Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Enquiring minds want to know...

Well, this marks the end of our guest-blogging stint here at Budget Travel Online (and simulcast on "...an endless banquet). We thought we'd leave you with some more results from of our AEB Summer 2007 Questionnaire, which (as we're sure you've noticed) are light, and maybe even a bit frivolous, but they're loaded with lots of useful tips for all of you who are contemplating coming to Montreal for a visit.

Ethné de Vienne fig. a: Ethné de Vienne, La Dépense, Montreal, QC

Ethné de Vienne
Co-owner/world traveler
La Dépense, Olives et Épices

1. Place of birth: Port of Spain, Trinidad
2. Favorite place to unwind after a long day: My backyard with a Cosmo.
3. Favorite place in Montreal to people-watch: The jazz festival [le Festival International de Jazz de Montreal]. And right here [Jean-Talon Market]. This is pretty cool too, but the jazz festival is weirder, and weird is good.
4. Favorite little-known gem of a restaurant: Fu Kam Wah [1180 Décarie Blvd., Ville St-Laurent, (514) 337-2262].
5. Favorite summer cocktail: Cosmopolitan.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor: Pistachio.
7. Favorite farmstand find: Cashew nuts in Trinidad.
8. Mountains or ocean? Mountains.
9. Planes, trains, or automobiles? Trains.
10. Peaches, pears, or plums? Plums.
11. Bonus question: Best recent trip: India and Sri Lanka.

Inspired by Ethné's responses, Michelle got to work again. This time she whipped up her very first batch of pistachio ice cream (one of my all-time faves too) in Ethné's honor. She didn't exactly invent the recipe, but she based it on a recipe from a very reliable source: Fruit: A Connoisseur's Guide and Cookbook by the legendary Alan Davidson. She was sure Ethné would have approved, especially because this recipe calls for cardamom, a specialty at Olives et Épices. We recommend their ultra-fragrant Sri Lankan cardamom. The results were fantastic—one of the finest, most exotic pistachios we've ever encountered.

pistachio ice cream fig. b: pistachio ice cream

Pistachio Ice Cream

10 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups cream
2 high-quality cardamom pods, crushed
1 cup high-quality pistachios, crushed

1. Place the yolks in a medium bowl.
2. Bring the milk, cream, crushed cardamom and 1/2 cup of the sugar to a boil in a medium-size pot.
3. Add the rest of the sugar to the yolks and whisk till the egg yolks lighten in color, about 5 minutes.
4. Pour the boiling milk/cream mixture onto the yolks, making sure to mix constantly as you do.
5. Place the mixture back in the pot and heat over low heat, never allowing it to boil, until thickened to the point that it coats the back of the spoon.
6. Cool the mixture over an ice bath and strain.
7. Churn in an ice cream maker.
8. When fully churned, fold in the pistachios.
9. Transfer to a container and freeze until solid.
10. Serve and enjoy.


camilla fig. c: Camilla inspects the menu at Niu Kee

Camilla Wynne-Ingr
Musician/pâtissière/writer-in-the-making
Backroom Records & Pastries

1. Place of birth: Edmonton, AB.
2. Favorite place to unwind after a long day: Café Romolo [272 Bernard W., (514) 272-5035].
3. Favorite place in Montreal to people-watch: Café Olimpico [124 St-Viateur W., (514) 495-0746].
4. Favorite little-known gem of a restaurant: India Beau Village [752 Jarry W., (514) 272-5847].
5. Favorite summer cocktail: Cucumber Swizzle.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor: Can I pick one I haven't tried yet? [Uh, sure.—eds.] Kentucky Rhubarb Pie. It's rhubarb with pieces of pie crust and bourbon.
7. Favorite farmstand find: Sour cherries.
8. Mountains or ocean? Mountains.
9. Planes, trains, or automobiles? Trains.
10. Peaches, pears, or plums? Peaches.
11. Bonus question: When will Backroom Records and Pastries re-open [they’re currently on hiatus]? August. Definitely August.

mark slutsky, naturalist fig. d: Mark Slutsky, Lil' Lake, ON

Mark Slutsky
Filmmaker/film critic/restaurant critic
Automatic Vaudeville Studios / Montreal Mirror

