Downtown with a local, organic, farm-to-table philosophy and reasonable prices… I’m shocked that I only discovered this gem on Bleury street recently. How did I miss it? Who knows, but I’m glad I found it now.
The discovery happened back at the end of January when I was checking out the participants in Montreal’s first ever Poutine Week. Seriously. The last thing I expected to come across was a poutine made with shredded local organic lamb, homemade lamb gravy, and organic cheese curds. I think I just about fell off my chair. There was no way I missing this. So on one lunch hour, I grabbed my friend and off we went
Located on the edge of the financial district, Miss Prêt à Manger really caters to the downtown lunch crowd. It’s open from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, and closed on weekends. It’s tiny. The menu changes daily to weekly, and is posted both on the website and on the restaurant’s Facebook page. They also serve coffee, sweets and smoothies. The day we went, the place was hopping. We showed up around 12:15 and only managed to squeeze in without a reservation. Folks who showed up after us were offered a take-away or told to come back later.
The poutine came in two sizes. A small $5 appetizer version and a larger $10 meal size one. Naturally, we ordered both. I took the smaller one, followed by an organic salmon tartare with a mango salsa. My friend simply opted for a mushroom soup starter followed by the larger poutine.
Mine arrived quickly and it was fabulous! The lamb was perfect. It was rich and flavourful. The gravy was hot enough to just melt the curds without turning them to goo, and the sweet potato fries were a great addition. If all of them had been sweet potatoes, it would have been overkill. But mixed together with the Yukon Gold potatoes, it was perfect.
The salmon tartare and mango salsa was no disappointment either. The two complemented each other well with just the right amount of tang. And it was served with a very generous salad and oversized pita chips. So good!
And here is where things went weird… They ran out of organic lamb. So instead of a pulled lamb poutine, my friend was served a pulled pork one instead (also organic). It was delicious, but a disappointment for him since he was really looking forward the lamb. (He’s a big lamb fan; not so much a pork fan.) We had watched them change the menu board from lamb to pork not long after we ordered, and figured since our order was in he’d get the lamb. Apparently our server did too. She was very apologetic about the substitution, and we were offered a desert on the house. (Carrot cake. Also delicious.)
I often think that a true test of a restaurant (or anything for that matter) is when the pressure is on. Here, Miss Prêt à Manger impressed me too. The place was busy; I mean really busy. And the staff exhibited true grace under pressure. Even as they were having to turn people away at the door, they were clearly doing their best to find solutions (like offering take-out or suggesting a time to come back). They were smiling, helpful and continued to be attentive to their customers. There was no sense of panic. And the front of house team felt like a team that worked well together. Very professional.
Overall, a fantastic experience. I can’t wait to go back again.
Miss Prêt à Manger
1104 Rue de Bleury Montreal, QC H2Z 1N4
Open Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00pm
$15-$25 for mains, taxes and tip extra
In addition to being a restaurant, Miss Prêt à Manger also does prepared meals for take-away.