place called Boris Bistro which was too crowded (note to self, crowded places have good food). The second was another bistro called Holder which only had seating at a crowded bar and the third, La Gargote, had plenty of space in their dining room but none on their outdoor patio.
I chose La Gargote because they have profiteroles on their menu.
La Gargote was recommended in Frommer's guide book which usually has a mix of really good places and really touristy ones. I hope this isn't one of the touristy ones. The only thing that bugs me is that they aren't really busy. It's getting late and I have to eat.
The dining room is decorated in a modern but classic style with deep red painted walls and bistro furniture. Tables are covered with natural colored tablecloths and natural kraft colored butcher paper. The beamed ceilings and fieldstone walls give La Gargote an "old world" feeling.
The dining room is comfortable but in warm weather they have an outdoor patio across the street. It's fun to watch the waiters crossing the street with hot plates of good French food.
The staff at La Gargote is very friendly and speak good English. Service isn't smothering but they do make sure you are satisfied. I asked my server what "gargote" means. She says it's a joke because it means "a really bad restaurant". I think it's a "south of France" thing. (Later I am informed that La Gargote means "The Greasy Spoon")
[time to eat]
For my meal I order off the daily specials menu which was a good list including beef, pork, fish and veal brains. Yes, veal brains. I never ate veal brains so I decided to try it.
Only kidding, that's one thing I think I'll never order.
From the specials I order something more civilized, the rack of pork (aka pork chop) which comes with a small starter choice of melon balls in port or gazpacho. I start with the melon. No big deal. Just melon in port. CDN$22.50 (for starter and pork)
My "plat" (main course) is beautifully presented on an orange plate that is so hot it makes me sweat (really!). I am warned not to touch it. The pork chop is prepared with a mixed spice reduction that has gingerbread type spices. I would assume that it was cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The chop is meaty and a decent size. The dish is served with a side of crisp julienned vegetables and a few roast potatoes. It's perfect. The serving is not too big, nor too small.
(Looking back, the small starter of melon balls was hardly satisfying. I remember wishing that I had ordered a starter also.)
Along with my meal I order a glass of Alsatian Tokay Pinot Gris which is a perfect "off dry" compliment to the pork dish. CDN$7.50
For dessert I ordered one of my all time French favorites, profiteroles. Profiteroles at La Gargote are served in the classic style, vanilla ice cream filled puffs topped with warm chocolate syrup. Delicious. Although these aren't the best I ever had (the puff wasn't very puffy), they are yummy. CDN$5.95
[in my opinion...]
La Gargote is a decent moderately priced bistro located in the sometimes pricey and touristy old Montreal neighborhood.
Total bill CDN$41.15 (US$33). That was a good deal considering it also included wine and dessert (tip was extra). I love a good deal!
I give La Gargote 3 solid hearts for good food, pleasant staff and a nice dining room.
An English menu is available and La Gargote also offers a non smoking area.
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