14 Tasty Places to Celebrate Montreal’s 375th Birthday

14 Tasty Places to Celebrate Montreal’s 375th Birthday

, http://www.foodnetwork.ca/show...uberge-Saint-Gabriel

Bonne fête, Montréal! This year, Montreal turns 375 years old, and there are plenty of delicious places to celebrate the city’s birthday. Some are golden oldies served with a side of history, while others are new kids on the block with daring chefs, eager to make their mark. Start your food festivities at these 15 tasty places to celebrate Montreal’s 375th birthday.

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L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel

If you’re craving a meal steeped in Old Montreal history, make a beeline to Auberge Saint-Gabriel, the oldest inn in North America. Founded in 1754, this 300-year old heritage building also houses an incredible five-star restaurant, just a stone’s throw away from Notre-Dame Cathedral and in the heart of Old Montreal. Sup on exquisite French and Quebecois gastronomy, while seated within dreamy stone walls and vaulted ceilings that conjure Old France.

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Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen

Some say that Reuben Schwartz put Montreal-style smoked meat on the map. A Jewish immigrant from Romania, he was the original founder of the iconic Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen. Considered the oldest deli in Canada, this legendary hot spot on Saint-Laurent Boulevard has been serving preservative-free brisket braised in fine herbs and spices since 1928 and is practically a city landmark. Go for the classic sandwich – layers of smoked meat piled high on rye bread streaked with yellow mustard. When you're done, read more about the delicious history of Montreal smoked meat here.

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Damas Restaurant

There’s no place quite like Damas, an upscale Montreal bistro that’s going gangbusters for its sumptuous Syrian specialties. The extensive menu boasts delicacies such as hot and cold mezzes (small plates, dips, and salads meant to be shared), Syrian charcoal-grilled dishes, and entrées like the Fattet Mozat – a braised lamb shank marooned in rice, nuts, yogurt sauce, butter, and warm pita bread. Ambitious eaters should most definitely indulge in the five-course tasting menu.

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Lavanderia

Raised in Argentina by Korean parents, Chopped Canada judge, Antonio Park, brings Argentine asado (barbecue) to Montreal with his steakhouse, Lavanderia. The menu is creating a buzz: Park is reportedly the first and only chef in Canada to import and serve real-deal Japanese Kobe beef. Bite into the house specialty, the “Parrillada Completa” – a mixed grill of meats – or, if it's on the specials menu, a Kobe beef burger.

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Lester's Deli

Get your Montreal-style smoked meat fix at Lester’s Deli, a 60-year old family-run “smoked meat institution” in the Outremont neighbourhood. Don’t be deceived by the no-frills appearance: the feeding frenzy here has included everyone from high-ranking politicians, such as former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, to celebrities like William Shatner, all hankering for a taste of smoked meat made from Lester’s secret old-country recipe. Get a taste of Montreal’s history by sinking your teeth into a “Smoked Meat Special” sandwich served with hand cut fries and a dill pickle.

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Ristorante Da Emma

On the outskirts of Old Montreal, Ristorante Da Emma delivers an unforgettable Roman feast. This historic 19-century women’s prison turned Italian eatery attracts ordinary folk and celebrities alike for Chef Emma “Mama” Risa’s home-cooked fare, such as burrata with tomatoes, sautéed shrimp, and rotini bathed in tangy tomato sauce. Rumour has it that Johnny Depp sat in the kitchen, watching the World Cup and munching on Mama’s legendary meatballs.

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Foxy

After being open for little more than a year, Foxy is already winning major awards and rave reviews for its exquisite wood-fired fare. Declared one of Canada’s best new restaurants, Chef Leigh Roper uses a hardwood-fired grill to smoulder everything from blistered pita bread to charred fish dishes. The bonfire-baked flatbread topped with Québec mozzarella di bufala, asparagus, parmesan and brown butter is definitely a dish to write home about.

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Burger Bar Crescent

Featured on You Gotta Eat Here, Burger Bar Crescent is Montreal’s hamburger haven, serving adventurous Montreal-style AAA beef burgers and other comfort classics like smoked meat poutine. Here, the burgers are stacked mile-high with extravagant toppings like foie gras, French Brie, Montreal smoked meat, and seared tuna. Try the “Big Blue” – a ground beef patty stuffed with blue cheese and topped with confit tomatoes, a port reduction and homemade ranch dressing.

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Birona Hummus Bar

A new addition to the Mile End neighbourhood, Birona is already attracting hungry hordes for their hummus dishes inspired by “old Grandma recipes.” Here, this Middle Eastern dip isn't just a snack – it's a full-blown meal with dishes like Le Quebecois (creamy hummus loaded with ground beef, barbecue sauce, mushrooms and spices) or Le Mexicain (Merguez sausage, ground beef, hot peppers and spices). The menu also features sandwiches and salad, including a “build your own salad” option.

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Impasto

In Montreal’s Little Italy, mosey over to Impasto, where chefs Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione are cooking “nonna-style” comfort cuisine. It's a five-star feast on seasonal, market-driven dishes, like mezza luna pasta stuffed with eggplant, tomato, cheese, or tender lamb ragu sautéed in thick bucatini noodles. Don't overlook the charcuterie boards, desserts (gelato-filled brioche!) or Italian wines.

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Candide

Consider yourself lucky if you can get through the front door at Candide, one of Montreal's hottest new restaurants. Inside this renovated Victorian church rectory, Chef John Winter-Russell unveils a four-course feast inspired by garden bounty, amidst a warm, intimate atmosphere. Get cozy at a table constructed from old church pews or the counter overlooking the open-air kitchen, while enjoying a parade of artfully-presented dishes like roasted carrots served atop smoked yogurt or grilled radishes with smoked buttermilk cream.

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Poutineville

Featured on You Gotta Eat Here, get your poutine fix at Poutineville, an eatery in Montreal dedicated to dishing up Quebec’s signature snack. The resto is open until 5 a.m. on Fridays for peckish night owls, and every Tuesday at 5 p.m., the restaurant offers “All You Can Eat Poutine” night, where you can gobble up endless plates of French fries doused in gravy and cheese curds until closing. Try their signature poutines heaped with unorthodox toppings like hot dogs or jalapeño peppers and guacamole.

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Fairmount Bagel

Montreal bagels are one of a kind: they're denser, sweeter and traditionally baked in wood-fired ovens compared to the chewier classic New York bagel. Celebrate this distinction by visiting Fairmount Bagel, a staple shop since 1919 and allegedly the city’s first bagel bakery. Today, the bagels are all still rolled by hand and baked in old-fashioned wood burning ovens. Choose between almost two dozen flavours of bagels, from traditional sesame seed to chocolate chip and orange zest to Bozo (three bagels twisted into one giant bagel). Or make your own at home!

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Au Pied de Cochon

No visit would be complete without indulging in a savoury slice of Montreal-style tourtière, the famed double-crusted meat pie with a flaky, buttery shell. Rumour has it that Montreal chef Martin Picard is a tourtière champion, making a mean version at his celebrated restaurant, Au Pied de Cochon, in Plateau Mont-Royal. Aside from meat pie, the menu also features a range of Quebecois classics, with foie gras appearing in everything from poutine to pizza.

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