Dishcrawling at Nüvü, Lallouz and Poutineville
Bringing a North American trend to our intercontinental town, the Dishcrawl is the new way for Montréal foodies and gourmands to experience the city one neighbourhood at a time. The idea is simple: get a lot of food loving people together pick four restaurants within walking distance of each other ( easily done almost anywhere in the city) and organize a gastronomic adventure. The practice of “dishcrawling” is relatively new to Montréal but has been very popular across North America for years.
Part of the charm of a dishcrawl is that the restaurant choices are not disclosed until leaving each venue, aside from the first meeting point of course, guests are taken on an adventure for the mouth as well as a mysterious journey. Some discrawlers have commented that the surprise and the chance to discover a new part of the city is their favourite part of the night out.
Our hostess Kristel made sure to get everyone seated and comfortable as well as explain how the night worked for any Dishcrawl newbies. Nüvü seemed like a rational start for a village gourmet adventure and it didn’t disappoint with lengthy introductions to the elegantly presented dishes. People were generally blown away by the food as many who live in other parts of town had never heard of the place and others who live in the ‘hood’ had always passed by but never tried it. That is the real magic of a Dishcrawl it takes you outside of your comfort zone and opens you up to culinary world of possibilities.
After savouring foie gras poutine and house-smoked salmon, we made our way outside where Kristel herded us like a mother duck across the street to Lallouz. There we enjoyed some Mediterranean grilled specialities and a plethora of dips and salads as well as some delicious mojitos. Starkly different to NUVU but all part of the adventure the second choice made it clear that anything could happen on a Dishcrawl. This became even more evident by the time we made it up to Poutineville on Ontario for our last stop of the night. By this time the guests had already mixed things up more due to seating and our pack of gluttons were loud and social making their way up the Village side streets giving a kindergarten/high school kind of ambiance to a large group of mostly thirty somethings. Already fairly full a selection of poutines by Poutineville (one covered in braised beef) made sure that no one was going to the gym after and that none could have gone home hungry. To top the night off an independent gourmet cupcake baker arrived to hand us each an old school Chinese take-out cartoon with a delectable cupcake for each of the guests, which was a good plan as many could not have had another bite.
It was a new and vibrant social experience – not always the high class food experience that some might expect it to be – but an adventure nonetheless. Rumour has it that Mile End will be the next stop for the Dishcrawl – a neighbourhood of hidden gems not 2B missed! For a foodie out to mix it up, it might just be the best thing ever, so keep your eye out for the next instalment but remember not to eat a big lunch. Photo by Chris Zacchia