Is Montreal really the “Paris of the North?” Sitting in a tiny new bistro called Barroco on the western edge of the city’s old town, the marketing slogan rang true. As my husband, sister, and I sat back and enjoyed glass after glass of burgundy, hip tattooed waiters—all francophones—hustled to and from the kitchen placing comfort dishes of cotes-de-boeuf and gratin dauphinois on our candelabra-laden table. Raw stone walls, a low wood-beamed ceiling, and Serge Gainsbourg on the sound system only added to my disbelief that I was just an hour and half flight from New York City.
One caveat: If you can’t tolerate an increasingly festive scene as the night progresses (the place eventually turns into a late-night lounge near midnight) Barroco is not for you. But for those seeking an out of the way retreat in touristy Old Montreal, head here.
Clara Sedlak is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.