Apportez Votre Vin

One thing Montreal, and Quebec for that matter, has going for it is its liberal regulations regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Bars are open very late and you can pick up beer and a good selection of wine at your local corner depanneur. That is a convenience store for the uninitiated.

But for me the most progressive part of all that is that a culture of restaurants which don't have a liquor licence but that allow you to bring your own wine has really come into its own. This way you can afford a great meal without feeling ripped off by that $40 price for the $15 red you are drinking. You can afford to bring something nice and the restaurant provides full service including opening the wine, supplying the glasses and if you are drinking white or rose, a cooler to keep it chilled. If you don't finish it all. Pop the cork back in a bring it home to drink at lunch tomorrow.

There are thousands of restaurants to chose from pizza joints to creative and modern French cuisine.

We went out to Le Pegase located in a hundred year old former residence on Gilford Street. I am sure the place doesn't sit more than 30 people, including the outside deck and has two sittings at 6:00 and at 9:00.

We brought a nice red and a rose which went really well with the pan seared scallops in a curry cream reduction and the stuffed rabbit that I had but the chef's special the night we were there was venison. It was all very good.

No question, it is time for the rest of Canada to catch up. Bringing your own wine is a really civilized approach to it all.without the bar, restaurants can focus on the food and you don't feel ripped off by the gouging markup we usually pay for restaurant wine..

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