A couple of weekends ago we got back to one of our favourite Canadian cities, Montreal. It always amazes me that in just about an hour you can go from Toronto to what feels like a little part of Europe. It's not just the language differences it's the whole approach to life that makes Quebec feel European to me.
We took off from Pearson on Friday morning and in just over and hour we landed at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal where our Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was waiting for us at the valet. From there we ventured North in an Octane Blue Eclipse Cross, it was peppy, spacious and had some excellent curves. It took us about an hour and a half to get up to Mont Tremblant, a place I'd always wanted to visit. We parked the Eclipse Cross at the bottom of the mountain and took the gondola up to the village. The weather was amazing and we decided to test our abilities on the luge which was a course that went down the hill using a small little go cart. The luge was actually a blast, the little 4-wheeler could really boot down the hill and I got going at a pretty good clip at certain points. After grabbing a quick iced tea we made our way to the Esterel Resort about 30 minutes south of Tremblant. The resort is situated on a beautiful lake in what looked like Montreal's version on Muskoka. There were some massive cottages surrounding the resort and we had a constant water ski show from the neighbours. We had dinner at the 260 Degrees restaurant overlooking the lake, I indulged in their Steak Frites and Dara decided to try the Pizza. The food was great and by the end we were absolutely stuffed so we retired to our wonderful room.
The next morning we enjoyed breakfast on the terrace before asking the valet to pull up the Eclipse Cross. It was a comfortable ride all the way back to Montreal in the Cross. I loved the quick acceleration that allowed me to overtake just about any vehicle I needed and the interior is very ergonomically designed. I also really like the large windows throughout the Eclipse Cross, it really gives you excellent sight-lines all around the vehicle.
It didn't take long to make our way into Old Montreal, we found out our room wouldn't be ready till 3 so we parked the vehicle and decided to wander the historical streets of Montreal. We realized pretty quickly that the Montreal Triathlon had taken over a large portion of the city which caused streets to be blocked off and made it quite difficult to navigate the city. While we waited for our room at Hotel Place D'Armes, which is basically kitty-cornered to Notre Dame Basilica, we had a quick lunch at Brit and Chips. They made some of the best fish and chips i've ever had, I was extremely impressed by the flavour in the batter and the crunch in the chips, 10/10 would recommend. After wandering the streets and grabbing some iced coffees we decided we'd go grab the Eclipse Cross and make our way over to the hotel. The problem was that because of the street closures there was actually no way to park in front of the hotel without going the wrong way down a one way street. Being a real rebel like myself I had no problem breaking the rules :).
We checked in, jumped in the shower for a quick clean up and then made our way towards Saint Catherine St for some shopping and dinner. We were originally supposed to have dinner at Le Serpent but made an audible and decided to check out a Spanish restaurant called Iberica. It ended up being a great decision because Iberica was absolutely delicious. We started with some Serrano ham on bread with crushed heirloom tomatoes, it was simple but absolutely delicious. We then tried the chicken croquettes, heirloom tomato salad, salted cod and a giant jug of sangria... it was an incredible meal. After stuffing our faces with delicious Spanish tapas we had a nightcap at Nyks Bitro Pub where they had a great patio on the street for people watching.
There's nothing I enjoy more than waking up early, finding a nice coffee shop at walking around the city on a Sunday morning. So that's exactly what I did on our final day in Montreal. Dara was nursing a bit of a hangover so I got up, packed and took off by myself. I stumbled upon an excellent little coffee shop called Paquebot Vieux-Montreal. It was quiet, excellently styled and they played vinyl on a record player right by the window with a massive record collection behind it. I grabbed a latte and decided to watch some of the Montreal Triathlon, the cycling portion was underway as I stood against the barricades. After hanging out for about an hour it was time to head back and see if Dara's headache had subsided.
It was a rainy Sunday so we decided what better way embrace a rainy day than to get ourselves some ramen. Dara did a search and apparently one of the best ramen joints in the city was called Yokato Yokabai. It has a 4.6 rating on Google at the time of writing this and was honestly some of the worst ramen we'd ever had. The broth was boring, the noodles were mediocre and it wasn't even hot. We were extremely disappointed (Dara actually wrote a nasty review which i fully supported). I'd never been so disappointed in a restaurant, it really made me wonder if all the reviews were made up. The only good thing that came from this excursion was finding this cute little row house that was painted the exact same colour as the Eclipse Cross. We decided to make a quick jaunt up Mont Royal with the Eclipse Cross to see how did on hills, let's just say it tackled the incline like a Montreal Alouette.
After our little excursion it was off to the airport, if you didn't know the major highway into and out of Montreal is under repair so we had to take a crazy detour to make our way out the the airport. Make sure to give yourself time if you find yourself in Montreal anytime soon, the only good part about the detour was that we had a little bit more time with our Eclipse Cross. We dropped it off at the valet and were on our way back home.
Just wanted to say thank you to the folks at Mitsubishi Canada, we haven't been back to Montreal in a couple of years and it was great to make our way back in such a wonderful vehicle. Thank you!