Happy 2012 to all. With a new year ahead of us we look back on 2011 and take a look at the state of brunch in Montreal. We look at the new spots we discovered, some dishes we remember and we look ahead to see what new discoveries await us. Before we get started, let us take a moment to remember two brunch spots that have left us this year. Sadly, we’ve lost McKiernan and Montée de Lait this year, both of which were on my list of favourite spots and had some really creative dishes that were rarely found elsewhere. Fortunately, we added some new quality places on the list this year but these two favourites will be missed.
Best New place
So, as we look back at this year’s places, we find a few spots that stood out. Now, some have been open before this year but since there are only 2 days in weekend were we can review and I only have 1 stomach, I get can’t to all the brunch spots in the city. Here are some of our top spots: Sain Bol, A Table, Vino, Lawrence, and Pyrus. Sain Bol is a new player on the scene and takes an organic and market fresh approach to its cuisine. This tiny spot offers some amazing dishes (Like their blueberry French toast) and has been visited a few times this year. A Table is brought to us by the same brilliant mind that brought us Madre – their neuvo latino culinary vision is a true pleasure to experience. Lawrence is the kitchen staff from the Sparrow which opened up a spot not even a block away. Having made waves last year, they opened early this year and have brought their signature style to Lawrence for all to enjoy.Pyrus has a refined and polished take on brunch and delivers dishes that never disappoint. Their French toast sampler makes it on my plate no matter how curious I am for other dishes. Vino is another new spot out in NDG which offers fun and tasty dishes some of which are even gluten free. Their ricotta pancake became a personal favorite in no time.
Choosing a winner is never easy but I was most impressed by Sain Bol. I have visited this place almost a half dozen times and sampled almost everything on the menu. The fact that they place an emphasis on organic and market fresh is a treat.
Every year this list gets longer and longer. In fact, I need to go walk outside in the cold to clear my mind since so many good spots are available, and picking a single favourite is hard. So, here are a few of my favourite spots: L’avenue, Chien Fumant, Griffintown Café, Cartet, Madre, Lemeac, Lawrence, Sain Bol, Brigade Volante and Vino. As you have read in the previous section you can see why I like Sain Bol and Vino. Brigade Volante became a favourite with its healthy take on brunch not to mention, it’s crème brullee French toast. Madre does miracles every weekend and combines latin American flavours with brunch dishes. Griffintown café serves up incredibly tasty country style dishes in a great décor. Lemeac is fine French dining applied to brunch and I still dream of its pain perdu dish. L’avenue was last years winner and for good reason – just their fruit reduction crepe alone is reason to come in and brave the lineup. Le Chien fummant has a constantly changing menu ranging from dim sum, Spanish themed brunch and classic Montreal brunch. Each trip there has a satisfaction guarantee. Lawerence has some staple dishes like its French toast that bring me back every time. Lastly, Cartet proves itself every time by giving a dish that is varied in taste and not over the top.
The winner from a distinguished list of its peers is L’avenue. Yes, back for a 2nd year in a row to maintain its crown L’avenue proves why it is favourite in many people’s minds. I mean, almost each dish on the menu is a homerun, ranging from the sucrée salée to the their omelettes and their eggs Benedict, you cannot go wrong.
Now comes the yummiest part and that is some of my favourite dishes overall. These ones I have kept in no specific order:
A) Blueberry French Toast at Sain Bol
B) Ricotta pancakes at Vino
C) Strawberry, mango & kiwi crepe at L’avenue
D) Sucrée salée at L’avenue
E) French Toast at Lawrence
F) French Toast at Pyrus
G) crème brûlée French toast at Brigade Volante
H) Waffles & Pulled Pork at Chien Fummant
So, we hope that 2011 brought you many fine dishes and that 2012 brings you even more. As always, remember you can contact us with the contact link above and do feel free to comment on our posts and have a great 2012!!
From the merry staff at Montreal Breakfast Review!