Day 340: Greek food at Trinity (in Montréal!)


I’m in my hotel room with Sue, a hefty glass of red and a properly made bed, done up with crisp white sheets even. We got in at rush hour and to our hotel around 7, then went for a walk around frosty downtown Montréal and found our way to Trinity, a Greek restaurant in the belly of what appeared to be an old museum, or bank or some such (they are all charismatic old buildings in old town Montreal).

It was a tough menu to choose from. In the middle of the restaurant was a huge display of fresh fish on ice, which could be selected and grilled whole. They brought plates of bread, grilled flatbread and olives, then a cold mezza platter for us to choose from (our pick: crab dolmades – just OK) and glasses of Greek red wine (nasty). The heroes of the table were the roasted roma tomatoes and manouri cheese with garlic and oregano, drizzled with olive oil that left a puddle on the bottom of the plate to mop up with our bread, and kalstounakia – pan fried Cretan spinach and feta dumplings, wrapped in thin pastry, fried and served with thick goat milk yogurt and thyme infused honey. (Part of their appeal was that although they were spinach and feta, there was little connection to spanakopita.)

The main event – Frenched rack of lamb chops with essence of fresh oregano (Sue had just mentioned she’d be making this for Christmas dinner #2, having two planned to accomodate assorted relatives and only so much gumption for turkey) set up teepee-style over mashed potatoes and the most amazing gravy (the word does not do it justice, but nor was it jus) I’ve ever had.

Should I feel guilty for not much missing my houseful of boys?

We have a lineup of coffee shops to hit in the morning, before (and after) a visit to the Musée des beaux-arts and a walk (down a street of chocolate shops) to Au Pied de Cochon. I may have died and gone to heaven and no one bothered to tell me. (Please don’t, until Sunday.)

And because it’s FSF, Sue has agreed to help me shop for a nice little French goody bag tomorrow – it will reflect our day in Montreal and likely contain some form of chocolate. I keep meaning to relay who won previous Free Stuff – this week Avery found a swag bag of goodies (minus two sea salt caramels) on her step. (I hope the non-boozy “wine” didn’t freeze.) Question: what’s your must-have Christmas cookie?

And yes, a cookie du jour. I was going to post a recipe for Stroopwafels – crisp, waffle-like Belgian sandwich cookies stuck together with caramel; Mike has taken it upon himself to make these every Christmas – but my computer is melting down. Instead I will direct you to 101 Cookbooks’ Minty Chocolate Christmas Cookies – teeny sandwich cookies that are made with thin chocolate wafers sandwiched with thick peppermint filling. I’ll attempt to track down a suitably French Christmas cookie tomorrow.


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40 comments on “Day 340: Greek food at Trinity (in Montréal!)

  1. Melanie
    December 5, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Did you have a challenge for us this week? I could certainly tell you my favorite chocolate-y things (everything), or my favorite french things (go shopping at Simon’s – although I’ve never been, my husband gets me great gifts from there when he’s out that way)… cause our supper tonight was definitely not worth a post (left over KD mixed with chicken and veggies plus a few maple pork n beans – so sad)…
    I’ve been licking the spoons from making peppermint bark – that makes up for the KD I’m sure!
    If you are flying home Sunday and some crazy pharmacist guy chats with you – it could be my husband… you can just tell him to go back to his seat (tell him I said so!!!)
    Safe travels!

  2. jennifer
    December 5, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Bonjour! I have fond memories of visiting my aunt and uncle in montreal…they always took us to the place for montreal bagels!! what a lovely trip you must be having!
    my sister cooked me dinner..chicken parmesan with pillsbury crescent rolls! yummy childhood comfort food!!
    enjoy your meal at au pied de cochon! it is supposedly out of this world…have you seen his cookbook??!!

  3. Erica Bell
    December 5, 2008 at 9:35 pm! Trinity looks like a greek dream come true! (and I’m a little homesick apparently)I’m soooo jealous *blush* Your pictures have me wanting to check out flights and go for a visit. (warning: lively (somewhat loud) greek music) beeeautiful menu & pix.

  4. Kathryn
    December 5, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I could use some cool Montreal free stuff after my dinner tonight.

    My husband has only ever been able to cook the clam chowder recipe his mom scribbled out for him on his way out the door to a new life at age 18. He carried it around in his wallet until we got married. He’s 42 now, so I’m forcing him to teach himself to cook, one Friday night at a time in a house empty of both wife and kids. I choose an easy recipe, get the groceries, and he cooks it while we’re at piano lessons. Tonight we had chicken with a sauce that involved salsa, cinnamon and craisins, couscous, and veg. Something kind of went wrong with everything but I gritted my teeth, ate it, and told him he did a great job. One wrong move and the man will never try to cook again! (Shh! Don’t tell him I told you this!)

