12 Amelia Street
Dinner & drinks for two: $60
It’s been here for 30 years, our server tells us, but I’ve never heard of it.
Weird, because it’s a damn cute place — an old house with a closed-in porch, complete with cream painted walls, mismatched chairs and two fireplaces. It feels like a cozy B&B, but with a Southern France bistro air to it.
We begin with Soup of the Day ($7), Du Puy Lentil Salad ($8) and Carpaccio of Seabream ($12).
The carrot soup is silky and delicate, yet completely satisfying. The carpaccio — a thin translucent, transcendent delight — completely stuns us. And the salad is a shock at first — crunchy lentils. But combined with walnuts and a spritely dressing, it works.
We are swooning and can’t wait for our mains.
But the wait is long. So long, that by the time our Authentic Choucroute Garnie ($17) and
Mustard Flank Steak, Shallots and Frites ($18), we are less than dazzled and just pick at our food. The Choucroute, an Alastian classic comprised of pork, sausages and cabbage, is suitable, while the steak disappoints — sinewy chewiness colludes with an overindulgence of mustard.
My sincere hope is that when you go, you will be wowed from beginning to end.
Sometimes you need to get out of your routine of going to the same areas for dining. Change it up for the new year by going to the Distillery District for dinner. Though it is often deemed a tourist attraction, there are a number of choices for places to eat ranging from Italian to oysters to pub fare. Go online at thedistillerydistrict.com to see the city again.
In cities like Montreal, there are restaurant districts where you can survey various menus and eat depending what you’re in the mood for. You can do the same thing in cozy Baldwin Village, where you can walk a couple of blocks and choose from Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian, Mexican and Vegetarian.