La Maree (Montreal) – Mussels are the food of kings
I went to Montreal with a few friends as J had already left for Calgary and left me with nothing to do on the weekend. After a harrowing night at the club (Tokyo Bar, lots of heat… and talent), and falling face first into my Chinese food at 4am, we decided to go for brunch. Well, more like late lunch as we woke up at 11am and ended up leaving the hotel at 1pm.
We wandered Old Montreal until we found Place Jacques-Cartier with lots of patios. Most of the patios were fairly pub-like with pub-fare. We wanted something a little fancier. We found La Maree and decided to take the plunge.
To be blunt, the menu was pricey as hell. The pastas were $17 and most mains were $25. I was not pleased. So far… a bad choice. We decided to get drinks to help ameliorate our withdrawal symptoms.
Ahhh one Sangria later, headache was gone and I feeling much better. Also, the server brought us a Lunch Menu with $17.95 specials which included a soup/salad, main, and dessert. That made me happy.
R got the grilled salmon. Very very tasty. Cooked medium and seared nicely. Very flavourful.
D got the sole. I didn’t get a chance to taste it but it was reportedly quite tasty as well.
In a moment of sheer genius, I decided to order the mussels and frites. There were a lot of mussels and they were probably some of the best that I’ve ever had. Large mussels with very full and fresh flavours. Boucy in texture and certainly not pasty, gritty, or sandy. The white wine sauce was delicious as well. The frites were only OK (could be crisper and saltier) but man these mussels were good. Here they are AFTER I’ve devoured them.
Overall, for $17.95 for a 3 course meal, La Maree is actually a pretty good deal. I don’t know if I’d order off their regular menu but this lunch meal is amazingly well priced, especially given the quality. The mussels were tasty, the salmon was cooked well, and the patio was comfortable. I’d certainly come here again for lunch, even if not hungover.
La Maree, 404 Place Jacques-Cartier, Montreal, QC, (514) 861-7599, restaurantlamare.com