It’s one of those places where you can dine alone and enjoy it simply for the joy of eating.
The food is that good.
The persistent lineup out the door proves it.
It was 1pm on Sunday when I stopped by Olive et Gourmando for brunch. Lucky for me we had set up the photo shoot and I had called ahead to save myself one single spot at the bar seating area by the window.
Tucked into one corner of the cafe, I could take in the buzzing energy in the room. The family in front of me vacationing from abroad, the solo traveler from Paris looking to experience Montreal, the business traveler from Vancouver in town for the weekend...you know the food is good when people from around the world gather just for a taste.
I ordered myself the Tartine, Raspberry Lemonade and the Chi-chi-chia Bowl. Ambitious I know, but hearing the reputation of Olive et Gourmando for its fantastic and healthy selection of items, I couldn’t resist over-ordering to try as much as I can in one go.
The Raspberry Lemonade arrived first and was a refreshing, sweet and tart thirst quencher on a hot summer day. The day of my visit coincided with one of the biggest summer events - the Pride Parade. Meaning I had to spend triple the time to find my way across town navigating the road blockades. I desperately needed an ice-cold drink at this point and the Raspberry Lemonade hit the spot.
The Tartine arrived shortly after, with fresh greens piled high, and lightly drizzled sauce and organic yogurt. The Tartine has House-made Ricotta, cucumber, squash, Asian Pear, nuts, fresh herbs and a honey, citron and pepper vinaigrette - and this dish alone makes Olive et Gourmando the one brunch destination in Montreal you wouldn't want to miss. Each bite is heavenly, and while the mind expected a savory taste, the Tartine was slightly sweet, creamy and smooth. The thinly-sliced vegetables and grilled squash melted in my mouth.
The Chi-chi-chia Bowl is a healthy, fulfilling breakfast choice, with an abundance of raspberries, bananas, and blueberries, coconut, peanut butter, muesli, quinoa and chia pudding. One can only imagine the layers and layers of tasty goodness that awaits.
Of course, I tried to take as much of the eatery as I could with me, but failing to make more room in my stomach I decided I would grab one of their new pastry creations, a white-chocolate cookie with oats and blueberries(!)
Needless to say, it was THE most satisfying meal I had during my trip to Montreal, and if I had to pick one spot to revisit on my next trip to this beautiful city, I have no doubt I would find myself in line at Olive et Gourmando.
351 Saint-Paul St W, Montreal
Photos: Florence Leung