July 11, 2011 – Two establishments sit side-by-side on Saint-Paul Street in Old Montréal. They are run by the same owners and share many of the same appealing qualities: housed in heritage buildings dating back to the beginning of the 19th century, the Barroco (“baroque” in Italian) and the Bocata (“sandwich” in Spanish) are remarkable for many reasons, their warm interiors to start.
In both cases the owners, inspired by the stone walls and large wooden rafters, played the Old World Charm card to the hilt, cleverly scattering antiques throughout to create inviting spaces to sit, relax, or party with friends. DJs set the evening beat at both establishments, much to the delight of night owls who have become quite taken with both places.
Incredible ambiance aside, both restaurants are also known for their delicious fare, with menus developed by Executive Chef Benjamin Léonard that prioritize fresh, local produce. Another winning feature of both establishments: the extensive wine selection with an abundance of private imports.
Barroco’s fine French/Spanish-inspired cuisine takes traditional dishes up a notch with a hearty dash of culinary daring, as demonstrated by an incredible mastery of flavours. Case in point: the Bison Tartar with grilled peppers, cranberries, capers, parsley, confit grappa tomatoes, pimento de pardon and gin vinaigrette appetizer, or the Branzini Sea Bass stuffed with ricotta and ratatouille, accompanied to perfection by yellow zucchini and cumin-scented carrots in a sauce vierge, just to name but two of the incredible menu options. Barroco is also renowned for its famous “Lobster Shack” during lobster season.
And not to be outdone by its neighbour, Bocata, a restaurant and wine bar, offers a mouth-watering menu that features a variety of tapas and signature dishes such as the Foie Gras au Torchon with rhubarb confit, hazelnut and apricot crostini, and goat milk custard; the Halibut and Mushroom Duxelle with artichoke and lobster ragout; or the Veal and Manchego with creamy polenta, tomato and kalamata olive condiment. What’s more, at Bocata’s, you can order wine by the half-glass, which makes it all the better for perfect food-wine pairings.
So if making discovering exquisite dining experiences is your thing, Barroco and Bocata will be right up your alley. But don’t just take our word for it, go find out for yourself. It’s much more fun that way, wouldn’t you agree?