Sunday, November 27, 2011

LE POIS PENCHÉ


A short while back we were contacted via e-mail by the director of sales at Le Pois Penché, an upscale French bistro style restaurant on de Maisonneuve O. For the second time since we began writing our blog a restaurant was inviting us to enjoy a meal free of charge. It is of course an honor to be extended such a generous offer and we delightedly accepted only after making it clear that we intended to mention the bias of the meal being complimentary in the subsequent blog post. The restaurant was happy to leave their offer on the table (no pun intended) notwithstanding our condition, and honor our request for transparency. In the interest of remaining anonymous they sent us gift certificates to pay with at the end of our meal; this way we would experience an accurate representation of a visit to Le Pois Penché without any preferential treatment. We appreciated their understanding of our principles and eagerly anticipated a wonderful evening.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

L'EXPRESS


L'Express is a true little taste of Paris in Montreal, an archetypal bistro doing what would be overlooked by some as decidedly outdated bistro food but argued by others, like us, to be perfectly executed bistro classics. Tourists coming to Montreal looking for that little taste of European flare that all of the travel brochures romanticize about, look no further. L'Express is the epitome of french bistro dining, almost like stepping back in time in the best possible sense. Not much has changed in 30 years here, and that's just the way the patrons like it. Mirrors abound, burgundy painted walls (which could really use a touch up in a few places, most notably at the waiters' station) black and white checkered tile floors, well dressed waiters, and a barman who tends to an immaculately clean stainless steel topped bar with ample overhead glass racks. In textbook bistro fashion, the tables are small and in such close proximity to one another that bumping elbows with the couple next to you is not unheard of. The ambiance is lively, and the dining room always packed and boisterous. The pace of the staff is brisk, which can at times be mistaken for arrogance but is assuredly not so.