Part of my time in Montreal, I was at W Montreal. A very urban, sexy, sleek, luxury boutique hotel in the Ville-Marie area of Montreal. When you enter the glass doors, you’d see the cubic water fountain and glowing red walls of the lobby.
One of my evenings I checked out Wunderbar that is located on the ground floor. It’s a cool looking bar that has a wall covered in curved panels set in a rainbow that meant to look like the distinctive seasons and magnificent natural surroundings of Montreal.
We started off the evening with the Last Tango in Havana ($10 during its Happy Hour) and a bacon virgin Caesar ($5). The Last Tango was very fruity, sweet and refreshing from the Bacardi Limon, mango, tangerine, and mint. The bacon virgin Caesar was ordered primarily out of curiosity. Our waitress described this drink is sort of like a Bloody Mary but it’s made with the addition of clam juice instead of just tomato juice. The Caesear was definitely savory and quite tasty. It’s not as spicy and tomato-forward as the Bloody Marys I’ve had in my life, so I dig it. I can see this drink as a possible hangover solution (it gives you some hydration and the sodium).
The bar snacks available were good from what I had. The Sea plate of tender grilled octopus, a large shrimp tempura that wasn’t coated too thickly paired with pickled jalapeno slices; a side of silky tuna tartar, and sundried tomatoes. The cheese plate ($18) is a beautifully presented tray of three semi-soft and semi-firm cheeses with fresh grapes and fig chuntey. The Farm platters consisted a tray of chiseled Parmesan cheese drizzled with honey truffle with grilled pitas and tissue thin slices of prosciutto and a tray filled with quartet of condiments – labneh, olives, guacamole, and quartered cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil.
The Wunderbar is generally feels like a bar in the Meatpacking District – loud music playing with the guest DJ spinning music and lots of young people having drinks and having a good time.
A brief walk up the stairs is the Plateau Lounge and it is relaxed yet still retained the chic, sexy feel compared to Wunderbar. The warm colors with the leaves printed on the long, illuminated acrylic bar feels autumn-like and if you do take a table, there were plenty of cushy sofas and chairs that felt like a cozy living room.
Since absinthe isn’t necessarily a big thing in New York City bars besides being mixed in a few cocktails, I took the opportunity of trying out Plateau’s table side service. There were two options of absinthe – Pernod or La Clandestine. I opted the latter since I am aware and like Clandestine’s clean, licorice and fennel flavors.
Besides sipping a now-diluted absinthe, what makes it pretty cool to watch is the louche effect. Water not only changes the flavors of the spirit, it almost magically alters the appearance of the absinthe. As you slowly add water, the liquid in the glass seems to thicken, and transforms into an opalescent pastel white cloud. Technically, when absinthe is distilled, the anise and fennel oils dissolve into the alcohol. As the water dilutes the alcohol, it frees the oils from their molecular prison, and they form a cloudy suspension.
In my glass of La Clandestine, it offered rich, warm anise and herbal flavors that were deliciously subtle rather than greatly complex.
The good thing about being in the W Montreal after a long night out, is to be able to collapse into a beautifully renovated room and it is called the Wonderful Room that has a view of the Victoria Square park.
To view photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE for the full photo set or view the gallery below:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157656283280750″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]
Wunderbar and Platea Lounge at W Montreal