shawn_snug.jpgI’ve actually been busy for the past couple of weeks.  Unfortunately Matt S left and moved to Chicago.  He was a great personality in our group and it will be much quieter without him around.  I told him I will invite myself to Chicago in 6 months or so, once he’s learned all the restaurants.  I still haven’t been to Chicago.  It will be good to visit while knowing a local. Maybe a year would be better.  I don’t think I want to go in the middle of winter.
Right after his going away party, I was off to Montreal for work.  I flew up the Saturday before I actually had to be there so I could visit the city.  It was very cool.  Several french restaurants with people that spoke french, but could all understand english.  The last part made it a little easier to get around than when I was actually in France.  Also, of all places, Montreal had the best burger I’ve ever had!  I thought I would find that in NYC somewhere.  (I’m still looking).  While doing restaurant research, I found this excellent food review journal EatWellMontreal and I found many places to eat in my neighborhood. I was up late on Saturday and tried to find a place near by, and I went to M:brgr on his recommendation. I had the Kobe burger and poutine. I never had poutine before.  It is obviously very heavy, but I did like it.  The burger was just right.  The patty wasn’t too big or too loosly packed, which I normally don’t like in your normal “gourmet burger”  You can tell from the EatWellMontreal pictures that it isn’t a typical steakhouse burger.  They are definitely doing their own thing, and I liked it.
I have an uncle in Montreal and his passion is the family tree.  He has a program that has over 20,000 entries in it!  He has lived in Montreal for longer than I’ve been around and I supposedly visited when I was a kid, but I have no memory of it.  He showed me around the city, it was great.  Travelling is so much better when you know a local.  Even with the internet, you are still “driving” and you might be limiting your experience.  For example, if I didn’t have an uncle there, I would have probably just stuck with the restaurant and downtown exploration.  They took me to the different neighborhoods and the different points of the mountain (Montreal=Mount Royale, it’s actually a mountain!) and also showed me the huge basilica, which is a typical sight seeing stop that I had no idea about.  Good time, unfortunately stupid iPhoto lost all my iphone photos, so I had to pull an archive photo of myself for this post.
I’m back in the city, and I’m back on my mission to drink my 4 bottles of wine.  The last 2 nights I went out to dinner at places with a corkage.  I drank both bottles of 2001 Mouton.  There was a little variation between the 2 bottles.  I enjoyed the first one more, but maybe it’s just psychological.  First place was Po in West Village.  $50 tasting menu, and it was awesome.  I’m not typically a fan of gnocchi, but one of the courses was a potato gnocchi in a really spicy tomato sauce.  I am still thinking about it! I went with my cousin Grace and she was as crazy about the wine as I was.  This wine really had some depth.  I could totally tell there were several different things going on during just the smelling, tasting then after taste. I could actually smell like 5-10 different things in the wine at the same time.  Crazy good! (Translation for oenophiles: Very complex and expressive at all stages, nose, middle palate, texture and finish) After Po, I wanted to get to the other Mouton ASAP, so I went to Les Halles tonight and was able to get reservations even though it was Mother’s Day.  They even forgot to charge us the corkage, so we tipped really well.  It’s the good life!  2 Unico bottles to go…