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Page history last edited by Mark P 15 years, 7 months ago

Background on Montreal Restaurants


As part of my trip to Montreal, I did much research via chowhound, Fodor's, Frommer's, Yahoo travel, and other web sites on good restaurants nearby. I knew I wanted to eat at places that I can't find back at home. That meant French bistros and nice bakeries. But it also meant so much more. I learned Montreal really was a good town for foodies, with countless other unique dining experiences with restaurants specializing in items ranging from fois gras and Montreal bagels to smoked meats and poutine. Even though I was in the city for five days, I could've easily filled many times more days than that with recommended restaurants.


Context for this Particular Restaurant


As one main goal was to hit French bistros, of which Montreal has many, we went to another one, Au Petit Extra, on our last evening in Montreal. I'd heard enough recommendations from chowhounds to expect it to be good.


http://www.aupetitextra.com/ (French only)


As I learned from my visit, Au Petit Extra is located a bit away from downtown in a more predominately French part of the city -- that's probably why it's not mentioned in any of my English guide books.


Au Petit Extra Review


We had a delicious meal at Au Petit Extra after my father, in fragmented French, managed to communicate with the waiter who, although not fluent in English, managed to translate terms fairly well.


The meal started with good, traditional French bread: thickly sliced and with a thick crust.


To start, we ordered a salad, wonderfully dressed.


And had some cauliflower soup.


For neither of these dishes did anyone have to ask twice, "do you want more or should I finish it?" We all wanted more.


As for main courses, we tried the duck confit ("confit de canard et salade landaise"). It was like fried chicken made with duck. But this was no ordinary fried chicken -- it tasted like the duck was fried in its own juices! As for the salad, it had the same dressing we enjoyed in the salad appetizer. Accompanying the greens were vegetables and a few meat "oddities" (according to my notes). Research on the web indicates these may have been gizzards.


We also had veal cooked in beer ("fondant de veau à la bière"). It was tremendous -- this is what brisket wants to be.


"Bourride sétoise," a traditional fish stew in a sauce, served as our third main course. Made with monkfish and served on a bed of spinach, it was wonderful.


With dinner we tried a Boreal Red. It was a decent beer: definitely red, may be hoppy, and in any case had character. My parents liked it.


Our desserts weren't as good as the rest of the meal.


The creme brulee turned out to be like an eclair custard, very creamy, with a hard top that tasted like scorched marshmallows. My mom called it "very nice."


The royal chocolate cake, a cake with layers of mousse, peanut butter, and cookies, reminded my mom of a candy bar. In summarizing her opinion, she said, "I don't know if it's that great."


French was the only language we heard spoken in Au Petit Extra. It must be authentic!


The decor, although slightly formal, was toned down by the chalkboard listing the day's menu. We also received a single-page menu that contained the same list, clearly printed that morning.

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