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Les Épinards: Gourmet Prêt-à-manger on the Plateau

On the corner of St-Dominique and Mont-Royal streets, Les Épinards opened last year in what was the former space of Anubis restaurant. This little bistro offers ready-made dishes that can be savoured on the spot or to go. Those who decide to linger can enjoy a glass of fine wine with their meal. The lighter side of the menu offers gourmet soups ($4), salads ($3.50 or $6.50) and sandwiches ($6-$7.50); the latter served on ciabatta bread. The main course menu ($6-$13) changes weekly and on this occasion featured pork osso bucco with rice, seven-vegetable couscous, and mango chutney tilapia with coriander and creamy barley. The parmentier-style duck confit with caramelized pears and onions was topped with a bed of buttery mashed potatoes resembling Sheppard’s pie. Although a bit rich, it was paired nicely with a full-bodied Spanish red wine for $7 (Cofrade Bodegas del Medievo, Ríoja region). There is not much in the way of dessert right now, save for some small cakes (caramel or lemon and poppy seed) and brownies provided by a local bakery; however, one of the staff concocts chocolates.

The cappuccino was served as it should be, with plenty of foam on top and just the right amount of milk mixed with the espresso to tone down any bitterness. Plus it is organic (www.tazzina.ca) and a pleasure to drink down in this light lofty space while watching the eye-candy on the street through the large windows fronting Mont-Royal.

Les Épinards will soon be serving brunch on the weekends, and the menu looks promising.

Les Épinards : 35, ave. du Mont-Royal E., 514-657-4110, www.lesepinards.ca

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