  5. Mel
    December 5, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    MMm Montreal sounds like it has delicious food..
    For supper I had take-out pizza from a small local shop. My favorite is the tropical chicken with alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce, smoked chicken, and pineapple.
    I made candy cane cookies to freeze for Christmas after, which are my favorite Christmas cookies ever. It’s a basic cookie dough, but half the dough is dyed red, and they have peppermint, almond, and vanilla extract in them. I roll a white bit and a red bit into 5″ strips, then twist them together and shape like a candy cane.

  6. margaret
    December 5, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    I’ll be dreaming of Montreal tonight and all its culinary delights. Wish I were there. Dinner tonight-pizza (your recipe for the crust) with caramelized onions, roasted peppers, goat cheese, and olives.

  7. TR
    December 6, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I’m going to Montreal next month, and I can’t wait! Dinner last night was grilled salmon in a tin foil pouch with grainy mustard, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. The rest was roasted sweet potatoes and a salad.

  8. supersu
    December 6, 2008 at 7:51 am

    la di da….if that is what heaven serves for dinner, cant wait to get there!

    my fav ‘cookie’-the things made with chocolate, coconut, crasins and nuts….usually all held together with the magic glue “eagle brand milk”…seems like every family has their own version-all are good

    have fun…travel safe
    su 🙂

  9. Elaine
    December 6, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Since happening upon your post, I am finding more and more reasons to move to Canada. And Montreal sounds lovely.

    I’m not a huge sweets person, but there are two items which, if they find their way onto a cookie plate, I MUST indulge in: buckeyes and peanut brittle. Neither are cookies, and neither are particularly Christmasy, but buckeyes (peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate) are just superlative by definition, and peanut brittle? Yeesh. I guess it’s that salty/sweet thing.

  10. Margie S.
    December 6, 2008 at 8:38 am

    My “must-have” Christmas cookie without a doubt has to be my mom’s gingerbread cookies. They are a favourite of my 3 year old son as well. If there’s a tin of those lying around, they won’t be lying around for long:) I’ve been meaning to try your “skinny” gingerbread and see how they compare. Enjoy your weekend!

  11. Cecily
    December 6, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Oh my goodness! There are so many cookies to choose from, every year we have a cookie swap, and there are so many classics. Shortbread, Thumbprints Chocolate chip, but the one we make every year and I look forward to the most are my mom’s Rolo Cookies!

  12. Kathy H
    December 6, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Montreal, I’ve only been once, but would love to revisit. Have fun for me too!

    Supper last night was chicken lasagne and peas. It was okay….

  13. RMB
    December 6, 2008 at 9:24 am

    So many must-have cookies that it is hard to pick only one! The one my kids insist on every year are the Rolo cookies with Lamontagne caramel bar squares substituted for the Rolos. (As a school fundraiser, they sell Lamontagne chocolates and the caramel bars always seem to be leftover, so this was my solution to the leftover bars.)

    Enjoy Montreal! It’s been years since I was there, but it is such a beautiful city.

  14. Cheryl
    December 6, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies and my peppermint bark (just posted the recipe).

    Enjoy your weekend! Au Pied du Cochon? Brave and lucky.

  15. Fiona
    December 6, 2008 at 11:28 am

    My favorite Christmas cookie has to be shortbread. It doesn’t matter if I don’t bake a single other thing, I have to make a batch of shortbread. It’s been my favorite since I was a kid. I think it’s the Brit in me.

    (I also require mince pies, but they’re not a cookie.)

    Have fun in Montreal! I’ve never been, but it’s way high on my list.

  16. Linda
    December 6, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Must have cookie is a recipe for German shortbread that my Mom (who passed away at 88 last Sept) use to make.

  17. Mary Ann
    December 6, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    My mother’s shortbread cookies, cut with a biscuit cookie cutter and topped with a maraschino cherry or a silver dragee, are my hands down favourite. I’ve made all kinds of fancy sweet things throughout the years, but the melt-in your mouth simplicity of those cookies can’t be beat.

    Bienvenue a Montreal! Au plaisir de se croiser!

  18. eroica
    December 6, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    My favourite is the Toffee bar cookie recipe where you start with crackers, pour over butter,brown sugar and sweet condensed milk, bake and then top with chocolate chips. Crunchy,buttery, toffee and chocolate.

  19. Rebecca
    December 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    There is only one choice (at least in my mind) – my mom’s shortbread cookies. So soft and buttery! Pure deliciousness 🙂

  20. Vivian
    December 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Julie, you may already have read this blogpost on If not it could be timely. It was posted Oct 21/08 by Jonny and Amy, fun folks from Montreal I came to be acquainted with through Peter Minakis at Kalofagas blog…(Wonderful Greek food).

    Have swell time in Montreal!

  21. Anne
    December 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    My favorite Christmas Cookie is Jewish Shortbread (Best of Bridge) I haven’t made them in years because they are fiddly to make but oh are they good!

