257, Rue Prince, Montréal. Tucked in to Rue Prince is Le Serpent, a locale that is slightly hidden amongst industrial buildings in Griffintown, and apparently unassuming from the outside, yet chic and the home of delicious fare inside. From the moment you step in, you know you’re in for a cool dining experience. White brick walls and eye-catching, but not distracting art set the scene for a chic but still understated place to dine. We celebrated my birthday with many occasions, but read on to see a rather illuminated finish to this particular evening!
On our short walk from our hotel, we spotted a wedding party arriving to their reception down the street and recognized that Griffintown would be in one of THE places to be in Montréal. Known to be a creative area with converted warehouses and new developments, like much of Montréal, a culture of creativity is sensed throughout.
The entrance to La Fonderie Darling is easy to miss – but don’t miss Le Serpent!
Huîtres & mignonette à l’érable/6 Oysters with Maple Mignonette
Risotto Homard Risotto, homard, betterave jaune, basilic, mascarpone / Lobster risotto, yellow beet, basil, mascarpone
Wow – this bowl was scraped clean because of the delicious flavors!
Canard Grillé, argousier, topinambours, quinoa, noisettes, (sans chanterelles pour moi)/ Grilled Duck with sea buckthorn, sunchoke, quinoa, hazelnuts, (without chanterelles for me)
The duck was phenomenal – it just melted in my mouth! The combination of bright with earthy flavors with the textures of the quinoa, brussels sprouts (in lieu of chanterelles) and the berries were beautifully balanced.
Bota Bota – Spa Sur L’Eau
Thanks to our new friend, Caro, and local insider to Montréal, we navigated our meal and went right on to a subsequent amazing treat: Bota Bota, a spa on a boat, docked right in the harbor with a great view of Montréal. We left our phones in the lockers and just enjoyed the experience, but I do wish I could share some photos.
Going from level to level of the boat with water circuits – cycles of saunas, cold baths, and meditative, relaxation rooms with cedar and other aromatherapy – was restorative and I’d definitely go back. The novelty of having a massage at sunset while looking out through the circular windows of the boat was also pretty spectacular. To my surprise, the spa is open late (till 10 or 11 pm), allowing for guests to enjoy it after work.
It began to downpour towards the end of our evening, and we cozied up in the most nurturing basket chair/hammocks I have EVER been in and watched the lightning and listened to the rain crashing down through full-length glass windows. Interestingly enough, there were fireworks just before in the distance, so we had quite an illuminating show! I eventually had to get up because I knew I’d soon be asleep and no one would want to move me if I stayed!
What do you think? Have a look at Le Serpent or Bota Bota the next time you’re in Montréal.