Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Montreal, Canada

For our first anniversary we took a long weekend trip to Montreal. Let's go ahead and point out the largest fault in our reasoning: we got married in January and Montreal is situated about 200 miles north of Boston. Yeah, neither of us was prepared for the utter, bone-chilling weather of Canada (the car thermometer above read -1°F, and it wasn't even the coldest day). I mean, we'd step out of the car and within seconds be so uncomfortably frozen, we'd run into any available heated establishment. 

Negative temperatures aside, Montreal was a great place to visit, and we definitely will be making a trip back someday, perhaps in the spring or summer. The vibe of the city just screams "Europe!" and Amanda, who's never been to France, was overtaken by the lovely, old-worldly atmosphere. Some of the colorful rows of homes reminded me of the streets I've seen in Switzerland - what a treat within driving distance from Boston. We took some tours of local churches and soaked in the beautiful Québécois architecture. We also enjoyed roaming the cobble-stone laden streets of Old Montreal and found refuge from the cold in the vast Underground City - a network of tunnels spanning 20+ miles under the city, offering mostly shopping.

No trip for us would be complete without an epic dinner or two. One fantastic dinner was at Eduardo's: it's a small Italian BYOB place with very reasonably priced dishes of delicious comfort food in a warm, cozy atmosphere. We scored a bottle of award winning Australian Malbec at the packy next door and had a fantastic low-key dinner. For a more upscale experience, we ate at the acclaimed Au Pied de Cochon, where we sampled the Duck in a Can and the Cassoulet dishes, plus the refined edition of the poutine, all with enough fois gras to block all of our arteries shut. The hefty prices were well balanced by the generous portions and the classically prepared French fare.


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