  22. Lisa
    December 6, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    My favourite Christmas cookie is what I call a macaroon – chocolate, coconut and oatmeal. So easy to make, so yummy to eat. I’m a big fan of all things ginger snap-y.

    Mel – my aunt always makes those candy cane cookies and I love them too!

    I hope you really enjoy yourself in Montreal, Julie. You deserve it!!

  23. Christina
    December 6, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    I made the Minty Chocolate Christmas Cookies today and they are to die for!! My husband said they will have to become a Christmas staple and my 2 year old spent about 5 minutes trying to convience me that they would be a good choice for super tonight! I have to admit, they might be my new favorite Christmas cookie to answer your question! Before these cookies came into my life my favorite Christmas cookie was whipped shortbread that melts in your mouth but not so much because I love it but because it’s just what makes Christmas … Christmas!
    Wishing I was in Montreal!!

  24. Erica Bell
    December 6, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Must have cookie – how can I pick just one? There has to be gingerbread people (eaten head first…less cruel that way 😉 ) – if I could pick two then shortbread would be a close second… I make a version topped with a pecan half, that’s held on with a dollop of caramel in the centre.

  25. Tagyn
    December 6, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I have to have thimble cookies with raspberry jam to mark Christmas, my Mom makes the best!

  26. Cheryl
    December 7, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Whipped shortbread from the B of B, my daughter insists that we must have these or it just isn’t Christmas!

  27. Tina
    December 7, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Little raspberry-almond folded cookies – like tiny turnovers. Started making them a couple years ago and can’t do without now!

  28. C & C
    December 7, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Brownie miniatures from the Canadian Living Christmas book are the standard in our house. Have topped them with almost everything – one of the best finds for topping them has been Hershey’s candy cane kisses (white chocolate with candy cane bits) – very festive!!

  29. Pat
    December 7, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    The only time I was in Montreal was in 1967 for EXPO. Your mom and I drove there in her sportscar, and your grandad made her promise to drive the speed limit, AND SHE DID!!! Such fond memories! Thanks for sharing your weekend with us.

  30. Pat
    December 7, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    OOOooppsss, forgot to say my favourite Christmas cookie. ANYTHING HOMEMADE! However, since this is the second Christmas that I’ve been on WW, I will NOT be using my points on cookies! However, for Christmas gifts, I make white chocolate BARK, with pieces of candy canes swirled inside.

  31. jennifer
    December 7, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    oh my favourite christmas cookie…was the challenging question this week…i totally missed that…..duh!!

    it would have to be my grandmothers shortbread cookies, my mom makes them now..and sometimes my sister…i have yet to recreate their talent and melt in your mouth cookie i have no patience for rolling out the fussy dough! hope you had a wonderful time in the belle provence!

  32. elektra
    December 7, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    whipped shortbread for tradition. pistachio and pepper stars dipped in dark chocolate for my personal taste.

  33. A
    December 8, 2008 at 8:46 am

    The only Christmas Cookie I can not go without at Christmas time, are WHIPPED SHORTBREAD. No there not that fancy. But I can still remember sneaking them from the tray at family functions. Mom sometimes put a cherry on top or coloured sugar but I just wanted the buttery hit. So every Christmas I make them and our traditional French Canadian Sucre a la Creme. Nothing beats them!

  34. Suzanne
    December 8, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Oh, it’s so hard to narrow to just one fav Chrissie cookie – shortbread it is then!

  35. AmandaP
    December 8, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Montreal!

    My favourite Christmas cookie would have to be shortbread. Melt in your mouth shortbread.

  36. Sarah
    December 8, 2008 at 9:22 am

    My favourite Christmas cookie is, believe it or not, Scotch Shortbread. The recipe Aunt Nessie made has been a family classic for years (my great grandmother used to make them cut into shapes with a cookie cutter) and my mother-in-law is known to make many dozens as gifts (she rolls the dough into balls and then presses each three times with her thumb – kind of looks like a pansy – then sprinkles sugar on top).

  37. Larissa
    December 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    My favorite christmas cookie is one my mother only makes once a year.. her vanilla chocolate swirl cookies. I absolutely love them!

  38. Stacey
    December 8, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    There are sooo many cookies to choose from, but if I had to pick just one favorite would be my mom’s melting moments. Two light and fluffy shortbread cookies sandwiched together with a delicate and oh extremely creamy icing. Literally melt in your mouth. Nothing better!!! Can’t wait to have one this year.

  39. Barb
    December 9, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Very tough question Julie. And for the last number of years I have been trying to cut back on the cookies. In times gone by I would have at least one of everything on the plate just to try everyone else’s favorites not I think “if I can only have one or two what shall I choose?” Ooooo, I guess one would likely be a shortbread of some variety.

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