Montreal: A Raw Food Adventure
Author - Alyssa Rimmer
We just got back from a fabulous trip to Montreal. We only spent one night, but it was so much fun. We celebrated Matt's birthday in style – strolling the streets of the Old Port, shopping on Saint Laurent, drinking fine wine and eating amazing food.
Our gluten-free culinary tour of Montreal began at a pub-like restaurant, called Cafeteria, on Saint Laurent. It was a late brunch in hopes to fuel us through our day of shopping. Unfortunately, it was over priced, underwhelming, unsatisfying and definitely not the way I wanted our adventure to start. But have no fear, the rest of our trip was sensational.
Dinner was at L'Assommoir, a hip, local hangout, recommended to me by my friend, Karine, a native Montrealer. It was loud, vibrant and fun. The drinks were delicious, but the food was even better. We started with Chips de Plantain (Plantain Chips), followed by Quesadillas au Canard Confit (Duck Confit Quesadillas – for Matt) and Tartare de Saumon a la Pomme Verte et Cider Tranquille (Salmon Tartare with Green Apples and Still Cider – por moi).
I'm now a tartare convert.
This morning's meal was also in the Old Port, at this adorable little French bistro called Communion, that serves a delectable weekend brunch. It took forever to find – by the time we sat down we were practically frozen solid – but the food was totally worth it. The idea behind Communion is the sharing of plates, so you pick one thing off the menu and it's made for two people.
We shared the Quasi'Benedict (Almost Benedict), which was two poached eggs (each), and a plate of smoked salmon, duck confit, grilled tomato, spinach and goat cheese. I, of course passed on the cheese, bread and hollandaise, but the best part of the meal? They're gluten-free and dairy-free buckwheat crepes, which they substituted for me in place of the bread. The atmosphere, the food, the service, everything, I felt like I'd been transported back to Paris.
I fell in love.
Our trip ended with the most amazing meal of all. Tucked away on a side street near McGill, we found this spectacular raw, vegan and gluten-free restaurant. Yes, that's right. A restaurant that I could literally eat every single thing on the menu. Everything. No need to tell the waitress about my sensitivities here.
This restaurant was meant for me.
Crudessence (my new all-time favorite restaurant) is located in downtown Montreal and truly has spectacular food. We started with a raw Cannelloli aux Champignon (Mushroom Cannelloli – which we devoured before I could even take a picture) and Soupe Miso (Miso Soup – for Matt), followed by Capuchons de Grenoble (Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms – top left in the photo above) and Spaghetti au Pesto (Zucchini Pasta with Pesto – top right).
Then there was dessert. The best part. Stunning. Amazing. Delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Gateau Faux-mage aux Bleuets (Blueberry Cheesecake – bottom right) and Brownie a la Mode (Walnut Brownie with Ice Cream – bottom left). Truly divine and totally raw, vegan and gluten-free.
I was in heaven.
It was simply the most perfect way to end our culinary journey through this amazing city.
If you've never been to Montreal, I highly recommend it. It's a fun, youthful city that has a great bar scene and amazing restaurants. It's cold up there, but with the sun shining, bundled up in a jacket and scarf, you'll be happy to just spend your day shopping and seeing the city on foot.
Please note, the photo above is simply the pictures I took while we were eating at Crudessence. These dishes and recipes are from Crudessence – nothing that I made myself or that they gave me to post.