April 2, 2010: With Great Power…, Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate! And Ice Cream! Space Premieres Tonight!
As I touched down in Montreal, I received an email from Lou Anders, editor of the forthcoming With Great Power… superhero anthology (of which I am a contributor), informing me that we finally had the go-ahead to go public with the cover art. So, here it is…
The artist, Trevor Hairsine, is a British comics vet whose past work included stints at 2000 AD and Marvel Comics.
Well, I’m back in Montreal, enjoying family, home cooking, and intrusive questions about my personal life!
Felix was the first to greet me, barking once as I walked through the door before immediately losing interest and wandering off.
Mom and sis cook up a storm.
Or roast rabbit anyway.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Sis’s dessert creation: cake balls. I’m not sure what the hell they’re supposed to be. Cats? Aliens?
Today, my sister took me on a dessert tour of Montreal…
First stop: Boulangerie NDG for the Zeppole di San Giuseppe which sis claims are the best in town. They were out of the custard filling, so we went with the ricotta and the Chantilly cream. Both wonderful although I preferred the denseness of the ricotta, while sis and Lili preferred the airy lightness of the cream.
We also picked up a Baba au Rhum with custard which turned out to be a bit of disappointment given that the custard was still frozen.
Next stop: Le Maitre Chocolatier.
Nada, co-owner and chocolate expert, informed me that all of the shop’s chocolate is made using cocoa from the Concepcion plantation in Venezuela. My sister sent me an assortment last year and I fell in love with their creations, particularly their foie gras truffles! Nada assured me that she could put together an extra-special order for my next chocolate party.
A fabulous assortment from Le Maitre Chocolatier.
The third stop of our culinary tour was a lunch stop at Sorgho Rouge (Red Sorghum?).
Blast your tastebuds with a bowlful of spicy chili fish! We also had some cumin lamb, yuhsiang eggplant, and dry fried green beans.
This dog also came by – presumably NOT to enjoy the chili fish.
Stop #4: Polish Patisserie Wawel for their famed home made doughnuts. I went with the custard and the plum. Both good but not something I’d make a point of going back for.
Next up, our fifth stop on the tour: Cocoa Locale, Cake Boutique.
Owner Reema Singh has been running the shop her way for five years. And, by her way, I mean she bakes her cakes daily, works the shop alone and then, once all the cakes have been sold, closes up shop for the day. So if you’d like to check out her delicious creations, head on over to 4806 Parc – but make sure you visit earlier in the day.
We went with an assortment of cupcakes (vanilla-rose, chocolate-chai, and lemon-coconut) and the chili-chocolate brownie. In a word = unbelievable! High recommended!
The sixth stop of our tour was the Patisserie Fous Desserts Chocolaterie where we stopped in for a chocolate assortment. The matcha-chocolate truffle was a beautiful but packed a stunningly bitter punch.
Stop #7: Juliette & Chocolat. Have you picked up on the recurring theme yet?
I had a hot "old-fashioned" dark chocolate. It was very good but, alas, I miss the can't-be-beat denseness of the appropriately named "Denso" Themis used to serve at Chocoatl. I miss that place.
I picked up an assortment that included dark chocolate with yellow pepper, blueberry-banana, and, my favorite, the PB&J!
Stop #8: Le Fouvrac. It's looked so unassuming from the outside, that I almost bypassed it but, within its modest confines lies a chocolate lover's dream cache: chocolate bars from all over the world including producers I've yet to sample. Needless to say I stocked up. They also offer chocolates from Gendron, a local chocolatier, at their Fleury Street location.
The chocolates were incredibly refined and delicate, possessed of an exceptionally thin chocolate coating. Wow! They rivaled many of the world's best.
Our final stop: Havre aux Glaces at the Jean Talon Market.
Where we washed down chocolate and dessert with a nice bowl of ice cream. I went double scoop: coconut and burnt caramel maple syrup. Damn good!
We got home for around 5:00 p.m. and, come dinner time, I was not at all hungry. Maybe I’m coming down with something? Anyway, I think I’ll take it easy tonight, watch some SyFy, and then slip quietly into a diabetic coma.
Tonight’s the night! Stargate: Universe returns with Space! I’ll be checking your comments and, tomorrow, I’ll field your questions AND announce yet another big SGU guest Q&A!