Le Cartet February 14, 2014
- Address: 106 McGill St, Montreal
- Visited: 12/07/2013, Brunch, 2 people
- Cuisine: Brunch
- Rating: 4.0 $$
- Website: http://lecartet.com
During vacations, I always like to schedule in at least one brunch. This allows me to sleep in a bit but still start the day before noon and lets me fit in 3 full meals a day, which is key when I’m trying to visit as many food stops as possible in a city. For my trip to Montreal in December, I had already been to L’Avenue and didn’t want to wait outside in the cold for a repeat visit. After reading reviews online, I figured Le Cartet and Les Gros Jambon were both good bets. Both restaurants had a great brunch menu, were located within walking distance from our hotel and close to each other. That way if the line at Le Cartet was too long, I had a back up. Lucky for us, we were able to wait inside at Le Cartet and were seated within 15 mins of waiting.
Atmosphere: While we waited for a table, I was busy checking out the gourmet chocolate and artisan food shop at the front of Le Cartet. There was a huge selection of chocolate bars from local producers, specialty teas, mustards, canned foie gras and quick service section with salads, wraps and sandwiches. If you’re eating here, this would be a great time to pick up edible souvenirs. The restaurant is long and narrow. Tables for two or four are set up along one white painted brick wall across from open windows into the kitchen. Long tables for large groups occupy the space in between, parallel to the walls creating tight walkways. Once we sat down, I immediately noticed the wall art by Montreal artist James Kennedy. I had been admiring his metal artwork for years at the One of a Kind show. The art fit well in the space and reflected the modern and slightly industrial feel. There were couples of all ages dining as well as families and groups of friends.
Service: Our menu was in English and we had no issues asking questions and placing our order. Our server was efficient, ensured that my coffee was refilled and we didn’t wait long for our food to arrive. The restaurant was busy but we weren’t rushed in any way.
Food: I was torn between a brunch platter or the three minute egg. I do love my soft boiled eggs but wanted something more substantial with a day of walking ahead. I ended up ordering the Brunch de L’Atlantique with smoked salmon in everything while the BF, ever the carnivore, had the Brunch des Cantons. Each brunch dish comes with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. Orange is my favourite juice and the glass at Le Cartet was really good, rich, full of pulp, not overly sweetened or sour.
My own plate was so plentiful I barely sampled the BF’s dish. I had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, half a bagel topped with smoked salmon and capers, a salmon and sweet potato cake, side salad and a fruit skewer. There were a lot of components. My favourite of which was the bagel and salmon. I liked how the flavours were distinct, strong and it was a great bagel. The scrambled eggs were creamy, fluffy , filled with smoked salmon and topped with chives. I thought the salmon overpowered the eggs a bit and actually would’ve been happy with just eggs. The sweet potato cake was fried like a fish cake and moist. From the BF’s plate, I had a couple of bites of the sausage, ham and roasted duck fat potatoes. The sausage was fatty and delicious. In general, the BF’s plate was on the saltier side, heavy and quite filling.
Our meal at Le Cartet was a great way to start a day wandering around the Old Port and Old Montreal with the great location and wide menu selection. On a return visit I would love to try the three minute egg.