By Alyssa De Rosa –mtltimes.ca
No matter what day of the week it is and regardless of the temperature, there will be a line-up outside Régine Café – undoubtedly one of the best brunch spots in the city. Serving up some canard confit along with scones, excellent coffee in a sweet atmosphere, it’s no wonder customers are willing to wait up to an hour before they get seated in this upscale restaurant.
It was a Thursday morning, around 11:00 A.M. and the wait was about half an hour for a table for two. The hostess kindly served her freezing customers some tea while they waited which was both thoughtful and original. When you walk in, you definitely feel like royalty – hence the name. Purple accents everywhere with fluffy, velvet pillows to sit on, and antique mirrors lingering on the walls.
The menu, which is what I went for isn’t comparable to any other place in Montreal. That’s where they owe their success to. Opened for brunch and lunch, if you have a sweet tooth, this is the place to indulge. Desserts lined up from one end of the bar to the other with the option of ordering a tower of pastries and goodies to share with friends. If you thought you’d never be a royal just like Lorde sang about, maybe this place will make you feel a little more prestigious. Their dishes contain a variety of ingredients – from oatmeal, to ham, to duck, whether you’re feeling sweet or salty, Auntie Régine has a suggestion for you.
I ordered the chic croissant with scrambled eggs, pulled ham, aged cheddar with a spinach sauce for $15.00. I never order croissants for breakfast, nor do I see them very often on a menu, so I decided it was worth a shot. The croissant was fluffy and not too buttery which was a plus. Having never eaten pulled ham before, the croissant pairing with the eggs and cheddar was just right. A variety of textures and flavors combined, yet working harmoniously with one another. The spinach sauce was just icing on the cake – minus the calories! The dish was accompanied with fruits and mashed potatoes.
My guest ordered the grilled cheese with two-year-old aged cheddar, caramelized onions in a nut and pistachio crispy bread with mango chutney and duck confit as an extra for $17.50 (without the duck the dish is $14.00). This dish was beyond words. The bread was flavorful, and crunchy adding a nutty flavor to the cheese and onions. The mango chutney and duck confit worked really well together, pairing sweetness with the duck’s subtle fat flavors. The best dishes contain salt and fat and this is one of them!
After glancing at the menu one last time before I left Régine Café I told myself I had to go back. It’s just one of those places where you have to try everything once and bring as many people you can to spread the word about such a kick butt restaurant in our own neighborhood! A bientôt ma tante Régine!
1840 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H2G 1L6