1. Place of birth: Toronto, ON.
2. Favorite place to unwind after a long day: Club Social.
3. Favorite place in Montreal to people-watch: My balcony overlooking St-Viateur.
4. Favorite little-known gem of a restaurant: Ange & Ricky.
5. Favorite summer cocktail: Pimm’s is my #1 Cup this year.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor: Roberto’s [2221 Bélanger, (514) 374-9844] lemon gelato.
7. Favorite farmstand find: Fresh corn.
8. Mountains or ocean? Ocean. That’s where my heart lies.
9. Planes, trains, or automobiles? Trains.
10. Peaches, pears, or plums? Peaches.

on the good ship Faith fig. e: Michelle, Tilghman Island, MD

Michelle Marek
Blogger/pâtissière
“…an endless banquet”/ Laloux

1. Place of birth: Toronto, ON.
2. Favorite place to unwind after a long day: BU
3. Favorite place in Montreal to people-watch: Parc Jeanne-Mance.
4. Favorite little-known gem of a restaurant: Mister Spicee.
5. Favorite summer cocktail: Pimm’s Cup.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor: Milk gelato.
7. Favorite farmstand find: English peas.
8. Mountains or ocean? Mountains.
9. Planes, trains, or automobiles? Trains.
10. Peaches, pears, or plums? Plums.

anthony & nick's excellent adventure fig. f: Nick & A.J.’s mountain holiday, spring 2007

Nick Robinson
Proprietor/man-about-town
Korova Bar

1. Place of birth: Montreal, QC. I’m half Québécois, half Jewish. It doesn’t get much more “Montreal” than that. I’m a Mordecai Richler novel become flesh.
2. Favorite place to unwind after a long day: My Fortress of Solitude.
3. Favorite place in Montreal to people-watch: Café Italia. I live in the neighborhood [Little Italy] now and I love watching all the wannabe goombahs... I hope that doesn’t get me clipped.
4. Favorite little-known gem of a restaurant: Milani [227 Rue Bernard W., (514) 278-7240].
5. Favorite summer cocktail: I didn’t realized this until just this year, but La Malbaie at Pop! [250 Avenue des Pins, (514) 287-9127]. I’m serious.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor: I don’t eat much ice cream [??—eds.], but if I had to choose [You do.—eds.] I’d go with one of those crunchy flavors. I like those crunchy ice creams, like Hazelnut Crunch [??—eds.].
7. Favorite farmstand find: Recently I’ve been into Quebec lamb. Organic lamb. And I’ve also found out that there’s some pretty killer asparagus in this province.
8. Mountains or ocean? Mountains.
9. Planes, trains, or automobiles? I drive a Mercedes now [It’s true.—eds.], so automobiles.
10. Peaches, pears, or plums? Peaches. Does anybody answer “pears”? [Yes.—eds.]

A.J. Kinik
Blogger/writer-in-the-making/instructor/PhD candidate
“…an endless banquet”

1. Place of birth: Stanford, CA.
2. Favorite place to unwind after a long day: Korova Bar [3908 St-Laurent] or La Sala Rosa.
3. Favorite place in Montreal to people-watch: ZooBizarre.
4. Favorite little-known gem of a restaurant: Mister Spicee, Ange & Ricky, and Chez Apo have been the holy trinity over the last year.
5. Favorite summer cocktail: Gin & Tonic, although Michelle’s A High Wind in Jamaica at Pop! [250 Avenue des Pins, (514) 287-9127] is pretty nice too.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor: Berthillon’s Plombière or, more realistically, a good rum-raisin.
7. Favorite farmstand find: Ripe beefsteak tomatoes for BLTs.
8. Mountains or ocean? Ocean. I’m pretty fond of the Atlantic in particular, but I’ve yet to meet an ocean or sea I didn’t like (with the notable exception of the Salton Sea on a 115º F day back in 2001).
9. Planes, trains, or automobiles? Automobiles, although “Putney,” our 1989 VW Jetta, is giving us grey hairs at the moment. But I do love a good road trip. Trains are pretty great, though, too. Especially in Europe.
10. Peaches, pears, or plums? Peaches. There are few things that come close to matching a real summer peach at the peak of perfection [check out our account of our trip to Andy’s Orchard in Morgan Hill, CA for proof]. Plus, Nina Simone’s “Four Women” just wouldn’t have been the same if Woman #4 had been named either “Pears” or “Plums.”

