Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Montreal Day Two - Lunch, Jean Talon Market & Dinner with Family

Another lovely day - not too hot, but sunny and bright. My Honey, my cousin Sheldon and I went for a walk to fight off the effects of Chinese food for dinner the night before just at a local coffee shop - no photos and frankly, because I forgot the tripod, the rest of the shots are pretty shaky but I hope you'll get the idea.

Lunch was with another favorite cousin at a very chi-chi restaurant on Laurier in another wonderful area of Montreal that also has lots of restaurants and shopping and great architecture. Unfortunately his lovely wife and great kids were away or busy, so it was just the three of us. We ate at Lemeac on their terrace and before we even ordered we were presented with delicious chewy baguettes and some apricot preserves that tasted of walnuts.

My Honey had this wonderful cheese and herb omelet which looked better than this photo shows - same goes for the rest of the photos, so I'll stop apologizing and just focus on the day.

My cousin and I each had this wilted spinach salad with Lardon(basically thick bacon) with French beans, other things and topped with a poached egg and cheese shavings. The presentation was so spectacular I took pictures from top and side.

Even though we really didn't need it, my cousin insisted that we share this dessert because it was so amazing.

Think the thickest slice of French toast, caramelized (I think with maple syrup)and perched on top a scoop of unbelievably good vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. He was so right - it was divine!!!

Lunch done, it's time to move on to Jean Talon Market to get some fixings for dinner - BBQ at my cousin's. Now don't get me wrong, I love the markets in and around Toronto, but there is nothing that even remotely compares to this one. It sort of reminds me of Pike's Peak market in Seattle, except for the very enthusiastic fish mongers who sing while slinging fresh fish from water to stalls. It's all about presentation. I remember being awestruck by how the vegetables were lined up perfectly, almost color coordinated and the same holds true for Jean Talon.
So here is just some of the gorgeous bounty....

It's hard to tell from this shot, but many vendors have some of their produce (here it's plums and nectarines) sliced on a plate for tasting.

Just look at these baskets of mixed berries, ground cherries and baby grapes - all with a pretty flower for presentation.

I wish I could have stood further back from this display so you could get the full impact. It went on forever.

Wild blueberries or bleuets sauvages (even more exotic sounding) from Saguenay

Cauliflower in purple, saffron, apple green and white - hard to choose and so beautiful, they took my breath away.

Multicolored peppers, so pretty

Plus rafters of hot peppers and garlic and let's talk about garlic for a moment....

The garlic at this vendor was on tables at least 15 feet long and stacked at least 3 feet high. I was in heaven.

These were in pots but there were also HUGE bunches of mint, basil and dill for pickling, just to name a few of my personal favorites.

Everything looked so good and it was hard not to get carried away. The truth...we were only there to get some salad fixings and some Heritage tomatoes my cousin had heard were amazing. We didn't find any, but here's what we did bring home...

Beautiful, sweet and juicy tomatoes, peppers for the grill, mixed cauliflower, huge purple onions, corn (hiding behind the herbs - mint & parsley) baby arugula/rocket, young romaine lettuce, local honey, great wine and right beside it a vase full of basil with their roots attached. Some mixed berries for part of the dessert.

The rest of the family would be over later so once we had all the ingredients we started on dinner. My cousin went out again to get Greek Yoghurt at one place, amazing steaks from La Queue de Cheval, Kwinter hot dogs and some salami from somewhere else.

Even my blurry camera technique can't hide the beautiful marbling and aging of these steaks.

And cooked perfectly over charcoal.

So here's what dinner looked like....

The salad was very simple - green young crispy, frizzy lettuce with mint, basil and parsley served with a champagne wine vinaigrette.

Hard to tell what's what, so....starting at the left - corn on the cob (picked that morning as was all the produce on the table). Corn and my lime & Cajun spice rub (everyone at least tried it), grilled peppers & onions (leftovers would be great with some balsamic vinegar added to a salad or chopped and heaped on toasted baguettes for a bruscetta), tomatoes slices drizzled with rice wine vinegar and fresh basil, mixed cauliflower with mustard seeds just because they looked too pretty to leave at the market, and last but not least baked potatoes. The star of course was the mixed grill - juicy steaks, tasty dogs and perfectly grilled salami slices.

Dessert was simple - thick Greek yoghurt with berries, mint and some of that fabulous local honey drizzled on top. A perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

Green Salad with Fresh Basil, Parsley & Mint with Champagne Vinaigrette
Mixed Grill - Steak, Hot Dogs & Grilled Salami
Corn on the Cob (with butter or Cajun lime rub)
Grilled Peppers
Baked Potatoes
Greek Yoghurt with Berries & Mint Drizzled with Honey

Related links:


Anonymous said...

I can't believe I missed this dinner!!! David keeps talking about how delicious everything was... and how 0 stress could be found in the kitchen. I am so glad you shared this day on your blog.
love Cheryl

kitchenmage said...

It's been forever since I've been here but I've clearly been missing. The colors in your photos is amazing, all those purple foods make me smile.

Ruth Daniels said...

It was fun, but I really did miss you. We'll have to do it again.

Ruth Daniels said...

Kitchenmage, I am glad you came back for a visit. It's 3 days later and I'm still blissfully smiling whenever I think of the market and getting together with the family.

Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my.., that market sure is a must to visit! Thanks for transporting us there with your lovely photos :)

All those blueberries! and chillies!

I wish i was there...

Sara said...

Your pictures are all wonderul, especially the market pictures! Amazing!

Unknown said...

Yes, La Queue de Cheval offer amazing steak, but next time, give a try to the steakhouse Rib'n Reef and give me your impression ;)

Steakhouse Restaurant said...

Of course Jean-Talon market it's a place to see and to dinner with family, there's a lot a famous restaurants in Montreal... I hope that you had good time! come back and see us whenever you want.