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Aug 20, 200912:00 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Fresh produce and fine dining in Montreal

There is a wide variety of fresh produce in the Jean-Talon market in Montreal, and a generous sampling policy lets customers taste before they buy.

Photo courtesy of Jay Forman

I just spent a week in Montreal and was struck again by what a great food and dining destination this city is. Combine a young population, amazing markets, Francophile roots and a rich blend of cultures, and you have a recipe for some great eats.

Food-lovers will want to check out the Jean-Talon market, a short Métro ride north of the touristy downtown area. Summer showcases an astounding array of fresh fruit and produce, easily on par with such top-tier markets as the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Blueberries, gooseberries, raspberries and others are presented like jewels on shelves, and a generous sampling policy lets buyers taste before they purchase. Freshly made artisan cheeses are heaped on shelves at Le Marché des Saveurs du Québeca, which offers the best of Quebec’s myriad small dairies and cheese makers. Boutique spices, oils and vinegars from around the world are collected at Olives & Épices. A walk through the market makes a person hungry, and there are plenty of cheap places to take the edge off. Try a Breton-style crepe from En Compagnie des Crêpes or a refreshing fresh-spun sorbet from Havre aux Glaces in such flavors as complex Cassis or surprising Pear and Black Pepper.

Restaurant-wise, Kitchen Galerie (conveniently located about 100 feet the market, from where it sources its ingredients) stood out. Owned and operated by a cadre of chefs, this is truly a chefs’ restaurant as the chefs work both the front and back of the house. Great appetizers included a foie gras sealed in a Mason jar and poached in a dedicated dishwasher, which gets paired with toasted brioche and a muscat gelée. Main courses included seared fresh skate wing over a complexly spiced bed of couscous. The menu changes daily, based on the market, and attending chefs will happily pull up a chair and chat with diners who want to learn more about the area.

Kitchen Galerie
60 Jean-Talon E.
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 315-8994


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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.




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