I’ve long wanted to visit Brasserie Magnan (Magnan’s Tavern), 2602 Rue St. Patrick: a huge vintage restaurant that opened in 1932. About a 10-minute drive from downtown Montreal and located in a semi-industrial part of the city, this is a wondrous, mainly blue-collar eatery popular with working fellows and recommended to me by several chefs who go there to chow down on the famous roast beef on their day off.
I had a super lunch there and skipped the daily special of the 10-oz rib-eye steak to savour a delicious plate of roast beef (6-oz) for $15.75 accompanied by mashed potatoes and smashed turnip. The coffee – a barometer of any restaurant’s attention to detail – is excellent.
During the same stay in the city where I was born, I made a discovery of a different kind.
Sauntering along the cobbled streets of Old Montreal one sunny fall morning, I came upon Olive et Gourmando, 351 St. Paul Ouest, a few blocks from Rue St. Antoine.
Wow, what a warm, welcoming, wonderfully bustling spot. Here, the young efficient servers dish out top notch coffee including your mandatory cappuccinos and lattes, along with sensational croissants of several kinds, ethereal brioches and their top-notch versions of the scone. Sandwiches can also be ordered to eat in or take out.
Vive la difference!