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Mike Cohen lands at The Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel Bijou Resto | Bar

    The Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel opened back in 2009. I have made many trips back and forth to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International in Dorval since that time, I always take a glance at this beautiful property with a great amount of curiosity.

    When we had to go to the airport to pick up a family member who was arriving at 10 pm, I suggested we head out early and enjoy a leisurely meal at the hotel’s Bijou Resto | Bar. It was our first time at this restaurant, let alone the hotel, and we thoroughly appreciated the experience.

    For starters, let’s talk about convenience. You can valet or self-park your car at the hotel and if you stay for less than four hours your ticket will be validated. On the night we were there, Robert Stefan and Danny Kerr from the two-man band R & D were performing some hits from yesteryear. It had a good vibe. You can catch them at this venue every Thursday from 7 pm to 11 am.   Chansonnier Yannick Strawinski performs each Wednesday during the same time frame.    If your dinner ends and you still have time to spare before the flight you are waiting for lands, then head towards the spacious lobby where a nice array of comfortable chairs and couches await. I sunk into one of them to read a magazine and check my iPhone.

    On this night, the West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce was hosting its Accolades Awards ceremony. I was curious and wondered towards the ballroom, where hundreds of people were enjoying dessert and some great music. When the time came to head into the terminal, we merely went down one floor on the escalator and took a leisurely walk of less than 10 minutes to the Canadian arrivals area. I then went back to get the car and circled around to pick our party up.    It was a very lovely evening all the way around.

    So clearly there are other people like me who have chosen to dine at Bijou Resto | Bar because they have to pick someone up or drop them off. However, I am told that many West Islanders already recognize this place as an excellent dining choice period. I concur.

    Food and Beverage Supervisor Karim Salib had seated us at a nice table near a window. Our server, Vincenzo, has been with the restaurant since day one and he provided us with a good overview of the main menu and the impressive Table d’hôte. Here organic produce and sustainable, natural meats get transformed into salads, steaks, sandwiches and entreés like pan-seared salmon with strawberry and pineapple salsa, roasted rack of lamb, seafood linguini with herb crumble, a New York grilled strip loin and confit duck leg to name a few.  There are a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers as well. And no matter what’s on the plate, guests can look forward to savoring it within a stylish, modern dining room outfitted with hardwood floors and elegantly contemporary light fixtures.

    This Dorval restaurant serves three meals a day, as well as a convenient 5-10-20-Minute menu at the bar. Vincenzo surprised us with some delicious oysters straight from PEI and two glasses of sparkling Gerard Bertrand Code Rouge Blanc de Blancs wine.

    The table d’höte changes monthly for dinner and weekly for lunch. We liked the choices and went in this direction. I started off with a piping hot bowl of Boston clam chowder while my dining partner opted for the crispy crab cake in kataifa pastry, spicy butter and pineapple salsa. She gave it a thumbs up and reported that it was not too spicy at all.

    For the main course we eyed a pair of meals we each liked and decided to share: the whole Canadian lobster grilled with garlic butter and served with seasonal vegetables (which we switched to mashed potatoes) and the grilled AA Angus beef tenderloin (7 oz.) served with potato gratin and some of the best roasted zucchini I can remember having in a long time.

    Creating our surf ‘turf turned out to be an excellent choice. For dessert we enjoyed a white chocolate mousse and strawberry Napoleon and a sugar pecan pie with some vanilla ice cream. I topped things off with a decaf café latté.

    Executive Chef Louis Rodaros and his team clearly have a winning combination here. Bijou Resto | Bar can seat 200 people.

    One day I will have to consider staying over at this hotel if I have a really early flight. The AAA 4-Diamond hotel and TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence winner offers complimentary wireless Internet access throughout public areas, a business centre, fitness centre, indoor pool and laundry service. The 272 guest rooms and seven upscale suites feature comfortable beds with down duvets and fluffy pillows, floor-to-ceiling windows as well as 32-inch, flat-screen TVs and free movie channels. There is the AltiSpa and 20 meeting rooms and more than 14,000 square feet of function space.

    Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner , the dress code at the Bijou is  casual Phone. You can call 514-828-5117 for reservations and log on to www.marriott.ca/yulma.

    Mike Cohen

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