Last summer, near the end of summer, I was in Montreal. It was hot, humid, and I was there for a music festival, staying in what was a very clean, lovely hostel. Days consisted of tromping around through the mud and getting quite confused by the sudden switch to French. (Which of course shouldn’t have been surprising, and yet…) During the day, we didn’t eat much. We didn’t have time to, and besides an apple or small snack, there wasn’t really any way to carry around a picnic. But Montreal, like what I’ve unofficially decided is its American counterpart, New Orleans, does not dissapoint in terms of late night beverage and sustenance. It may have been the porch culture, the wrought iron trelisses and ballisters, it may have been the row houses, and it most definitely was the French street names, but Montreal really does perform a little trick when it switches from dusk to dark. Which I would have paid better attention to, but the food was too distracting.
Whether it was after midnight bagels, the requiste viande fume and poutine, it was all perfect. On our day off from the festival we chanced a late dinner at Au Pied de Cochon and walked away from our seats at the bar several hours later, barely able to stay awake long enough to get back to the hotel and not at all capable of thinking about anything besides The Meal. Delicious isn’t a big enough word to describe the food, but it’s what I have. After pork, fish, more pork, a tomato tatin, and much more, we ended with a tart au sucre for two. And that meal, almost a year later, stuck with me enough so that I requested the restaurant’s cookbook for my birthday. The book itself is an experience to match the meal. But the tart, the perfect, delcious maple tart is enough to recall Montreal and as it turns out, tastes just as fine in Brooklyn.
It’s simple—butter, maple sugar, eggs, flour, cream. Little else, but baked up until golden and crisp, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or bourbon vanilla)… you know.
(I’m just going to ignore the lapse between posts because it’s embarassing… and I don’t really have a great excuse. But I’ll be better, I promise. Thanks for checking back guys. xo N)