It is always nice to see a new spot pop up in my neck of the woods. The Milton-Parc district a.k.a McGill Ghetto and its adjacent strip of Saint-Laurent street presents some interesting options to check out and I certainly have my regular locales (I have mentioned how much I LOVE Icehouse?) Last week, SuWu neighborhood bar opened up replacing the now departed Cafeteria right by the corner of St-Laurent and Prince Arthur. I saw some pictures of the media event they hosted and decided that I definitely needed to try the interesting food and drinks that they were serving.
I sadly didn’t have the chance to take any nice interior shots of the bar but the first thing that sticks out about the space is the great decor and feel they have created. Outdoor-but-indoors look with copious amounts of wood panels, wood table and bar countertops, fake plants, a ceiling lattice with vines and lights hanging off from above. Add some great music and a few nice vintage touches and you have a setting relaxed enough to simply have a nice drink and watch the game but upscale enough to make it an evening out before heading elsewhere along the Main.
The bar has a variety of beers on tap, some speciality cocktails and a pretty interesting “Mickey” service with different varieties of tequila, gin and bourbon. To start, I ordered an bourbon Olde Fashioned. For me personally, this is my test of a bar’s (and a bartender’s) worth. An olde fashioned is a very classic and straightforward drink but one that can be royally messed up if you don’t take care to prepare properly. This one was okay. I’ve had better around the city but this is one I would order again to give it a second try.
The food menu is an interesting mix of warm and cold dishes that certainly are not what we would call “traditional” bar food. To start, a order of rosemary fries. Exactly what you would expect. Very crispy fries with a strong but not overbearing hint of rosemary. A good starter.
Next up, my big winner for the evening : mini biscuit and fried chicken sandwiches with kimchi. A very unique but well created dish. The biscuit buns were solid, the fried chicken was nicely seasoned and crispy and the kimchi added a nice little kick with the festivities. Absolutely a must order again.
To change it out, we ordered the spicy Edamame. I love edamame and in the end, while it was quite good, let’s just say that edamame covered with a spice mix is not necessarily the right thing to eat while sitting at a bar. A little too messy for my taste at a bar like this.
Still hungry, we ordered the Meat Ball Tacos. While very creative, this was a miss for me mostly on account of the hard shell tacos being used. I was originally under the impression that it would be soft tortillas and I think it would have made it better and more importantly, easier to eat. When the shells crack after a bit and fall apart, it makes eating meat balls and smoked mozzarella covered in tomato sauce a little bit harder. I get the texture addition of the hard shells but it didn’t do it for me.
Finally, this bar even has dessert! we ordered the rice crispy Panini with chocolate, peanuts and homemade creme fraiche. Rich and sweet, this was a very nice way to finish a night of food with a few drinks.
I did have some small issues with the service that evening – specifically the process of ordering food from the bar because the bartender who took our food order was also supposed to go pick up our order. At the same time, she got swamped with all the drink orders for all the tables so our food sat for pick up much longer than it should have. The staff seemed to fixed that issue by getting someone else to bring the food to the bar by the end of the night. It didn’t have a negative impact on the food thankfully and I will be curious to see on my soon-to-be subsequent visits – and believe me, there will be. I live 10 minutes away on foot for god’s sake! – if that was simply a opening week one-off.
I was quite satisfied with my first taste of SuWu and happy to see a new neighborhood bar opened up close by. I will definitely be heading back to try the rest of the menu that still has me intrigued. Hopefully, they make a good enough impression with the rest of the locals to stick around for a while.
514 443 1455