What to eat (and drink) in Montreal, when you're writing

Sure, you’re there to write. But you’ve got to eat! And drink! Otherwise you pass out on your laptop and then all you’ve written is THTIWTWERWEEEEEEEEEEEEEE for pages and pages. And we can’t have that!






Ah, the famous Quebecois snack food.  Favorite fare of such esteemed Montreal-born scribes as Leonard Cohen and Mordecai Richler. (I am completely making that part up.) Classic poutine is composed of 1) french fries, 2) cheese curds, and 3) gravy. There are variations upon that template, and all are delicious. Everyone told us to get some poutine in our mouths the moment we showed up in Montreal, so we complied. Here are two offerings from La Banquise. They were fantastic. But the question is, would poutine help our writing?

No. What it did was cause us to nap and then watch “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” from the comfort of our Heavenly Beds. I’m going to go ahead and blame the poutine for this.

Blushing Ladytini

The Blushing Ladytini (on the left, above) is a cocktail on the menu at Gazette. Its name is so girly that I feared ordering it would cause the ghost of Bella Abzug to torment me the rest of my days. It’s got a name that would normally lead me to pass it up, but our server actually insisted it was the best one.  “As long as we establish that this was your idea and not mine,” I said. Our server graciously agreed on my terms. Then Mira ordered another cocktail, whose name I can no longer recall. Let’s call it the Gentleman’s Cravat.

It was, indeed, tasty, if a little sweet. (What did I expect, with a name like that?) But did this Candace Bushnell-reminiscent concoction help me write? Yes. Once we were done with dinner and drinks and staggered back to the room, I wrote like crazy. Then the next morning I had to throw it all away because I don’t remember writing it and it was all odes to my ladytini? But never mind, dear reader: I created.

Anything at Olive et Gourmando

Our concierge recommended this place, and we’re so glad she did. Everything here is fantastic and light enough that you won’t want to take a nap afterward (ahem, poutine). You will eat, and then you will feel like a Viking. But instead of pillaging a land, you can pillage your…creativity? This metaphor is falling part. Never mind! Onward!

Hot chocolate at Au Festin De Babette

Hells yes. That’s the kind of smart thing you’ll write after drinking this hot chocolate. This one was spiked with some kind of lovely gingerbread essence and was pretty much the best thing ever. Fortified by chocolate, Mira and I wrote for at least a full hour. So yes. Hot chocolate makes you prolific. It has been scientifically proven.


Is there anything better than a macaron? Mai non! We bought several flavors of macarons from this place, and then forgot to take pictures because we lost our minds because we ate all of them. So listen. While macarons are delicious, maybe eat one and THEN write. Eat six, and you won’t do much except bump into things and giggle. Take our word on this.


Many thanks to Westin Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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