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Here is the Gourmet assessment of Montreal's restaurants as presented in their annual "Restaurant Issue." We're pretty sure that these reviews were written by Robert Sietsema, who accompanied Barry and me on at least the Ferreira and Schwartz's portions of the jaunt back in May. As far as I know his dinner companion at Globe and possibly Jongleux Café was Lesley Chesterman, though I could be wrong. (I was. Barry corrects me:"Friends of mine (photographer Linda Rutenberg and her husband) went with him to Globe and Mediterraneo. They said he preferred Globe. I think both are great but M is a little too formal and pretentious for me, another of those glitterati places. I went to Globe a month ago and had an incredible meal—appetizers only and wine by the glass at the bar. Great viewing of the show on the floor as the evening enfolded. One table, in front of us, had some very classy women who spent the evening drinking wine. Can't quite figure that out. Sietsema thought they might have been the high priced spread but whadda I know." What do you know indeed, Mr.Lazar. That brings to mind, however, the "classy women" who seemed to be doing nothing but drinking at the bar at Ferreira when we were there. Maybe they're following Barry around.)
Not included in this roundup were Treehouse, of which Robert said he was "appalled by the condition of the sushi—it looked a week old!" and the aforementioned Caprices de Nicolas, which apparently offended Robert by not letting him take a copy of the menu away.
La Chronique
99 Laurier Avenue West

(514) 271-3095

Montreal is a great food city, and it all comes together in this unremarkable-looking café: amazing food, charming service, and an excellent wine list (with many modestly priced bottles). La Chronique has a relaxed, neighborhood feel, but the food reveals the kitchen's high ambitions. Dig into a plank of Arctic char smoked to stunning orange translucence and served with deer sausage, or a dish of sweetbreads and chorizo in a rich sauce crunchy with red peppercorns.
3842 Rue St. Denis

(514) 499-2084

If you want to know who cultivated the white asparagus or foraged the spring's first fiddleheads, Normand Laprise will tell you. Montreal's biggest celebrity chef shares the glory with his purveyors and cooks very serious food. The new dining room is larger and less stark than the previous narrow den; the food, too, has a renewed brightness. Consider seared sea scallops with a confit of sun-dried tomatoes; sorrel risotto; and seasonal vegetables in a silky carrot jus ringed with pale yellow ground cherries.
Globe Restaurant
3455 Boulevard St. Laurent

(514) 284-3823

When the clock strikes ten, the beautiful people appear and table-hopping commences. If all you want is merely delicious food, arrive at eight and plant yourself at one of the cushiony circular banquettes. The menu balances daring inventions and bistro classics, both served in massive portions. The sauce on the veal steak is enough to make anyone swoon.
Mediterraneo Grill & Wine Bar
3500 boulevard St. Laurent

(514) 844-0027

Most French restaurants in Montreal take their cues from Paris, but Mediterraneo-with its "spaceship Moderne" circular dining room-looks to Provence and points beyond. The vegetarian risotto comes dotted with baby asparagus tops, oven-dried tomatoes, corn shoots, and tatsoi. And the venison steak is the best deer in town.
3927 Rue St. Denis

(514) 845-5333

Re-creating a Parisian bistro down to the tiniest detail was a 20-year labor of love-a tribute to the Gallic soul of Montreal. Half the wine selections are exclusive imports from France, and any of L'Express's wine-whiz waiters will gladly tell you what to drink with, say, calf's liver in tarragon sauce, steak frites, or the splendid quartet of roasted marrow bones that stand like nuclear reactor towers in the hazy smoke of the restaurant.
Ferreira Café Trattoria
1446 Rue Peel

(514) 848-0988

If there's such a thing as haute Portuguese, this is it. In a downtown neighborhood that swings late into the evening, the stylish boîte, wallpapered with broken pottery, has a muster of aged ports behind the bar that will be the envy of every fan of fortified wine. The food switch-hits between typical Portuguese cooking (charcoal-grilled sardines) and revamped classics like salt cod and potato casserole. Whole fish are incredibly fresh and elegantly grilled.
3895 Boulevard St. Laurent

(514) 842-4813

Laws mandating the use of French have turned this Montreal old-timer (founded in 1930) into a charcuterie Hebraïque. But nothing has changed the "smoked meat"-a cousin of pastrami that's darker, silkier, and more beefy. Have it heaped family-style on a plate with half-sour pickles and rye bread. Aficionados ask for a side of speck-beef fat dusted with hot paprika.
Jongleux Café
3434 Rue St. Denis

(514) 841-8080

After ping-ponging around town, chef Nicolas Jongleux finally seems to have found a home. Mobbed and noisy in the evenings (there's a definite bohemian air), the restaurant is calmer at lunchtime, and the prix fixe is an economic miracle-a cold starter of beef pressed with leeks in artichoke-laced oil followed by fresh skate, for less than 20 Canadian dollars.
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