Mike CohenMtl Resto Rap

Westbury Montreal is an impressive project offering a brand-new neighborhood to its residents, leaving no one indifferent. The four phases of the project feature luxury condos with high-end finishes as well as breathtaking common spaces. In addition, thanks to the many shops located within the project, such as PA Supermarket and Starbucks, its enviable proximity to the Namur metro station and major highways, and the huge park of over 40,000 square feet located across the street from the project, this Decarie Boulevard location ensures a dynamic daily life for its residents.

The Hilton Garden Inn/Hilton Homewood Suites Montreal Midtown on site has been a hit from the moment its doors first opened. A few months ago, I met with Devmont President Sam Scalia, the builder of this entire complex, for a great breakfast at Brasserie Blandino. More recently, one night I went back to the restaurant for dinner. It was late summer and General Manager Clement Thompson and Chef Chris Ranco made sure I got an excellent sampling of the fine cuisine here.

Blandino is a neighbourhood Italian inspired seasonal brasserie using fresh market produce with local inspiration. This staple Midtown restaurant is named and pays homage to Carmelo Blandino, a Montreal based artist whose work adorns the side of the hotel façade. Born to Sicilian parents in Tübingen, Germany, and raised in Montreal and Sicily, Blandino studied art and design at here. He then embarked on a successful career as a freelance illustrator, working with architects, designers and advertising agencies before shifting his focus to the world of fine art.

Brasserie Blandino

Burrata in a round green bowl.

Situated right next to the lobby of the hotel, Brasserie Blandino can seat 80 people at tables and at the bar. There is also a nice seasonal terrasse which I took advantage of. Customers can also take advantage of free indoor parking.

A new menu has recently been introduced for breakfast, lunch and supper. For the first meal of the day there are items such as: Colazione Americana (two eggs, country style bread, breakfast potatoes, bacon or sausage and seasonal fruits); Nutella panettone French toast (thick cut panettone, seasonal berries, creme chantilly, maple syrup and Nutella); Ricotta pancakes (including seasonal berries, whipped ricotta and lemon); Pane avo (smashed avocado, everything bagel spice, country bread, parmesan, herbs and sunny side egg); Scrambled & :Lox (scrambled eggs, challah bread, smoked salmon, cream cheese, caviar and more.

The lunch menu will resemble the inspiration of the evening and will continue offering certain classic dishes such as the stapled Blandino Burger and a variety of salads. A Blandino Table d’Hote will also be introduced at a starting price point of $33. This will include an appetizer of zuppa or salad and coffee or tea. There is a dessert offering as an add-on of $4 and a new list of signature cocktails.

For the evening, Blandino will continue to have a spectacular selection of pasta dishes inspired by the season and local market. Some of the new contenders on the menu include Gnocchi Sorrentino (ricotta gnocchi/heirloom pomodoro & basil, al fourno with fiore di latte, parmesan and brown butter); Black Cod & Chanterelles (Organic black cod, Quebec chanterelles, parsnip puree and herb salad) , and Corn Pumpkin spiced bomboloni (Pumpkin spiced crema and dulce).

On the night I visited, my server Antoine made several suggestions. I started off with a terrific burrata salad, some splendid cornmeal calamari and their outstanding focaccia bread which was perfect for dipping. The salmon cioppino (salmon, lobster, brodo, mussels, clams, shrimp, salsa and cruda) was highly recommended. For dessert, it was tough to choose between the cannoli and the blueberry cheesecake. We had wonderful service, great food and superb ambiance.

Thompson also oversees Taquería Pancho, another restaurant on site. I hope to try that as well one day. Blandino Brasserie is located at 6939 Decarie Blvd. It is closed for dinner Sunday and Mondays. For reservations call (514) 657-2622, go to libroreserve.com and log on https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/ymqmmgi-hilton-garden-inn-montreal-midtown.

Mike Cohen’s e-mail address is [email protected] . Follow his restaurant adventures at www.mtlrestorap.com

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