MTL Oysterfest 2012

3 Sep

Over labor day weekend, Montreal’s now 4th annual Oysterfest took place in Old Montreal. The event is a fundraiser for The Open Pier Foundation which is an organization dedicated to ocean preservation and sustainably awareness. It is a great effect that brings many of Montreal’s best restaurants together and provide some amazingly good food for people to enjoy. I hadn’t heard of this event prior to this year, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The festival takes over the Pigeon Hole parking lot at the corner of Notre-Dame and St-Jean in old Montreal. I arrived 15 minutes prior to the start, so I got to try everything I wanted to without any wait which was a huge plus. Festivals are classic for having long wait lines, so that was a nice change. Note that I didn’t stay that late, so perhaps it was more of an issue later on.

After having enjoyed a beer provided by Burgundy Lion, I plunged straight in with a wide variety of fare. First up, from the amazing Restaurant Park, a pork belly, shredded pork shoulder and kimchi slider. It was my favorite bite of food all afternoon. The pork belly in particular was absolute dynamite.


Next up, from Osteria Venti, I had the grilled lamb with a salad of artichokes, mushrooms and peppers. The lamb was spot on – perfect grill job with the right tenderness and just great favour. The vegetable salad was quite good as well. The marinated artichokes were the stars in this one.


From Boites aux Huitres, we have the headliner of the event – fresh oysters shucked right before our eyes. Fresh and delicious, they were on point – regardless of whether you added the hot sauce or not.


From restaurant L’Orignal, we had a taste of thanksgiving. Hot turducken in a roll with stuffing as topping. Easily the most surprising thing I had ate but just delicious. It worked perfectly.


From Mechant Boeuf, there were slow cooked Jack Daniels Ribs. Very flavorful glaze  and a nice crust to the ribs, the meat just fell off the bone which was a good thing given the fact that I was standing up.


From Gaspar Tavern, you had a fish taco and from Baxo, we had a Shrimp roll with a pesto chimichurri. Both were quite good.




And finally, to end off with something sweet, I grabbed a Key Lime Pie frozen treat from the folks at La Catrina. Great lime flavour complimented nicely by the graham crust on the outside. A perfect bookend to a great selection of food.


All in all, Oysterfest was a great showcase for Montreal’s best restaurants. There were many more options to try out but my stomach couldn’t handle more. Next year, I will be better prepared for the feast at hand. I’m sad that I hadn’t heard of this before but now having been, this will now enter my yearly schedule. Hopefully, I will see some of you there next year.




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