L’Express feels like a typical Parisian brasserie, the friendly welcome a bonus. Since its opening in 1979, this veritable Montreal institution has been nonstop busy. And with reason, as it’s been turning out French classics with a consistency that commands respect, especially considering that it serves 400 people a day. The kitchen opens with breakfast at 8am during the week, 10 on weekends, and continues to turn out food uninterrupted until 2am every night but Sunday. At every hour of the day you’ll find a mix of businessmen, artists, families and tourists dining on house-made rillettes, sorrel soup or bone marrow; quail or steak frites with shallot butter. For the last 30 years, Mario Brossoit has been slaking everyone’s thirst with his extensive wine list. Among the near permanent fixtures are Sancerre from François Cotat, reds and whites from Loire producer Clos Rougeard, Cahors from Cosse-Maisonneuve and Jurançon from Charles Hours. There’s also a reserve list, where you’ll find the grand names of Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhône (sometimes even Chave and Rayas). And the prices are reasonable, which makes the temptation to return for another bottle even stronger.
3927 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, Québec, Canada
This story appears in the print issue of December 2015.
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