the vogue-ified general store:Old Montreal:
When I walked into Le Cartet I thought I was in a country general store, if said store was in a trendy New York burrow. It's got a Dean and Deluca feel, without the big box shadow.
The front area is a take-out coffee bar meets mini market whose shelves are filled with fancy preserves, designer chocolates, specialty teas, and a plethora of other goods as well as a cooler of fresh salads, sandwiches and pastas.
The rest is the restaurant.
My sister and I loved the interior, right down to the signage. The communal tables and open-window kitchen gave the place a laidback vibe, while the decor was classy and modern. I loved the little details - fresh fall flowers and little pumpkins. The buckets of natural light make it feel like the perfect brunch spot.
The tables are pretty close together, but there's enough room that you don't feel like you're being invaded.
The menu isn't extensive, but you should be able to find something you like. Traditional items are notably missing, such as benedicts and omlettes, but it's okay to embrace change once in a while.
Their specials (all about $15) come with coffee and juice. Love that.
I had the Brunch des Cantons - their version of the big breakfast - served in a cast iron pan. Love that.
It had ham, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as a side plate of bread and fruit. Three meats. Love that.
My sister had the Toasta Mixta, a portuguese grilled egg sandwich with ham, brie, onions and mustard. Tasted like our mom's egg sandwich. Love that.
Brunch is only served Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a to 3:30 pm. That's a narrow window, especially for a big stomach. But do as I do, suck it in.