Given that the two of us work at opposite ends of town, it is rare that we meet up for a weekday lunch. Today we made an effort and met halfway at Café Pavé, a daytime-only sandwiches "and more" joint in Old Montreal.
For our second visit, the warm, rustic dining room was bustling at first, until things quieted down after 1:30 PM. We particularly appreciated the thick, rich wood tabletops and mock retro prints scattered throughout the interior.
The accent at Café Pavé is on their sandwiches, called pavés, referring to the only type of bread offered; a rectangular ciabatta. They also boast a focus on refined and quality ingredients. Finally there are salads and pizzas; obviously we had to try everything! (Note that the prices below are for trios: all mains are served with a drink and a choice of soup, salad or chips).
"baby spinach, italian tomatoes, english cucumber, creamy macedonian feta, kalamata olives, red onion, confit shallot & white balsamic dressing". We had multiple issues with this salad, aside from it being a bunch of veggies tossed together: not enough feta (especially at this price), the dressing was too thick to be evenly distributed, and the veggies generally lacked flavour.
"seasoned grain-fed chicken breast, hot sauce, crispy lettuce, tomatoes, house ranch". A juicy chicken breast slathered with a vinegary hot sauce along with a smidge of tangy ranch. Topped with crispy romaine on their chewy ciabatta, this sandwich was average/standard-issue.
"tomato sauce, zucchini, goat cheese, sautéed mini portobello, roasted pepper, fresh baby spinach". Having run out of pizza dough, we were informed our pie can be made with naan bread. The creamy goat cheese, sweet, subtle garlicky sauce and earthy mushrooms combined for a burst of umami in your mouth. We didn't miss the pizza dough today, but we sure would like to taste this dish as intended.
At Café Pavé, you place your order at the counter and they bring the food to your table. For a place that prides itself with refinement and attention to detail, we were a little taken aback when we received our mains WELL BEFORE the side chips and soup (which was lukewarm). They did apologize at least, but it still bugged us…
We would recommend Café Pavé as a decent lunch option if you work nearby, judging by its concept and food (setting aside that mediocre salad). On the other hand, we did leave with a strong onion breath and smelly clothes, so you might want to avoid it if you have to face colleagues and/or clients in the afternoon.
tagged: PLAN B.
Price per person: $12.41
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.