The Basque country is spread over southern France and Catalonia in northern Spain. It covers the spine of the Pyrenees, the rugged mountain chain that links the two countries. The region has an incredible range of wines and culinary specialties that happily mixes local ingredients like garlic, tomatoes, peppers, olive oil, fish, meat and shellfish.
Les Pyrenees is a delightful and exotic restaurant located in Old Town Montreal. It offers a cozy and friendly ambience. It is a small sized restaurant that enables customers to interact with each other while enjoying Basque food. I went by myself but ended up dining alongside fun people.
As I was by myself, the hostess decided to seat me at a big table, already occupied by some ten other diners. We all sat together, chatting easily, encouraged by the relaxed, laid-back ambience. (For those looking for more privacy, there are also tables for couples, in a corner by the entrance.) Overall, the place transmits the sensation of being at a dinner party in a friends’ home.
The menu consists of Basque specialties, something I had never tried before. There is a delicious variety, from ‘starter’ entrées to principal (plats principaux), to desserts, as well as a varied wine selection.
I wanted to relax and enjoy the ambience, with music and the sounds of people talking, laughing, and singing flamenco music. I wanted to savor a good meal without eating anything too heavy. The hostess suggested “Risotto de blé tendre aux épinards et amande” (Wheat risotto with spinach and almonds), which only cost Can$16.95. It looked good on the plate, and it tasted delicious, with a unique light flavor. For dessert I had that day’s specialty, strawberries in white sauce. I wanted (and got!) something that combined a sweet flavor with a fruity touch.
To drink, I chose a large glass of Spanish red wine, “Tempranillo Finca del Mar”, which cost Can$6.75.
It was a great dinner with delightful company, in an amazing ambience filled with laughter, music and good conversation.
Les Pyrenees is a multilingual place; it was delightful to hear mingled conversations in French and Spanish, as well as English. The restaurant gets very busy during evening hours, attracting visitors from all over the city.
It accepts all major credit cards. It offers affordable prices and an enjoyable experience.
Restaurant Les Pyrénées is located at:
320 Rue Saint Paul Ouest
Tel: (514) 842 – 5566
Fax: (514) 842 – 5567