Thursday, August 16, 2007

montreal lunch/montreal on the rooftop

We followed the noses of our two traveling companions. They had eaten lunch in this residential section of the city over New Year's when it was cold, snowy, and very windy. They'd found a little Vietmanese spot through Chowhound, and ended up in a tiny kitchen/diningroom with two other diners. They bought beer next door at a depanneur, and tucked into authentic pho, those brilliant Vietmanese soup dishes.

Our friends did not remember the name, only the location and the feel of the street. We walked up and down a broad section of St. Victoire out past the cemetary, but to no avail. It seemed that the little restaurant had disappeared, the one likely storefront now swallowed up by a restaurant supply shop.

We were not without recourse. At the intersection of St. Kevin and St. Victoire is another Vietnamese spot. They had outdoor tables in the shade which beckoned on what turned out to be a hot, hot day in the city. In the cool shadow of their umbrellas, we drank beer and ate spicy, refreshing food: spring rolls, chicken brochettes flavored by the grill, bar-b-qued pork, and the classic omelet/pancake with scallions, cilantro, and Thai basil. So enamored of the food, we all forgot the name this time too, only remembering that it begins with an H. You can drive there, or take the Metro which has a station just down the street.

After such a long lunch and a late afternoon of wandering city streets, evening came quickly, along with a little hunger, and a hankering for refreshment. On a hot night in Montreal, we always like to go to the roof deck bar at The Nelligan in the old port. We've been there many times. One of the most adventurous visits was last summer when a thunderstorm brewed and it got so windy it blew the market umbrellas off the roof and out over the old city. We still wonder what happened to them when they landed. This time, the sky was calm, the air thick with humidity, and a slight balmy breeze. We drank martinis and melon mojitos and ate shrimp cocktail and watched the sun go down, and the city lights come up.

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