The food: classic meals in Montreal
On a recent weekend visit to Montreal, my husband E and I stopped in at two Montreal mainstay restaurants for some old school favorites.
First up was lunch at the Greek restaurant Mythos on Park, the interior of which is painted in a throwback Minoan palace style.
We started with a simple Greek salad (shown at top) made with beautiful still in-season field tomatoes. We followed it with crisp, fried, thin slices of eggplant and zucchini, coated in a delicate batter, and served with what E said was stellar tzatziki (still too garlicky for my garlic-averse self). It did indeed look like a superior version of tzatziki, though.
And because we can never seem to get enough of fine fried food (not an oxymoron), we ordered fried calamari too, which had been coated in the same light batter.
The next day, a Saturday, we dared to enter classic French bistro L’Express, at the prime brunch time of 12:15 pm, without a reservation. Few tables were occupied when we arrived and we were greeted warmly and seated. The maitre d even replied to me in French when I stammered, “pour deux, s’il vous plait”, making him the first person in Montreal who had not dismissed my French by answering me in English.
The baguette slices, butter and cornichons brought to the table were a nice touch, and very good, besides.
As the room rapidly filled up around us with English-speaking tourists and French locals, I ordered a daily special, a spaghetti with tomato sauce and roquette, and was treated to a fresh-tasting tomato sauce over al dente pasta, garnished with some fresh arugula leaves – a simple, satisfying dish executed well.
E, thinking about his Montreal childhood, ordered a croque monsieur sandwich with salad that met his nostalgic expectations:
And we had to order a bowl of frites with mayonnaise to share (on top of spaghetti, a sandwich, and the bread we’d had to start), because how can one not order frites when in a French bistro?
They were everything we hoped for, too.