Must Try: Barroco

St. Paul Street has a lot of gems, from restaurants to boutiques to tourist corner stores selling anything from maple syrup to fur hats. The scenery of historic buildings, old roads and designer stilettos makes Old Montreal one of the hottest, if not the best, neighbourhoods for dining out. One of its treasures resides on St.Paul Street, the rustic, chic space of Barroco Restaurant.

Barroco and its sister Bocata, a tapas/wine bar, have become a staple on the scene due to their unmatched characteristic vibe.

The interior is small, almost claustrophobic for those that like more space. But the layout is what gives the restaurant its romantic, intimate and unparalleled atmosphere. The wood and brick interior is stunning, with hints of gold trimming done in an almost minimal baroque style. The focus point on its old school wall is a hog’s head. Sounds a bit odd, but it blends in ideally with the personality Barroco exudes.

Let’s get to the menu.

For starters, we would recommend one of two. For meat lovers, the veal tartar in confit lemon with grilled oyster mushroom, capers, carrot parsley and truffle oil leaves an impression. For something more traditionally French, go for the beets and foie gras in cocoa bean beet osmose alongside molasses and homemade polenta bread.

A must-have here are the beef short ribs braised in veal stock pancetta with port wine reduction and thyme. Get your napkins stocked up, you will need a lot of them for this meal. Our red wine recommendation to pair with this is the Chateau Fleur Haut Gauseens, Bordeaux Superior. Rich but not too heavy in taste, it’s the perfect partner.

Vegans of Montreal: the restaurant also offers a special chef’s menu nightly especially for you, so fear not…its not all meat and fish.

Did we mention both places have a music mix that truly rocks? From Motown to the Rolling Stones to 1930s jazz, we were bopping our heads and snapping our fingers every time a new song came on. Being a music aficionado, this is a good sign that the establishment knows what’s good.

The service is also exceptional; our party was treated to champagne and the best views in the house (reserve the corner booth if you are with a group of five or more).