Thanks for reading,
Anthony & Michelle

14 comments:

JoyBugaloo said...

I am the queen of the tangential comment/question, but one of your interviewees' responses reminded me to ask. Have you folks seen sour cherries at Jean-Talon yet (or ever)? Or maybe they've been and gone already? Please advise if you can. Thanks! --Gina

aj kinik said...

We don't really see too many sour cherries around here unfortunately. We've got some rainiers and some bings right now, but I haven't noticed anything else. Quebec ain't Michigan and it ain't Virginia when it comes to sour cherries (among other things). What about the Finger Lakes? Are there any around there?

amy rose said...

ah ha! finally michelle's new employer is revealed (or i was too thick to previously figure it out?). congrats-

Susanna Rose said...

I read about your site in a magazine a few weeks ago and anyways, I love Montreal (though living in the states now, I'm Canadian and have family there) and think your site and your love for the city is awesome! My husband and I just moved to New York City and your site is an inspiration for me as I seek to share with friends and family our love for this city we are new to but already have fallen in love with!

~Susanna

Mark Slutsky said...

Wow, I'd forgotten about that picture. A real Truman Capote turn, that.

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic, how was the Chili cook off? Any clear cut winners? Any thoughts on next year?

aj kinik said...

hi Amy,
Thanks. Yep, the truth is out. We didn't realize we were keeping that info a secret, but I guess we kinda were.

Hi Susanna,
We're happy you found us. Have fun exploring NYC. Let us know if/when you discover some hot tips.

Hi Mark,
Thought you'd appreciate that one.

and, finally, hello Anonymous,
Well, the chili cook-off was something, all right. Let's just say I hope things heat up considerably for next year's competition. The Sandwiches (the band) were pretty great, though.

muse said...

That was delightful! What are you doing your Ph.D. in. AJ? It's always nice to see academics who are leading interesting lives and doing so many more creative things than solid scholarship, etc.

And Fior di latte is my favorite ice cream flavor too, Michelle.

I'm so glad you guys exist.

aj kinik said...

Hi Muse,
That's an awfully nice comment. To answer your question: Film Studies. Hope you're surviving the move. Thanks for readin' & writin'.

k. kinik said...

I decided to do the San Francisco version of your survey:

K. Kinik
Copy editor/Parish groupie/dilettante

1. Place of birth: Ottawa, ON.
2. Favorite place to unwind after a long day: Papa Toby's Revolution Cafe is a good spot for Chimay-fueled backgammon matches.
3. Favorite place in San Francisco to people-watch: Dolores Park, a.k.a. "Hipster Hell."
4. Favorite little-known gem of a restaurant: La Torta Gorda on 24th Street: yum and cheap grilled veggie sandwiches, no crowds, and the interior looks like an old-style soda fountain.
5. Favorite summer cocktail: Mojito, g&t, Pimm's cup, or a shandy.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor: Mitchell's Ice Cream's Mexican chocolate (http://www.mitchellsicecream.com/).
7. Favorite farmstand find: Tomatoes or sweet cherries.
8. Mountains or ocean? Ocean, natch.
9. Planes, trains, or automobiles? Trains (I've always had a soft spot for hobos).
10. Peaches, pears, or plums? Peaches. But Santa Rosa plums are pretty dang delish.

aj kinik said...

Well, that's unprecedented but very much appreciated. Thank you, K.K. Looks like we're gonna have to hop a freighter back to S.F.--we've got some more places to check out.

Anyone else want to chime in? Send 'em in via the comments function or an electronic mail. If we get enough of 'em, we'll turn 'em into a proper post.

Aimée said...

Yay! Thanks for interviewing Ethne!She rocks!

Dannie said...

Re. sour cherries in Quebec:
As far as I know, there's only one place where they're grown, a cherry orchard located in Charrette (www.letempsdescerises.ca). They'll be taking part in the "Portes ouvertes sur les fermes du Québec" event on September 9th.

aj kinik said...

Thanks, Dannie

That's a great tip--too bad sour cherries are no longer in season. Next year we'll be ready, though.