I just got back from three days in Montrealenough time to get a serious foie gras fix, but not nearly enough to explore all the classic restaurants, let alone the hot new ones. But I squeezed in a few memorable meals.
I love eating foie gras in a restaurant that doesn't even have tablecloths. Au Pied de Cochon, which opened a year and a half ago, has the soul of a wine bar and the energy of a three-ring circus. Freshly fried pork rinds in a paper cone, pickled venison tongue and lamb shank confit are all standouts. And this is the place to try poutine, the Quebecois classic of French fries and salty, squeaky cheese curds doused with gravy. The restaurant's version comes with an optional foie gras garnishgo for it (536 rue Duluth Est; 514-281-1114).
At the 22-year-old institution Le Passe-Partout, baker James MacGuire and his wife, artist Suzanne Baron-Lafrenière, make you feel like they're receiving you in their home. Downstairs is Baron-Lafrenière's art gallery; upstairs is the bakery and cozy dining room. We had a wonderful saddle of lamb from a ranch on the nearby salt marshes and Frisbee-size coconut tuiles that we swore we could never finish. Of course, we hoovered every shard (3857 blvd. Décarie; 514-487-7750).