Archive | Bar RSS feed for this section

Le Bureau

22 Jan

Happy new year everyone! Yeah I’m know I’m 3 weeks behind but hey… this writing is a side project for me so how about you cut me a little slack, hum? Anyway, thank you everyone who reads these posts on a regular basis and who spread the word. I never imagined that less than 2 years into this little writing endeavour that people would actually be writing this thing! It is greatly appreciated. Here’s to an amazing 2014 of food and more culinary exploration within our fair city and elsewhere!

Now then, on with my last restaurant visit of 2013 – Hey, I did say I was a little behind didn’t I? – which brought me to the rapidly changing region of Griffintown. It is a part of town that I visit quite frequently. A friend of mine who lives nearby invited down to check out Le Bureau Tapas Bar for a little midweek drink and food. Now, Le Bureau has been on my to-visit list since the summer so I gladly accepted and away we went.


Walking in on a quiet snowy evening, Le Bureau has a very nice relaxed lounge feel – slow lighting, beautiful wood bars and bar tables with leather banquettes in the end. Add some more industriel touches with the exposed brick walls and steel ventilation tubes and you’re left with a nice setting that perfectly suits a great happy hour or after work visit.


The cocktail menu was pretty extensive – the right kind of options for a bar like this. Over the course of the evening, we had their Manhattan, Negroni, Old Fashioned and Tom Collins. All were executed well and enjoyable.


As for the food, Le Bureau offers a menu of tapas style dishes of various cultural influences. We went for a wide variety of dishes for this particular visit – Patatas Bravas, Cod croquettes, pancetta-wrapped figs, beef skewers with chimichurri and grilled chorizo with onions. The Patatas bravas were served with a chipotle lime sauce instead of the standard spicy tomato sauce. The cod croquettes were nice and crispy, served with a amarillo sauce. My big favourite on this night was the pancetta figs – a wonderful combination of sweetness and saltiness. The beef skewers themselves were fine but the real star here was that chimichurri. The grilled chorizo was good but I felt the sausage itself lacked the usual punch of most chorizo.






The food overall was solid however I personally found the portion sizes to be a little too small given their cost. Le Bureau strikes me as the perfect happy hour 5 à 7 location – it has a great look, a very relaxed feel, a great selection of drinks from their bar and tapas if you need a snack. I will definitely return here for a drink every now and then. However, if you are looking to have a complete meal, I don’t think the portions lend themselves well to that experience. Le Bureau is a great lounge bar experience and that’s perfectly acceptable if that’s what you are looking for.


Le Bureau Bar Tapas
1642 Notre-Dame West
514 903 1642

Le Bureau Bar Tapas on Urbanspoon


Maine 2013 – The Ramp Bar and Grill

4 Jul

If one visits Kennebunkport and take the lovely, long scenic drive past all the cottages and the waterfront inns to Cape Porpoise, you eventually get to a gravel parking lot that overlooks a bay (Goat Island Light according to Google Maps) and that has 2 restaurants: Pier 77 and The Ramp. While Pier 77 looks lovely, we turned our attention to the Ramp for this particular afternoon visit.



When that is the view I have before entering the bar, you are rather spoiled. Anyway, The Ramp is a small bar located directly under the Pier 77 restaurant and has the look of a sports bar on steroids. Every inch of this place is covered with retro sports paraphernalia (a little too New England focused as a Montrealer but I’ll let it go this one time…). Any time a bar has an old Montreal Forum seat, a NBA backboard & hoop and autographs from Bill Russell, Bill Belicheck, Red Auerbach and Arnold Palmer in the men’s washroom, you know you’re in a sports fan’s dream. As one such sports fan, I loved every minute of this.





Now, if this was just a simple sports bar, that would be one thing. However, this place actually rocked a great food menu on top of all that. The offerings go between typical bar food and more upscale stuff that highlights great seafood as one would expect in Maine. Spinach salad, a Greek mezze dish, Carolina style BBQ, burgers, fish and chips, a seafood stew, etc… All of that sounded great but we went for other options.

First, some onion strings with a smoked tomato ketchup. The plate was huge and delicious. The onions strings were nice and thin. The coating around the strings provided a nice crunch without being overbearing. The ketchup had a wonderful smokiness which added a nice note to the dish. A wonderful appetizer all around.


For the main, there was only one option here: the Lobster roll. My first one of the trip, it was served with some homemade chips. The chips were nice and crisp as one would expect from chips but the real star here was the lobster roll. Beautiful fresh lobster pieces with just a little mayo, some celery and some scallions into a wonderfully buttery grilled bun. The naturally great flavour of the lobster is allowed to shine here. The overuse of mayonnaise is always a bad sign in a lobster roll. There was none of that here. Just the strong desire to eat another one!


So great food, nice quirky sport bar look and atmosphere with a killer view… pretty hard to beat that overall combination. If every you are in the Kennebunkport area of Maine, you must check this place out. I am sure you find something to enjoy. Now I just need to go back when there’s a game on….


The Ramp Bar and Grill
77 Pier Road Cape Porpoise Harbor
Kennebunkport, Maine 04014
207 967-8500

The Ramp on Urbanspoon


18 Apr

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.


3581 St-Laurent
514 443 1455

SuWu on Urbanspoon

%d bloggers like this: