Montreal Bagels were also on the list of foods to try, and we got them at St. Viateur Bagel shop, in the Mile End neighborhood. Montreal bagels are made differently than NY bagels; they are boiled and then baked in a wood-fired oven. The dough has a hint of sweetness, with a slight smokiness. We got a dozen sesame bagels, cream cheese and whitefish spread to go. There are no tables, it’s very reminiscent of H&H bagels in NY. We drove to Mont Royal and had our bagels overlooking the city. They were still warm from the oven and completely covered in sesame seeds. It was a great bagel. H&H is still my #1, but this is a close #2.
We stopped in Old Montreal on the way out of town, peeked in to Basilique Notre-Dame, and wandered around Old Montreal, looking for the last item on the food list; sugar pie. We stopped at Claude Postel (http://www.claudepostel.com/) and got some chocolates, and a croissant, but they didn’t have sugar pie. We finally wandered in to a small diner, and saw the elusive “Tarte au Sucre.” We got a slice to go, which helped sustain us later during the 2 hour wait at the border to get home.
Despite Navigational Snafu #3, we made it to Simon Pearce for a late lunch. (http://www.simonpearce.com/ ) Simon Pearce is known for their beautiful blown glass pieces and pottery. They also have a restaurant. The building is a renovated mill, so it is right on the Quechee River. We sat out on the open terrace and enjoyed a lovely lunch. MJ had a Vermont cheddar soup, it was creamy, with the sharp bite of the cheese and sesame chicken salad (a very sesame filled day for her). Brian had the fried calamari salad, which was more a plate of fried calamari with some lettuce garnish. The calamari was great, crispy, tender, and not oily. We descended upon it like locust when he offered us some. Hubby had the lamb burger, which came originally as chicken (that’s twice in a month now!) so he had to wait for the right entrée to come out. Once it did, the lamb burger was great, cooked perfectly and juicy, with a garlic aioli. My ploughman’s lunch was brie, cheddar, blue cheese, two pates and a red onion marmalade. The cheeses were a bit mundane, but the pate was studded with pistachios and very tasty.
We got crème burlee, triple chocolate bread pudding, a lemon semifreddo and a rhubarb tart for dessert. All were good, the crème burlee was the best.
Simon Pearce’s workshop is in the basement and you can go and watch the artists. I spent 20 minutes watching them play with molten liquid glass and shape them in to beautiful wine glasses. They did it with extraordinary speed, and causal grace. A great little pit stop, right over the NH/VT border.
That wraps up our Montreal trip. We had a great time, between all the eating, sights and company. I didn’t manage to see all the sights I wanted to see, and eat all the food I wanted to eat (the poutine at Patati Palata and Sugar pie and pig’s foot at Au Pied Du Cochon), so I have no doubt I will be back.