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This was my second trip to Montreal and Toronto, Canada.  So, I knew I had to return to at least one restaurant in each city because my first experience was so phenomenal.  I definitely saw some pretty sites on my way to the eats, which I’ll share with you too.

Restaurant l’Avenue

In Montreal, brunch at Restaurant l’Avenue was a MUST!  One year ago, I had their salmon Benedict and it was nothing short of spectacular.  So, I made sure to get there again for that and to try something else with it.  Here I am in front (that’s actually the owners at the table in the window), ready to encounter heaven again.

So, of course I ordered the wonderful Salmon Benedict, again, and then wanted something sweet too. I asked my server for some guidance (as I typically do, so I can experience the most popular dishes, what the restaurant is known for) and he suggested the Sweet and Savory Benedict.  Keep in mind, it’s all in French, so I needed some assistance due to my rusty French skills.

Look at these beauties!!!  First was the Salmon Benedict (English muffin with cream cheese, poached egg, smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce and capers). It is simply impossible for a salmon benedict to be better. Trust me!  Look up the definition of perfection in the dictionary and you will find this!

The Sweet and Savory!  Oh, stop it!  How do they come up with this?!  Although they did not call it challah bread (they said it was from a Jewish bakery, and it sure looked and tasted like challah bread, minus the braids), I did.  It was challah bread with ham, Gruyere cheese, a poached egg, hollandaise sauce AND maple syrup!  I’m not sure if the Jewish bakery approves and I’m betting my ancestors are rolling over in their graves over the pairing of challah with ham with dairy – OY VEY!  But, it was heaven on a plate.  What wonderful flavors together.  Restaurant l’Avenue simply knows how to make magic happen with hollandaise and not just any hollandaise, it’s simply the best. IMG_5164

Restaurant Toque

For dinner, I knew I had to experience a new spot. After some research, I decided on Toque.

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First I had this Venison Carpaccio and Sea Snails, Aioli, and Marinated Vegetables.It was not only beautiful, but it was also wonderful and refreshing (which sounds odd for a venison carpaccio). My main course was this beautiful and delicious Blue Fin Belly Tuna. It was like butter, it simply fell apart with the touch of the fork and melted in my mouth.

You know, I LOVE, LOVE dessert!  I hate choosing just one (that’s kind of true for any meal), so I went with two (wouldn’t you?!)  First I had this beauty (below left), milk genoise, mascarpone cream, dulce de leche milk powder crumble, buttermilk sorbet.  Such nice complimentary flavors. It was sweet and salty and creamy and airy. Yum!

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Then, I had the decadent illanka and chocolate caramel mousse, blueberries, honeymead gel, miso and caramel.

Who knew they’d send out some complimentary sweets (OMG, I WOULD HAVE PAID FOR THESE)?! This was a blueberry financier and sucre a la creme!! Tres bien!!

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Back to Restaurant l’Avenue

The next day, I knew I could not leave Montreal without ANOTHER visit to Restaurant l’Avenue, so before my lunch meeting, I raced over and had to try another benedict.  This time, I took the server’s advice and experienced (what I thought was the impossible) an even BETTER benedict by them. I had this PHENOMENAL Steak Benedict (mushrooms, chateaubriand sauce and hollandaise).  I can’t say enough about this! I refused to leave until I finished every bite of this dish.  I would truly fly to Montreal JUST to eat at Restaurant l’Avenue and you should too!

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I wouldn’t usually invite you to join me in the restroom, but look at how cool theirs is at Restaurant l’Avenue.

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Bouillon Bilk

For my last meal in Montreal, I had to experience Bouillon Bilk.  It was wonderful!  I started off with this beautiful amuse-bouche of bluefin tuna belly, strawberries, avocado puree, radishes, tempura.

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For my first course, I had this beautiful, delicious beef carpaccio with fig, coffee, capers, mild cayenne and button mushrooms.  The beef simply melted in my mouth.

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My second/main course at Bouillon Bilk was this wonderful seared scallop dish with zucchini, shiitake, pear, watercress and beurre noissette.  This was simply superb! Perfection on a plate!

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Next, you know it was time for dessert. Once again, I couldn’t choose, so went with two. First I had this lovely Upside Down Peach Cake (caramel, almonds, olives and passion fruit). It was so fresh and light and yummy!

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Next, I had the Rhubarb and Strawberry Tart (juniper berries, balsamic, white chocolate and celery). It was so fresh and fruity and wonderful. Okay, ENOUGH for this lil piglet!   Time to get to bed so I can repeat it all tomorrow (or not) 🙂IMG_5562

Streets of Montreal

 There was some wonderful street art (or, you can call it graffiti, I suppose) on the streets of Montreal.

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While strolling through the streets of Old Montreal, I found some old friends. Who doesn’t love to run into friends while traveling? 🙂

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We had a nice little chat.

The streets of Montreal are so full of history and beauty, like the Montreal City Hall from the late 1800s.

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Here is Montreal’s Notre Dame.  Such a beautiful building with a beautiful sky behind it.

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Isn’t it just beautiful and romantic with all these flowers cascading down the rails of this cafe’s outdoor seating?!

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My last night strolling near my hotel in the Quartier des spectacles area, I stumbled across these neat light displays honoring Jazz legends. If you stood there long enough, you could see it cycle through different colors.

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The museum was also quite light up for the Festival Des Films du Monde. You can see a couple of the different displays below.

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 Well, that was a wonderful visit in Montreal. Now, until next time, au revoir Montreal…

The next day I headed to Toronto.

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