Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
Answering the call of Tourisme Montreal, we went on an expenses paid press trip to promote MTLàTable, the city's "restaurant week", now in its third year. Kicking off on October 30, the festival is a great opportunity to revisit an old favorite or discover a new place at a reduced price. We stopped for lunch at restaurateur Edward Zaki and chef Fisun Ercan's Bar Bounya on the posh Laurier avenue.
Known for his eclectic sense of décor, Zaki stayed true to form with the interior here; exposed white brick walls surround custom bar-height tables, with Mediterranean accents throughout. The dining room was virtually deserted at noon, but slowly picked up later on, which is not surprising given this is largely a residential area.
A Turkish tapas/wine bar by night, Bar Bounya's lunch table d'hôte consists of a soup or salad followed by a light main dish of Levantine inspiration. The portions are on the small side, but at $12 to $19 for the duo, we won't complain. It's hard to beat this price tag these days, especially given the popularity of this place, its smart setting and the neighborhood's affluence.
"with garlic yogurt"
"fried halloumi on mushrooms, grilled octopus on hummus, quinoa salad"
"eggs, tomato, zucchini"
"soft shell crab, fried calamari, Chinatown style"
We are reluctant to give Bar Bounya an overall verdict based on what we sampled today from the reduced lunch menu, not to mention that our meal was comped. At the very least, we hope this "apercu" convinces you to try it out for MTLàTABLE this year. As for us, we'll return at night to sample the full tapas menu paired up with some of the Mediterranean wines offered by the glass. Afiyet olsun!
Stay tuned for part 2 of our MTLàTABLE press trip, which we'll post later this week…
Price per person: $16
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.