Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Montrealer in New York... well, maybe just Brooklyn.

My dining companion and I are getting set for a whirlwind trip to visit family and friends in Brooklyn. Barring any border troubles, I will be back on Monday with New York restaurant reviews, perhaps the odd beer review and the word on the street is that we will be frequenting a bar/resto/bowling alley. I expect there might also be a trip (or two) to the Brooklyn Brewery. Stay tuned for all of the news that’s fit to print and some exemplary photo documentation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Resto Review - Bazaar

Bazaar 514-276-6999, 104 rue Laurier Ouest, Montréal

For years I had wanted to try Racha Bassoul’s restaurant on Laurier, however it had always seemed a little out of my price range and frankly, a little uninviting. That being said, I was nevertheless quite saddened to hear of its closing a couple of months ago. With so many restaurant closures in my neighbourhood (I am still mourning a wonderful little French bistro which used to house the same spot as the now over-priced Rumi) it was only par for the course to see another one bite the dust. Thus, I was more than pleased to hear that Anise wasn’t so much closing as it was reinventing itself as a more casual eatery, with smaller portions and less fussy fare. After a meal there the other night, I can safely say it was worth the wait.

Arriving at the restaurant, I was a little disappointed to see that they had misplaced our reservation, but the waiter was very accommodating and thankfully there was one last table for two near the bar. Incidentally, I would definitely recommend making a reservation. The meal began with a small dish of home-made hummus (delicious), labneh (even better), toasted pita and olives. To follow, we ordered two appetizers: the Lebanese sausages and lamb samosas. While both were delicious, they were a little pricey. As for the main courses, both of our choices were wonderful. While I thought there was nothing better than a simply grilled Cornish hen, I was proven wrong by the restaurant’s take on veal cheeks. They were melt-in-the-mouth tender and every drop of the accompanying sauce was sopped up by my companion’s bread. While I was initially a little under-whelmed by the choice of accompaniments that were on offer, I ended up being quite impressed by the very robust ratatouille and requisite pommes de terre frites. But perhaps the best part of the meal came at the end. While we were both too full for a complete dessert, we opted to share the “Douceurs du Bazaar” which at $3 was an amazing find. The little dessert was made up of a small piece of baklava (or some variation thereof), a few spoonfuls of some kind of molasses and tahini-inspired sauce and lastly, but certainly not least, a small piece of the most delicious halawa (at least that’s what we suspect it was) I have ever eaten. The texture was both soft and resistant and tasted of pistachio and rose. There is nothing I like better than a floral dessert.

I should also mention the wine list. While quite pricey (there are no bottles under $40 and few even at that price range), they had many excellent choices by the glass, the highlight of which was a glass of red Wildass from the Niagara Peninsula.

As an academic, no review would be complete without some form of evaluation.


Mains: $18-$28

Monday, October 29, 2007


I strongly dislike inaugural blog posts, but I suppose it is useful to chart out one’s blogging territory. Being new at this (they don’t call me “analog girl” for nothing), this blog may yet became many things, but for now, it’s a place for me to write about and document the various leisure-y things, mostly food and wine, some travel and much miscellany, with which I come in contact. This may include, but is not limited to, restaurant and wine reviews, the occasional recipe, travelogues and other food-related items. Please join me, as I finally come to terms with my penchant for bourgeois pastimes.