Paige Latham Didora
la pluie, too much dinner, and a celebration
By Saturday morning we had arrived in Montreal after a restless trip on a midnight bus. Then came the only dreary weather of the entire trip. A soggy walk brought Rick and I to the adorable house of Jean-François, who graciously loaned me a bike for the duration of my trip, no questions asked.
First we ducked under an awning when the rain kicked up. Then we got smart and ducked into a bakery. I ordered pastries in French, and well enough that the cashier did not switch into English. (Yay! I still got it!)
Finally the dripping subsided and it was time to explore Rue St. Dennis, a bit of a main street, akin to Minneapolis’ Uptown but more quaint (everything is more quaint in Quebec). It was clearly Saturday, which brought young families, tour buses, and retired couples out of their soggy holes to shop, eat, and play.
After a cupcake at Sophie Sucrée and a new pair of shoes for Rick, it was time to regroup before our big dinner and (surprise) wedding reception. And regrouping meant beer. I brought eleven bottles and cans for my Canadian friends. We decided on a bit of a face-off while we dried out – Schell’s Weizenbock v. Pit Caribou Blanche.
Wheat beers are not all created equal. People often group them together in their minds, thinking that everything tastes like a Blue Moon and/or a Hefeweizen. Tasting a Belgian-inspired selection next to a German one was especially helpful for our palates.
The Pit Caribou is a lovely witbier (referred to as “blanche” by the Québécois) that appears partially filtered and smells of strong citrus and pepper notes. It’s quite floral in the most pleasant way, and the effervescence adds to its refreshing quality. While we didn’t vastly prefer one over the other, a blanche would suit a bright, breezy day, whereas the weizenbock made us want to snuggle in for an evening.
And now, for the food. Rick is a cook at H4C in the St. Henri neighborhood, where we ate the most spectacular dinner I have ever had in my life, no contest. There is a fine line between haute cuisine and ridiculousness, in my opinion, and Chef Dany Bolduc served Rick and I a personal tasting menu of nine courses without breaching the boundary. Needless to say, I couldn’t bear to remove my camera from my purse and take any attention away from the food, but this will give you an idea:
There really are no words. But if flights to Montreal stay below $400 for much longer, you better just fly in for the food. I am not joking. Mozzarella ice cream. Enough said.
We spent hours and hours enjoying these little food playgrounds, and even Rick, a H4C employee, was surprised and immensely pleased. Not to mention grateful.
It was some of the best wedding dancing I have ever witnessed, with a room full of people not afraid to have a total ball.
Unimaginable fun was had. Friends were made. I didn’t get hit by a bus on my bike. Big win.