Dining out, Three fine places

Balsam inn
1237 rue Metcalfe, Montréal
(514) 507 9207

Alexandre Wolosianski and Nicole Lemelin have a new baby, and its name is Balsam Inn. In the heart of downtown Montreal, right next door to the Dominion Square Tavern, this Italian-themed addition to the family has a menu to please contemporary palates, with dishes that straddle the fence between appetizers and main courses. Star attractions are the fish, pasta, and meat, with praise going to the ossobuco and the fabulous bread. As is the case with the neighbouring Tavern, decor and atmosphere combine to create an irresistible warmth, reminiscent of an old-fashioned bar. Wood, forest green, and brass bring to mind a 1940s brasserie, and the effect is magnificent. There is seating for about 80, at tables and the bar, for lunch or dinner service.

Nicole and Alexandre, already known for creating instant dining sensations, have struck gold again with another classic in the perfect space. “You really need the right instincts to open a new restaurant downtown, and you have to find a place intelligently,” says Nicole, whose charming daughter Léa has been put in charge at Balsam Inn. The secret to their success? “Hard work! Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! And you really have to be there, especially when you’re starting at the bottom of the ladder,” says Nicole. “On the job experience is the best training in the world!”

Yet another fine restaurant to add to the list of best eateries in downtown Montreal.

Per te
371 rue Guizot Est, Montréal
(514) 389 3000

Chef Richard Cadet likes to surprise diners with tasty concoctions
based on the best of the market that morning. He produces rich
layers of flavour in such dishes as Fettuccine with rabbit ragout, and
venison with berries and port, two of the many must-try offerings on
the menu. For an appetizer, the pears and prosciutto in gorgonzola
sauce is, quite simply, divine. There is great creativity at work in this
inspired new restaurant near Jarry, where a warm welcome from
Chef Richard and owner Luigi de Rose awaits you.

112 rue McGill, Montréal
(514) 842 0867

A visit to Ikanos in Old Montreal is a Mediterranean treat for
your senses. Delicious aromas of seafood, grilled meats,
and perfectly cooked vegetables fill the air, and lovely little
plates of them arrive at your table for a mezze (think Greek
tapas) feast. Always in keeping with the season and the
day’s market selections, Chef Constant Mentzas’ Greekthemed
creations are guaranteed to please. Don’t wait to
discover the delights of Ikanos.

Dining out, Three fine places

By: Patricia Miotto