Montreal, the largest city in the Quebec province of Canada, is well known for its vibrant French Canadian culture and its creative food scene. Nadia G., star of The Cooking Channel's Bitchin' Kitchen, is a Montreal native and has the inside scoop on the best places to grab grub in the city.
The Daily Meal caught up with Nadia G. at the Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival on July 28 to find out which Montreal eateries she considers imperative for travelers to hit when stopping in the area. From burger joints to duck-only dining, Nadia G. gives a run-down of five places that can satisfy a range of culinary cravings.
Tex Mex: For those craving the flavors of cultural culinary combinations, head to Joli Fou for a French gourmet twist on traditional Tex Mex treats. “What they specialize in is French Tex Mex fusion,” said Nadia G. “So you'll have fois gras tacos or some kind of maize risotto, very interesting.” Other dishes offered at Joli Fou include lobster gazpacho, Cornish hen smoked with apple wood and rubbed with chile, and onion soup with smoked pork, avocado, cheese, and peppers.
Duck: Le Canard Libéré offers all-day duck dining for duck devotees craving dishes of their favorite bird. “It's fantastic,” said Nadia G. “Everything they have there, it's all duck products. You can have the best duck poutine. It's basically duck fat fries smothered in duck gravy with fresh cheese curds and duck confit on top. It's really, really decadant.” Check out the shop's other duck products, such as duck eggs, duck pot pie, sundried tomatoes and garlic duck sausages, and duck rillettes.
Pizza: When in the mood for a slice of pizza, order up a pie at Bottega Pizzeria. “For Neapolitan pizza, Bottega is great. They make this crust that's very similar to na'an bread; a very particular type of pizza from a certain part of Napoli and they reproduce it...Amazing,” said Nadia G. Besides pizza, Bottega also serves up specialty dishes like Neapolitan croque monsieurs stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta, and prosciutto, and signature Italian treats like gelato and calzones.
Burgers: At Patati Patata, burgers lovers can feast on a range of savory sliders and fries. “They've been making sliders from way before sliders were a popular thing. You just pop in there and they have these really tiny burgers and you can just dress them up as you like; tasty and very cheap too,” said Nadia G.
Vegan Food: Aux Vivres is a restaurant where those following a vegan diet can enjoy a delicious, healthy meal. “They're really famous for their smoked coconut BLTs,” said Nadia G. “It's just really delicious. They have that smoked coconut and they spice it in a way they will never tell you about, but it's just delicious.” Other vegan treats to look forward to include portobello mushroom burgers, vegan-style 'un-cheesecake,' and freshly squeezed beverages and smoothies from the restaurant's juice bar.