Dominion Square Tavern – Montreal

Dominion Square Tavern
1243 Metcalf
Montreal, Qc
Indoor parking available just next door!
Hello everybody!
I want to tell you about a restaurant I recently tried but first I have few little anecdotes.
Anthony Bourdain, is my latest food-related obsession. As you may know, he is a New York chef and is known as the bad-boy of food. He is perhaps best known, for his shows on the Travel Channel such as “No Reservations” and maybe for his renowned best selling book “Kitchen Confidential” (which is such a great read by the way)
 He’s cool, he’s real , a bad-ass and is in love with food….  I wanna be his friend. 
His latest show is called the Layover, where he has 24hrs to explore a city – mainly the food scene.  He drinks a lot, smokes a lot and eats a hell of a lot!  I always start off watching his show feeling hungry and by the end, I usually feel ill for him.  I haven’t seen anyone ingest so much meat and alcohol in such a short time.  The show really explores the best of a city. The cinematography , the music and the format of the show is really well done.  The episode on Montreal was like an awakening. Our city looked exciting but with an old world beauty and a touch of exotic with the French language.  Our French oasis in North America, is by no means little Paris but it must feel a little “fancy” for those who visit here.  I love it! I mean I always knew that our city was one of the greatest, but we forget and always want to visit somewhere else.  As he says in the show, “Without Montreal, Canada would be hopeless”  and  “Montreal is where the cool kids hang out”   I always knew that too 😉
The show inspired me to make reservations at  a bunch of places….Toque, Joe Beef, Club Chasse et Peche.  I also wanted to row a boat,  surf in the St-Laurence and eat pig knuckle at a tavern. Ok, maybe not all those things…I’m not very sporty.  Yeah, surf in the St-Lawrence and come out with a third eye.
The show also covered the Dominion Square Tavern, featured in this post.  That is how my outing there came to be. 
I’ll admit, this was not my first choice. In fact I called several other places before settling on DST.
I tried Joe Beef and got a reservation on October 6th. Its August right now people!!! Guess I wasn’t the only one to see the show.  Next, Club Chasse et Peche –  no luck.  Finally, at Toque I could only get a table in two weeks so ….*sigh*
I settled on Domion Square Tavern.  I had heard of this place before and thought it was more of a bar than a restaurant – great for a “5 a 7”, during the week.  I checked the menu out online and thought I’d try it for a fun Saturday night out with my husband. I was thinking that it would be more about the drinks and the atmosphere and less about the food but I was wrong. They’re all about the food with a lively bar scene and a very cool, laid-back atmosphere.
The restaurant is designed to look like you’ve stepped in to the 1920’s with the original chandelier, the colored terrazzo floors and the ceramic walls that are covered with the coats of arms of the provinces of the Dominion of Canada. There is also a gorgeous long copper-topped bar. 
The wine list features mostly French wines but they have a few from other countries as well. They have an interesting choice of cocktails including the Orange Julep drink which actually tastes a lot more like Orangina. When they were creating this cocktail maybe they were drunk and said “yeah…yeah….it tastes like that orange drink…what’s it called?? Orange Julep!!! ”  A common mistake lol
Bread is  served upon request only. I’m not sure how I feel about that but anyway, it was soft and delicious with its little caraway seeds baked in. Loved it.
To start, my husband had fried oysters with a mayonnaise based dip. They were fun to eat and addictive. I had the smoked salmon on blinis (pancake) with sour cream. The blini was thin, more like crepe with the smoked salmon and sour cream on top. It was very good. I’ve read that the corn fritters are a “must try”.  I, myself cannot eat corn. My body simply refuses to digest it in almost any form. 
For our mains, my husband the adventurer had steak. More specifically, it was the Beef Striploin with “Marchand de vin” butter and mashed potatoes with cheddar. He loved it. It was a perfect medium rare. 
I had the braised beef with mashed potatoes with cheddar and horseradish carrots. It was heavenly! The meat was so tender and delicious. Great comfort food without being too heavy.
The dessert we chose was so-so for our taste. We had the doughnuts, ‘beignets a l’ancienne’. I mean, they were good, but nothing to write home about. I would try another dessert next time.
 If you’d like to go somewhere with a relaxed atmosphere on the weekend this is the place to go. In the summer, you can walk across the street to Dorchester Park which is beautifully lit up or walk down St-Catherine’s Street which is a hop, skip and a jump from the restaurant. There is indoor parking  literally right next door. 
I also highly recommend this place for a business lunch and the 5 a 7 scene.
I give Dominion Square Tavern a 4 star rating. 
I hope you try it.
BTW, here’s a link to the Layover – Montreal

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