This past Valentine’s Day weekend was extremely cold for us, and I’m not even exaggerating. It is cold here in Montreal, and this is supposed to be their milder winter this year. We’ve acclimated, with proper gear, to the cold since we’ve been here, but last weekend was something else.
Since 2013, we were either in a car or on a plane moving to somewhere new. This was the first year over Valentine’s Day where we weren’t traveling, so we were happy to have a fuss-free celebration. Having made plans all weekend, the weather put a damper on it. With frigid temperatures and severe wind chill like being on Mount Everest, we decided to chuck our plans, except for going out to dinner both nights. And we opted out on the metro and walking too. This was the coldest we have ever been, and taking the taxi as our mode of transport was seriously a luxury.
Now on to the food…
Invitation V was the vegan restaurant we ate at on Saturday that was more suited for Valentine’s Day. Originally we had plans to eat there on Sunday, but we didn’t want to eat off their Valentine’s Day menu. Because the restaurant is farther out and not easily accessible for us, we decided we really wanted to try something from their regular menu, not knowing if we’ll venture back out there again or any time soon. And we were so glad we did. The food exceeded our expectations. The flavors were amazing, and I loved the presentation and service as well.
For starters, we shared Mushroom Medley. Though I like mushrooms, Nick has just come around to liking them, so neither of us are mushroom lovers, and we enjoyed it very much. Any mushroom lovers would surely be in heaven with this dish. A variety of mushrooms were wrapped and steamed in a parchment pocket, exploding with intense savory flavors. As we opened the parchment paper, it was piping hot and fragrant. I was immediately enticed.
For our main meal, Nick ordered a lemongrass vegetable and chickpea curry with Jasmine rice. Delicious and full of flavor, I wish I could have eaten his meal as well.
My meal was quite unique and spectacular. Nick also wished he could have had room for my dish as well. Tofu Bourguignon. Tasting like a dish from the French countryside, we were pleasantly surprised to how amazing it tasted. Such robust flavors were coming out of the dish. And paired with mashed potatoes, I thought that was such a great combo. It was better in my opinion than pairing it with pasta, and to be honest, you couldn’t tell the difference besides having chickpeas, tofu and vegetables in there that it was a vegan dish. When I first had boeuf bourguignon the first time I visited Paris as a non-vegan, that dish was delicious, but this dish is way better! Nick agreed so too. It was done so well, and I highly recommend this dish to anyone visiting Invitation V.
Lastly, dessert was a triple chocolate cake. This decadent piece of goodness had me swooning in my seat. It was so good: soft, moist, and not too sweet. Being a dark chocolate fan, the frosting was a little on the bitter side, which I loved. I’m salivating right now as I look at the picture, remembering how yummy it was when it hit my palate. What a great way to end the night!
On Sunday, we revisited a vegetarian/vegan restaurant, Lola Rosa, at a different location. A bigger space, this spot is located in the mostly French-speaking, Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood.
Although a less fancy and exciting meal at Lola Rosa, the food is done right and full of flavor. We both ordered the same dish: Vegetable Morrocan Tagine. This savory and spicy dish was satisfying as it warmed us up. We were glad to have tried this other location, because their menus are slightly different, and this vegetable tagine is not on the menu of the other location.
We were too full for desserts, so we skipped it this time. I contemplated ordering to-go for later, but the options they had were not to my liking, so I passed.
And since I’m speaking of Lola, let me share some pictures from our first visit. This location is in Milton, near McGill University, a smaller cafe crammed with mostly college students. We both ordered the chili over brown rice. Sounds simple, and it is, but it was quite tasty. We really enjoyed the dish. I liked the presentation, and we weren’t sure about the chips being on there, but it suited the dish well.
I ordered dessert that evening: Banana Chocolate Tart. It wasn’t what I expected when it came out, but it sure was scrumptious. I ate it all no problem.
I hope some of my food pictures have enticed you! Although it was a chilly Valentine’s Day weekend for us, we sure enjoyed eating good food as usual. Hope all you lovers out there had a good one. ❤