Montreal’s Culinary Festival turns FivePosted by in Uncategorized
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Montreal’s Culinary Festival turns Five
MTL à TABLE 2016 – Nov 3rd to 13th
By Diane Penwill
MTL à TABLE, Montreal’s annual culinary festival, has 150 restaurants participating this year (22 new ones) and crosses 12 neighbourhoods. Districts that have become recognized for food in recent years, like Little Burgundy, Griffintown, St. Henri and the newest, Ahuntsic, compete with classic gourmet destinations like Old Montreal, The Plateau and Mile End. No matter how large a Montreal event becomes, here it can still feel like an intimate, relaxed community event.
Tourists and locals will have the chance to discover some of the city’s finest cuisine and to meet the chefs who put Montreal on the global food map. Participating restaurants will offer prix-fixe menus for $15 (brunch), or $21, $31 or $41 (dinner) and $21 (late-night meals). MTLàTABLE is highlighting two restaurants, Toqué! and Europea, who bear the prestigious Relais & Chateau insignia. These two famous restaurants have created $69 menus exclusively for this event.
MTL à TABLE has partnered this year with Les Vins de Languedoc, and will be featuring wines from this distinctive wine region in the South of France. Meet innovative French winegrowers and sommeliers from Vins du Languedoc, who will be holding tasting sessions. Meals come with Languedoc wine pairings.
The annual wine fair, La Grande Degustation Montreal, which has become important on the Canadian wine scene, takes place Nov. 3, 4 and 5th at Place Bonaventure. The spotlight this year is on South America. Argentina and Chile take center stage with 50 internationally renowned merchants, over 1200 products, including 800 different wines. The feature grape variety is Syrah (used to produce excellent wines around the world including the famous Crozes-Hermitage appellation) and the featured spirit is whiskey, with sampling opportunities of whiskeys from 20 Scottish, Irish, American and Canadian producers.
Throughout the festival and into December, 3-hour guided walking tours are offered on the fabled cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, with stops to taste culinary delights, and to visit historical landmarks. Four of the six tasting locations are sit-down restaurants, including a sampling of beer and Quebec cheeses at Bistro-Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises, who brew their own beer on-site, in a renovated former nunnery. Other food stops include a local gluten-free baker, an authentic English-style fish‘n chip shop, a rustic Portuguese restaurant and a final stop for “poudding chomeur”, a classic Quebec dessert.
“Our Cheeses”, who represent Quebec cheeses, organized a contest among participating restaurants to create an original recipe featuring local cheese. Fifteen winners were chosen and their cheesey creations will be highlighted on their menus throughout the week. The Parisian-styled brasserie, Chez Lévêque, in Outremont, specializes in French classics and has been a neighbourhood favourite since 1972. Their winning recipe is a savoury rendition of a mille feuille – a layered beet mille feuille, with Bleu Bénédictin cheese, walnuts and greens. Restaurant de l’Institut, the training restaurant of students from the Institut de Tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), created, under Chef Mathias Théau,a braised veal shank with butternut squash, roasted cipollini onions and romanesco broccoli topped with shavings of Canotier de l’Isle cheese.
Other opportunities to explore include a bean-to-bar chocolate expedition through the Plateau and Mile End districts to taste nine types of chocolate, drink a chocolate infusion, a traditional Mexican chocolate drink and finish the day with a savoury chocolate-based meal. Ride a giant bicycle with Party Bike (or Vélo Festif) Montreal, all the while tasting hors d’oeuvres and shooters, in the newest foodie destination, the Ahuntsic neighbourhood. Or go for a Happy Hour tour in one of the hip neighbourhoods of Little Burgundy and St. Henri, or in the Quartier des Spectacles, once home to Montreal’s former Red Light District.
Many Montreal attractions offer special packages during MTLàTABLE such as a visit to the Grevin wax museum followed by a Chocolate Dinner, a Food & Cinema evening with the Cinemania Film Festival or a Dinner at the Montreal Opera. Live music and dance with jazz, traditional French music, Spanish Flamenco dancing and Portuguese fado will be at various restaurants around town.
“MTL à TABLE helps position Montréal as one of the world’s leading gastronomic destinations. We know that tourists love to come here and eat well,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.
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