Mere days after my return to the freelance hustle, I took a trip three hundred and eighty miles north to Montreal. The occasion was to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of my friend Chantal Martineau – a Quebecois writer living in New York City. Chantal put together a gut-busting 3-day itinerary centered on eating and drinking.
A few hours after four hungry women pulled up to her mother’s house in Pointe-St-Charles, we took in our first meal. It was at Joe Beef. I know, I know, everyone is talking about Joe Beef these days. Trust me, it’s worth the hype. I had purchased the Joe Beef cookbook as a Christmas gift for my boyfriend after leafing through it’s pages at Chantal’s place. Filled with humor, local background, and crazy gimmicks that seem born out of stoner creativity, Joe Beef had me salivating. The restaurant’s menu is seafood and meat-heavy, the kitchen doesn’t shy away from pure unabashed fat, and the wine list has some gems. We ended up drinking a fairly powerful, super-focused old-vines (planted in 1929) Aligote 2010 produced by Francois Mikulski that was somewhat reminiscent of De Moor’s Aligote.
We finished with the Pepiere Cuvee Granit, a nervy and structured red that was perfect with our meaty main dishes. The joy of drinking Marc Olivier in Montreal can only be described as a little like spying a long lost relative in a room full of strangers. Comforting.
Le Trois Petite Bochons is possibly the best bar a vin naturel I’ve experienced outside of Paris. Perusing the list is a natural wine fanatic’s fantasy and the food was pretty exceptional. We started off with a champagne-method sparkling wine from the Loire – La Tour Grise 2001 Saumur Brut Non-Dose.
Left on the lees for a long time, the wine offered tons of yeast autolysis, and while dry, it was round and fairly rich. After the rich bubbly, a high-acid white was in order. We followed with a wine that was one of the most memorable of the week: a Boxler 2010 Sylvaner.
Man, Boxler wines are good. These wines show such pronounced acidity, mineral and complexity. There was too much to get excited about on that list. It simply means I have to go back again…
If you want a better overview of wine bars in the city, here is Ms. Martineau’s piece recently published in Food Republic.