Sunday, April 29, 2012

Montreal or Bust... (Day ONE)

      So have you been looking for a getaway that takes you to a place that makes you feel like you must have spent a thousand dollars on airfare.  Welp you dont have to spend all that money to fly, just take a long weekend off from work and hop in the car with your favorite person and drive through the majestic white mountains...over the green hills of Vermonts Northeast kingdom and cross that border !  From there you will enter into North America's little version of France... following Autoroute 10 Ouest (west) yes everything including traffic signs switch to French... dont be scared though we didn't speak a lick of french and did just fine !  It amazing how far a nice smile and a head nod will go !  Anyhow we found the trip quick and easy without hitting any traffic as we chugged along the Canadian autoroute that was packed with farmland on both sides of the road... no sprawl ?  Huh... Anyhow we arrived at our destination Le Centre Sheraton right in the heart of downtown Montreal. We found the room via hotwire and it only cost about $90 a night... here was our view:

the hotel was clean and well represented with a very well spoken English concierge, that was a great help to get us where we wanted to go with the quickest and cheapest method.  We left Portland at 8am and ended up arriving at our hotel around 1:30pm... we kicked back and relaxed for a couple hours because it was going to be a late night.   You see the main reason we planned this trip was because Cognizant Sound had booked a gig, thanks to Geofferson and Alpha D, at Le Code Bar.  Anyhow we jumped at the chance to play an international gig but after a little research we realized last call in Montreal is at 3am... hence the "gonna be a late night" !  So after putting away our luggage and cracking open a bottle of Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse Reserve...we decided it was time for a walk around the city to catch our bearings... we put quite a few miles on our feet heading up Rue Sainte-Catherine down through china town and old town.  We ended up back at our hotel hungry and ready to polish off the opened wine.... dinner was on our mind and I had highlighted a well rated place just around the block from our hotel called Decca 77 .  We decided to check it out and see if they had a table, success !

 (photo used from
The atmosphere and service was great, they didn't seem to mind that we were using the English terms off the menu and we decided to both get the prix fixe for $35 per person... the wine list was daunting, close to 15 pages front and back with alot of great selections but most of the bottles were priced $75-$1000.  A little out of our price range considering it was more of a lunch for us and we had a long night ahead of us.  They had a sommelier on staff and if I were to go back I definitely would like to take advantage of the vast selection... as you can see in the picture above they had a glass elevator lined with a temperature controlled wine storage unit, makes you kind of hope if your ever gonna get trapped in an elevator Id hope this to be the one !  Anyhow back to our dinner... Cassi started with a beautifully constructed beet salad that was served over two styles of goat cheese with fresh microgreens and a strawberry balsamic gastrique, very tasty. I had a root vegetable soup pureed with a dollop of creme fresh and a drizzle of smokey truffle oil, also made to perfection... from there we ordered our main course which Cassi got Maple Smoked Ribs served with a well seasoned brussel sprouts and root vegies and I got rabbit for my first time, that was wrapped in bacon, served with a mustard sauerkraut and cauliflower... cooked perfectly !  Sorry we didn't take pictures... we were so excited about discussing what we were going to do while in Montreal that we forgot about them... but we did get a chance to snap a few of our dessert course....
Cassi's Selection 
(apple mango caramel salsa served over chocolate mousse and hazelnut nougat)

Luke's Selection 
(Chococlate Dream; chocolate brownie served with butterscotch pudding dollops a sweet vanilla creme chocolate pudding and sea salt caramel fudge to top it off ! YUM )
From dinner we returned the hundred yards back to our hotel where we touched base with Geofferson and Hannah... they were staying at another hotel about a 20minute walk way.  We got ready for the gig and met up on their high rise balcony just in time to get the party started with a few beers overlooking the bustling city below.... then it was off to the club.
(photo by Geofferson)
Not a whole lot of pictures because the lighting was very low and the lightshow was a bit overboard, but a good time was had by all and we took a little lesson from the bar on typical Montreal bar beer.... cant even really remember what they were but they had some decent bottles.  Late night back to the hotel.... lot of exploring and some already made dinner reservations for day two !

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