Mar 16, 2011

Yallah Let’s Eat! Montreal’s Best Lebanese Food

Restaurant Daou

It comes as no surprise that Celine Dion’s wedding was catered by Daou – one could easily picture Renée filling his mouth with their heavenly stuffed grape leaves, and Celine humming a tune while swirling her pita bread in their velvety hummus. The restaurant even immortalized the event with a large wedding photo of the happy couple to greet you as you walk in the door.

For many Montrealers, middle-eastern food claims its place as a popular lunchtime option, mostly because it’s somewhat healthier than the Big Mac and fries on the other side of the food court. However, if Amir’s lunch special number three with an extra side of hummus is your daily noontime ritual and this makes you think you are a Lebanese cuisine connoisseur, you are sadly mistaken. The most authentic and deliciously home-style Lebanese food is found in a quiet, unassuming St-Laurent eatery.

The food at Daou is so incredibly genuine and savory, it makes you embarrassed to walk into an Amir and order a falafel sandwich and feel good about it. Any hummus you taste after you have tasted Daou’s will seem too lumpy, or too dry, or just plain off. The stuffed grape leaves you try anywhere else (anywhere except perhaps your Lebanese friend’s teta’s house) will be too tightly wound, too sour, or just plain sad. So be forewarned, by stepping foot inside this middle-eastern Mecca of all things lebaniciously  delicious, you will be disappointed by anything else in comparison and you may effectively ruin your weekly falafel lunch run.


Perfectly Chunky Tomato Sauce with 
Goat Cheese Crumble

This recipe came about because of an early childhood aversion to overly runny marinara sauce (an aversion that has continued well onto adulthood. I still cringe at anything that resembles overly-puréed tomato sauce). Anytime there was an over-abundance of liquid tomato on the edges of my pasta bowl, I would run to the stove and pour it back into the pot, along with an escaped noodle or two. As a result, my ever-ingenious mother perfected this sauce over the years, and it has served me very well in my college days away from home, due to its simplicity and accessible ingredients.