The spirit of the Magdalen Islands

Posted on March 13th, 2009 by .

In every state or province, there’s a region that’s all about having a good time. In Quebec, it’s the Magdalen Islands — a small cluster of islands lost in the Atlantic ocean and full of joie de vivre. Two sisters who grew up there have decided to bring their native land’s spirit to the city by opening an authentic island restaurant here in Montréal: Les Îles en ville!

In this happy little place (just a short cab ride from downtown), you’ll experience true Magdalen Islands food and décor. Naturally, this includes your pick of the sea: scrumptious crab, sweet lobster and, of course, seal meat served in any way you can handle it. I’m not sure Brigitte Bardot would approve, but my taste buds sure did! Try the Fisherman’s Plate with specialties like creamy Pied-de-vent cheese (one of my favourite Quebec cheeses), smoked mackerel, herring, smoked seal, seal sausage, seal pâté and more. What does seal meat taste like, you ask? Well, it depends on how it is prepared, but the flavour ranges from sweet and nutty to slightly beefy.

On a Saturday nights, you get the full island deal with live music played by the sisters’ uncle. Not surprisingly, half of the clientele made of expat Magdalen Islanders.

I shot a short video of the place to give you a better idea of the ambiance. Have a look: Îles en ville
5335 Wellington
Debit and cash. No credit cards.

Business Hours
Tuesday to Friday 11 am to 10 pm
Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 11 pm
Closed Monday

Reservations recommended on Friday and Saturday nights
Average bill for dinner for 2 people (before tax, alcohol and tip): $50

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