We decided to stay at Montreal’s centrally located Marriott Courtyard. When we were here during the summer, this hotel was still under construction. Luckily, the hotel is now open and we enjoyed a wonderful
stay at this property. If you know the Courtyard by Marriott brand, forget what you know. This hotel is sophisticated and modern. All Courtyards are comfortable and have terrific service, but this property in Montreal feels very upscale. We were told this is the new blueprint for future Courtyard hotels. The Courtyard is ideally located in downtown Montreal. The famous shopping street, Saint Catherine Street is two blocks away. Chinatown and Old Montreal are located within a 5 minute walk.
A favorite restaurant of ours is Barroco Restaurant in Old Montreal. When we stepped inside from the snowy, zero degree weather, we were instantly transported to another place. The rustic look and feel of the cozy space felt absolutely perfect for the evening. The restaurant has beautiful stone walls and wooden ceiling beams. The mismatched booths, chandeliers, and tables all blended perfectly. Whenever possible, we enjoy sitting at the bar. This particular evening, we were hosted by Jaaron. Jaaron is an amazing crafter of
cocktails. Barroco has a large selection of house cocktails that all sound delicious. However, we love to give bartenders free reign to make whatever they want. Jaaron did not disappoint. All of his cocktails were well balanced and tasty. We dined on AAA Angus beef tartare that was delightful. It was prepared a little differently than other beef tartares with the
addition of parmigiano reggiano shavings. This added even more richness to the dish. Instead of simple toast on the side, the tartare was served with bruschetta. Two apps in one! Since this was our first stop of the evening, we didn’t order other plates.
Another restaurant we visited was Au Pied de Cochon. Don’t even try to come here without a reservation. After two visits to Montreal, we finally secured a reservation for dinner at 11PM on a Saturday night! This is not a place to visit if you are on a diet. We dined on Bison ribs and the restaurant’s namesake, pied de cochon (stuffed pig’s foot). Everything was full of flavor, warm, and FILLING! In other words, we had everything to comfort you on a cold winter’s night. We sat at the kitchen counter and watched the chefs at work. Since we closed down the restaurant, we joined several of the chefs with a shot of Maker’s Mark to end the memorable evening.
If you are looking for a nice, upscale place to enjoy cocktails, head to Canada’s only W hotel. The “Wunderbar” is a fun place to spend the evening. There are several bar stools and even more sofas throughout. This place embodies all the elements of a chic lounge: sleek décor, beautiful people, and delicious cocktails. The night we stopped by, the bar area was full. We wandered down the hall and discovered “Bartini”. This literally is a tiny bar with a two-top and 4 bar stools. We spent several hours at “our” bar and made several friends, including Dominic, who crafted delicious, off the menu, cocktails for us.
A great find in Chinatown is Little Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant. It’s a chain with restaurants throughout Canada and the US. When it is sub-zero degrees, nothing is better than soup. We stopped in for a late lunch and had the special. For only $8.99, we got a selection of 2 meats and 8 veggies, each! The spicy broth was ideal to cook the fresh meat and produce. A variety of noodles was available to choose, however, rice is not on the menu.
Our visit to Montreal was filled with food, drinks, fun, and new friends. It’s wonderful for a quick getaway and we hope to return again soon.