Ben and I went to Montreal for Valentine's Day. We actually drove up Saturday and stayed until Monday afternoon (one of the many perks of being a graduate student is having a flexible schedule).
We stopped in Montpelier on the way to Montreal and ate a spectacular Valentine's Day brunch at Kismet Kitchen. I ate generous helpings of tofu scramble, roasted root vegetables and vegan crepes, served with homemade rose-infused (soy) hot chocolate.
We arrived at our hotel, Le Terra Nostra Bed and Breakfast, about two and a half hours later. Mireille, the lady who runs the B&B, gave us lists of vegan-friendly restaurants in Montreal and even agreed to make us vegan banana crepes for breakfast the next morning.
Our beautiful Asia-themed room at Le Terra Nostra:
We had a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner at Spirite Lounge:
The meal consisted of spinach and "cheese" pate served with homemade bread and fruit coulis, vegan moussaka, and chocolate cake served with apricot sorbet. The restaurant owner/chef/waiter even brought us cups of special tea that was supposed to give us lucid dreams. With the student discount, our dinner came out to $13/person - quite a deal for a three-course gourmet vegan dinner. The only catch is that the restaurant has a no waste policy, which means that any customer who fails to finish the food on his plate will be told to leave the restaurant and never return. Fortunately Ben and I both have a healthy appetite so this wasn't a problem.
We woke up late on Sunday morning and decided to eat brunch at Aux Vivre, the other all-vegan restaurant in Montreal:
The service was slow, but the food was definitely worth the wait. My tofu scramble, jalapeno cornbread and coconut tempeh bacon were all superb. I was especially impressed with the Bombay Banana smoothie - banana, coconut milk, ginger, masala, cane sugar and candied dates, blended to perfection.
We spent the afternoon walking around Old Montreal, where we visited the crafts market at Bonsecours and wandered into some art galleries. We ate dinner at Chu Chai, a vegetarian Thai restaurant that serves Absinthe and hundreds of mock meat dishes. After dinner, we did some window shopping along Rue St. Denis (one of the big shopping streets in Montreal).
On Monday, we became nostalgic for academic life and visited the McGill University Campus.
We wandered around the underground city and the (above ground) campus for a bit, stopping to visit the Redpath Museum. We ate lunch at Le Commensal, a pay-by-weight vegetarian restaurant that is located about 2 blocks from the McGill University Gateway. The best part about Le Commensal was the sheer number of choices - I tried to sample everything labeled "vegan" but there were just too many options!