A Little East Side Love
Being someone who lives in the east end I am excited when I hear about a place that serves a good brunch located in the area, and Le Valois is no exception. Le Valois is a fancy Brasserie/Bistro on Ontario street (near Pie IX) – it seems to be part of a trend where places usually associated with more the bar/bistro scene begin offering weekend brunch menus.
At 1st glance
Le Valois is not an easy place to find, especially since there is no sign on the building and the address is missing the last digit. The only way you really know you are there is that there is this odd open space (kind of like a courtyard) with benches and surrounded by a bakery and various small shops (where they buy their food from). Now enough with the outside lets move on in and see what’s on our plate..
The menu has a fair offering of food and although there were 21 menu items, they covered most of what most people would want to eat early Saturday morning. With most plates you get a free coffee or tea and there are refills on it. The coffee here is second to none in fact you will be hard pressed to find an other with coffee as tasty as the one offered here, I have no clue what it is or what they put in it, but I kept drinking it and was loving every drop.
Although the menu items are not a grocery list of choice, the basics are covered and even the pickiest of patrons will be pleased. Choices offered are: 2 omelettes (one vegetarian, one meat) $9.95; 2 egg plates (scramble and poached) $8.95; 1 crepe and 1 French toast at $7.95; Yogurt plate with granola and fruit $6.95; 1 choice of bagel/baguette/toast: $3.50 and 1 choice of bagel with cream cheese: $3.95. The menu is divided into a breakfast and brunch component which has some items that are more lunch items than the classic breakfast. You will find some quiches and sandwiches which seem tasty and well priced ($7.95-$11.95). Although for the purpose of this review we focused on the breakfast component.
The eggs benedict $12.95 was very good and came with hollandaise sauce on the side – the menu calls for smoked salmon (which is good considering the price) but we had a ham substitution and chose to add extra cheese (Swiss or Camembert) for $2.95. It came with spinach and was very filling. The French toast ($7.95), which is what I had, came with slices of a brioche-like bread from the local bakery, and a fruit reduction of raspberry drizzled on top along side pineapple and watermelon. I was originally worried about the size of the French toast being adequate since I was extra hungry (as always) but the waiter assured me they were quite thick. Unfortunately they changed the bread that day and the size was smaller. The waiter actually brought 2 extra slices free of charge which made me very, very happy. The taste of the French toast was out of this world and the fruit reduction was so good I made sure to mop up every last bit of it. I was in French toast heaven. The French toast itself was not too eggy but the bread was something else – its quite difficult to explain except it looks like a mix between a burger bun top and an English muffin with a taste far superior to any of those, in fact I even went to the bakery next door to see what it was but was unable to find out.
The service was quite good; our waiter took his time and explained all aspects of the menu to us and I even got 2 free slices of French toast since they changed the size of it and it was not as he explained initially (emphasis on how extremely happy I was about that). The coffee refill did require us to get his attention but it was not the end of the world and the bill did come on time.
The menu does have a few vegetarian options and even a vegan one with the fruit plate. It does a good job considering there are not a ton of menu items.
Besides it being difficult to find Le Valois is well worth the trip. The food is excellent, well priced and of a generous portion, the service is good as well the restrooms are large and there is a huge terrace for the summer, perhaps I will go back and let you know how brunch fairs out in the summer.
| 25 Place Simon Valois
Montreal, QC H1W 0A6
Mon-Friday 8:00 a.m – 11:00 a.m.
|Bottomless Cup Of Coffee||YES|