"Montreal" Montreal by SFHulaGIrl
Montreal Travel Guide: 3,641 reviews and 6,786 photos
I'd been wanting to travel to Montreal for years, but had never gotten around to it. In September, 2004, I finally made it.
Prior to my trip, I'd posted on VT's forum to see whether anyone wanted to meet for drinks. Thus, I ended up meeting with Rene (rwaksberg), Nicky (nickyte), & Pierre (Pierre_Rouss) and Louise at the Jello Bar. We had a few drinks there before moving on to St. Sulpice. Everyone was incredibly nice and friendly, which is quite indicative of Montrealers, based on my experience and observations while there. Also, of special note, is the fact that there are an inordinate amount of attractive people in Montreal!
As for the city itself, the parks were glorious, particularly since the leaves were just beginning to change color. In a moment of pure melancholy, I plucked a maple leaf in Parc Lafontaine and pressed it in my book. Shhh! Don't tell anyone, though, as I'd be embarrassed!
The farmers markets (Jean Talon and Atwater) were a marvel, especially when compared to the ones in San Francisco. The selection was enormous and the prices were inexpensive.
447 rue Saint-Francois-Xavier
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2T1
Telephone: (514) 844-4368
Bonaparte Restaurant is a part of Auberge Bonaparte in Vieux Montreal.
Since my reservation was for 8:00 p.m., I left my hotel at 7:30 p.m. and arrived at a leisurely 7:55 p.m. The restaurant appeared filled to capacity, so it took a moment before the host was able to help me.
The décor of Bonaparte Restaurant reflects the Empire style which prevailed throughout Napoleon's era. The room I was in contained wainscotting on the walls (with what appeared to be red embossed leather on the lower portion), rust-colored scrolls painted near the top of the ceiling, a deep red floral carpet and trees in the center of the room. Tables were draped in white tableclothes and adorned with miniature candle lamps. Sconces with candles also decorated the walls. The warm and cozy atmosphere was accentuated by the romantic lighting.
My seat faced a window overlooking the cobblestone streets and street lamps of Vieux Montreal. The planters hanging from the awning created a picture postcard view, especially as caleches meandered down the street.
After eyeing the menu, I was most interested in the menu degustation. The menu degustation was a steal at $57CAD (i.e. approximately $42US); it offered 6 courses, plus either coffee or tea. When the waiter asked what I would like to drink, I inquired about white wines by the glass. He simply told me that they offered a French sauvignon blanc, an Italian sauvignon blanc or an American chardonnay. I chose the French sauvignon blanc, which was redolent with honeysuckle.
My meal began with a mixed green salad including pine nuts and parmesan cheese. The greens were butterleaf lettuce, endive, and frisee, dressed in a champagne vinaigrette. The salad was nice and light, not overly dressed and with the pleasing crunch of the pine nuts. This was followed by their house-smoked salmon served with condiments (capers, Dijon mustard, and onions); a successful blending. For my third course, I wavered between the shrimp and scallops scented with vanilla, or the mushroom ravioli perfumed with fresh sage. After consulting with my waiter, I chose the mushroom ravioli. He found the shrimp and scallops good, but the mushroom ravioli "special." The raviolis were ethereal and feathery, delicately seasoned with sage – definitely not overpowering as sage can often be. My next course was a bubbly lemon sherbet, ostensibly to cleanse the palate. A veal fillet served with morel mushrooms and fresh cream was my main course. There was nothing unusual or outstanding about it; the dish was good, but not particularly memorable. I ended with their "symphony" of desserts. A symphony it certainly was, as each dessert certainly struck a chord with me. These consisted of a crème brulee, a chocolate and hazelnut cake known as a Palais Royal, a mango Bavarian and a maple syrup cheesecake (lest we forget we're in Montreal!).
Service was adept without being mechanical. My waiter was affable and offered suggestions. Other than commenting on the size of my black pearl pendant and asking whether I'd been to Tahiti, he wasn't annoyingly familiar or chatty.
There was a lengthy wait between courses, which didn't particularly bother me. I was relaxing and enjoying my meal. Please note, however, that my total time at the restaurant (from the moment I was seated until I paid the check) was about 2 hours and 45 minutes. As I prepared to exit the restaurant, the host asked if I'd enjoyed my meal, which I definitely had.
- Pros:Extraordinarily friendly people, beautiful parks, very attractive men
I can't say enough about this beautiful hotel in Vieux Montreal. The owners, Daniel Soucy & Michael Banks, are the... more travel advice
Written May 25, 2005
Jardin Botanique de Montreal
Written Aug 28, 2007
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