5 BLOODY CAESARS IN 5 MONTREAL RESTAURANTS BARS
The Bloody Caesar is a Canadian cocktail staple that was invented in Calgary and has since spread like prairie wildfire. Perhaps you’re familiar with the Bloody Caesar’s equally morbid relative, the Bloody Mary. The cocktails are identical except that you’ll find Clamato juice (instead of tomato) in the Caesar. But who cares? What matters is they’re delicious and here’s a list of Montreal’s best…
Our first stop was Montreal’s Joe Beef, a restaurant known for its gourmet food and rugged atmosphere. The cuisine is adventurous and fun, for instance you can order a Foie Gras Double Down sandwich if you’re so inclined. But, we didn’t go to Joe Beef to eat. We came to drink, which in my world is better than eating. The charming barkeep at Joe Beef expertly crafted a classic Bloody Caesar, prepared in a mason jar and topped with delicious lobster, celery and a perfectly shucked oyster.
Our next stop was Garde Manger, a seafood restaurant in Old Montreal owned by celeb chef Chuck Hughes. Their Caesar was as big as my head, but more delicious and teeming with fresh seafood. The cocktail was served in an old timey lager glass, filled with a generous amount of seafood and more importantly, vodka (they free pour). I requested extra tabasco and you should too. The atmosphere at Garde Manger was relaxed and fun and, if you’re hungry, why not try their Lobster Poutine?
Afterwards, we headed straight to Lucille’s Oyster Dive in the quaint neighbourhood of NDG to taste their version of the Bloody Caesar. The bar/restaurant is named after B.B. King’s guitar, just to give you an idea of what kind of ambiance to expect. At Lucille’s Oyster Dive you can count on friendly and knowledgable staff, great food and a bloody good Caesar made with fresh seafood and delicious olives.
Then we skipped to the bustling Plateau where the after-work crowd were unwinding after work. Barraca is known for it’s intimate atmosphere, rum selection and tapas. The bar is long, perfectly dark but had a bright atmosphere full of chatter and an enormous terrace. Their Caesar was a testament to the virtues of simplicity, no garnish, no fuss, just booze- the way I like it.
Finally, we ended our night at Nouveau Palais in the Mile End. The wonderful co-owner Jacques Seguin was behind the bar to concoct our final Caesar of the night, but maybe we were just saving the best for last. He whipped up a delicious and slightly sweet Caesar with all fresh ingredients and a nice dollop of fresh horseradish to top it off. As always, Nouveau Palais delivered delicious cocktails, good music and an unbeatable atmosphere.
Joe Beef, 2491 Rue Notre-Dame, (514) 935-6504
Garde Manger, 408 Saint-François-Xavier, (514) 678-5044
Lucille’s Oyster Dive, 5626 Monkland, 514 482 1471
Barraca, 1134 Mont-Royal Est, (514) 525-7741
Nouveau Palais, 281 Bernard West, (514) 273-1180
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