There are always a few telltale signs that summer is beginning to escape us. The mornings are little cooler, the sun starts to set a little earlier, the leaves are changing colours, and terraces begin to close. And while we hate the idea of having to wait for summer to come around again, there is one thing that we take comfort in, the last summer foodie festival is here: Montreal Oysterfest!
This year, the 8th Montreal Oysterfest was back on Bonsecours Island, and we love this venue! The atmosphere is always more intimate and energetic. We were greeted with oysters, of course, and some wine served alongside them. We soon set off to try out some of the dishes being served by some of Montreal’s top restaurants.
We started with the grilled oysters at Ikanos. We knew we’d be eating our fair share of raw bivalves so why not try something different. Grilled over the open flame, the oysters were meaty, juicy and smoky, topped with a creamy sauce and chopped chives that we were soon licking off our fingers.
We always stop by La Bêtise to see what they’re cooking up and they didn’t disappoint us. We had the crab bites, served on a crispy, deep fried won ton. It was very fresh and clean and the dressing was not at all heavy. The red onion added a nice little bite. We absolutely loved this! They were also serving an octopus salad, salmon tartare and their Oysters Bêtise!
Hands down our favourite tent was the Good Vibes Group tent that grouped together Soubois, Santos and Les Enfants Terribles. The steak tacos were in one word, perfection. Served on a corn tortilla, the steak was cooked to medium rare and very tender. Topped with pickled red onions for tang, herby cilantro, pico de gallo for freshness and just a little spice, we devoured them!
This year, the competitions were fierce, with the shucking competition, 3 drink competitions, and the popular Plating competition. Like other years, there were Montreal Oysterfest paraphernalia that you could buy, but this year there was a designated general store filled with oyster shuckers, t-shirts, sauces and other yummy treats.
We admit to indulging in a few Caesars, after all, we are partial to them. There were made with Walters Caesar mix, all that’s needed is the alcohol and it was nice to see it being made with local Pur vodka! We love enjoying local products. The Caesars were nicely balanced with just enough spice.
We stopped by to visit Chef Derek at Maggie Oakes and indulged in our first dessert, the white chocolate lollipop with a chocolate toffee base. The base of toffee wasn’t too sweet but definitely satisfying, we wish all lollipops tasted like these gems from Maggie Oakes!
We couldn’t pass up ordering a favourite, the affogato from Café Gentile. It was served with either a mini cannoli (our choice), or a biscotti. The ice cream with the bitter espresso was a perfect combination, and the crispy cannoli shell and rich filling hit the spot.
Every year, we look forward to Montreal Oysterfest. While it might mean the end of summer is near, it’s a great was to say goodbye to summer and check out some of Montreal’s top restaurants. And it’s also for a good cause as proceeds are donated to the Open Pier Foundation, which protects the waterways and aquatic life by improving water quality and reducing water waste. They also help protect marine biodiversity and promote sustainable fishing and harvesting.
Last year, Montreal Oysterfest went through 23,000 oysters and you can be sure that the Montreal Food Divas did their part to top that number this year!
Tagged: Café Gentile, Crab, Food Festival, Grilled oysters, Ikanos, La Bêtise, Les Enfants Terribles, Maggie Oakes, Montreal Bonsecours, Montreal Festival, Montreal Food Festival, Montreal Oysterfest, Open Pier Foundation, Oysterfest, oysters, Santos, Soubois, steak tacos, Tacos, Walters Caesar