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Éscale à Saigon
107 LaurierW. Laurier métro. Bus 51

Tel. 272-3456. Every day, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. $40 for two before tea, taxes and service. Table d'hôte: $4.99—$8.25 (noon); $12.25—$15 (evening).
After you've sampled the fare, you won't have any trouble understanding why Daniel Pinard, Montréal's galloping gourmet, has permanently reserved a table here. This refreshingly unpretentious little resto, situated on the edge of Outremont, has been serving up light and refined cuisine for seven years now. Enjoying a full meal here doesn't exclude the possibility of nipping next door to Le Minuit bar for a little dancing. Make nice, and share your choices with others, because what goes around comes around. This is the real thing here. We're a long way from Duluth Street, folks; no need to accept ersatz Viet-brochettes from the competition. The jasmine, mandarin and ginseng teas are the refreshingest. Bamboo and white tablecloths go together like air conditioning and the equator.They put the outré back in Outremont.

Sample menu: Saigon soup, deep-fried shrimp on sweet potato, steamed rice stuffed crêpes, beef strips à la lime, ginger-braised chicken in a pot, fresh pineapple and red pepper sautéed spicy beef, homemade canard croustillant, anise-flavoured sliced eel, homemade sticky rice, caramelized bananas drenched in cocoa and peanut sauce, homemade sherbets and ice cream.

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