Cafe Melies – An unexpected treat on St-Laurent
On one of the first nice warm days of the spring we were lucky enough to be out for brunch. We needed somewhere new, somewhere decent somewhere that wasn’t our run-of-the-mill spot. As of recently I have been going to many new and unique places but there are lots of spots out there that have similar menus which sometimes puts me in a brunch rut and in need of inspiration. I went to my brunch map which has all the brunch places in Montreal including those that I have review and those that I need to review. As I analyzed it I saw Café Melies, a place that I read about on forums that got decent reviews. Café Melies is a restaurant next to the eXcentris theatre. You have likely passed by it dozens of times without ever going in. It’s situated north of Sherbrooke and south of Prince Arthur right before you get to all the clubs and bars but after all the supper clubs.
At 1st glance
When you walk up to it you are immediately impressed by this mix of stone and steel on the outside and a red carpet at the door (I like to think they knew we were coming). On the inside you notice this lovely marriage of glass and steel. This is a nice contrast and brings a certain level of class and polish to some of the other spots on the street that are getting run down with years of neglect and delayed renovations. There is considerable space for people as well as a small terrace outside. The washroom and entrance are wheelchair accessible as well. The minute you walk in you notice a rather large bar and someone will come to greet you. Reservations are possible although the place isn’t that packed so you will likely not need them, but if you are a large group it may be a safe bet to call in advance.
The menu is a two pager which covers your classic eggs, waffles, omelettes, pancakes, as well as has some healthy options. The food is more refined than it is classic and the presentation is also impressive. The price range is anywhere from $8-$16 with most items falling in the $12-$15 zone. Keep in mind that coffee is not included and will cost you $2.00 but at least there are free refills. You will find some interesting ingredients like chorizo, 5 year old aged cheddar, truffles, caramelized bananas. This kind of gives you an idea on the menu items so you can expect something fancier, more refined, while still getting a relatively classic breakfast meal item.
We were a group of 5 and so were able to sample a wide variety of the menu. My friend started off with scrambled eggs, chorizo and manchego cheese dish ($13.00). The dish was split with scrambled eggs and thinly sliced home cut fries. The scrambled eggs were amazing in taste as they were perfectly seasoned and the chorizo stood out without overpowering the dish. The dish was also quite generous and presentation was simple yet sexy.
My friend’s wife and coordinator of this outing (that’s you Katy) had the blueberry pancakes ($12.00). This was 3 stacks tall of wonderfully prepared pancakes that were neither too thick and heavy nor were they too light. They had some nice flufflyness and were topped with fresh cream and a mint leaf to give it that impressive presentation that you almost don’t want to eat because it’s too nice. The density and taste of the pancakes was very impressive although the blueberry did not overpower it – I would even say the blueberries were a touch subdued.I ordered the French toast ($12.00) which was served with warm slices of peach, a light dusting of sugar and whipped cream. The portion size was quite generous and the slices of French toast were large. The warm fruit was a brilliant and delectable touch as well as a generous portion size. The taste of this dish was a surefire hit with me; it was nice and sweet without being out of control sugary and the fruit helped with that greatly by relying on natural sweetness and not using tons of sugar to compensate. I find that the sign of a good French toast is the size of the bread used. If you use a good thick slice you have already done one of the most important parts, since skimpy toast bread slices just cannot compare.
Next came the apple crepe ($12.00) which was wonderfully presented with Julienned apples, a crispened outside of a thin crepe and sauce around it. This dish was tasty but not as much a standout as the other ones. The presentation was impressive although the crispy outside of the crepe is not my favourite kind of crepe. The apple gives the dish a combination of crunchyness and natural sweetness this pairs nicely with the crepe and the sauce.
Lastly came the Americain ($10.00). This dish comes with two eggs, choice of ham, bacon or sausage, served with toast and brewed coffee – your classic eggs and meat dish. This is the only dish with coffee included which is nice and the potatoes were good. The presentation on a classic dish is still refined, and the portion size is generous. I did not have a chance to sample this dish but it is classic eggs and meat with potatoes so its often similar and the person who had it said it was good.
Our service was average; the waiter was courteous and pleasant although our refills did take a long time and at one point one of us ordered an extra drink and it took forever to arrive.
There are a couple of non-meat dishes on the menu. In fact, almost half of the menu can pass as vegetarian and there are also some health options. The prices are in the $8-$12 range which is OK for health items. As for vegans, the vegetarian dishes have either eggs or cheese in them – you can try the fruit dish but that’s about it.
For what you get the price is decent. I feel it’s a dollar higher than it should but the presentation of the food and the décor of the restaurant make it worth that extra dollar. Although, the fact that coffee is not included is a bit of a pain and does drive up the cost by $2 so add that to my original comment and you can see what the price will be. The food was really tasty and the French toast, pancakes and the scrambled eggs dishes stood out. This place should be checked out and is good for large groups since they take reservations. Terrace space is a touch narrow but on a nice day it’s a nice view so do try it.
| 3540 St Laurent
Montreal, Qc H2X 2V1
Sat-Sun 9:00- 16:00
View Café Melies in a larger map
|Bottomless Cup Of Coffee||YES|
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