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A taste of each of the British and Russian empires

Posted on 2007.01.15 at 10:20
Places that Montrealers should know about.

Restaurant Kalinka - Russian resto at 1439 St Marc where Zorba's Pizzeria used to be.

There were 4 of us, and we all opted to choose from the Table d'hote.
Pete and I tried the Beef Stroganoff and found it to be excellent. Tender and juicy strips of beef in a cream and mushroom sauce, elegantly presented in a phyllo pastry-bowl. Yum! The sides - a nod to rice and veggies weren't spectacular but adequate.

The women opted for a cabbage roll thingy which, despite having cabbage in it, was quite tasty. The smell of it was in no way reminiscent of a paper mill. (I'm not a big fan of cabbage, could you tell?)
Dinner was accompanied by a couple of bottles of Russian Style beer - made here in Quebec by a local micro-brewery, as well as 100 grammes of vodka. Think of it as a wee pitcher of vodka (3-4 shots worth) and you're on the right track. The only disappointment was the anemic choices of vodka. Stolichnaya, Moscovskaya and some Finnish vodka was all they had on the menu. I was hoping for more varieties to choose from but; no.
Desert was good. We had a choice between a really good mille-feuille cake and a really good chocolate cake.

Oh, and the owner-violinist is pretty good too. He's tethered to his sound equipment so if you sit near the back your (almost) out of his reach. He does bear a certain resemblance to Stephen Harper though but we didn't hold that against the man.

Once we finished our quite delicious coffees off in a leisurely manner, our rolly-polly quartet ambled down to Peel street to have a few pints at what I'm convinced is the best kept secret in town. John Sleemans Pub, upstairs from Alexandre's, is a brilliant British pub where you can actually hear yourself and your friends talk. As opposed to the majority of (loud) Irish pubs, conversation always blossoms there, even though you might sometimes be going on about the "spendiferousness"* of a glass of Shiraz.

Still; Good value for money if you're drawing pints.

* expensiveness

xposted to montreal_dining

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