One of my primary reasons for visiting Montreal last weekend (besides testing my new GPS) was to see some friends I hadn’t seen in almost two years. I was delighted that they were available to have brunch with me on Sunday. I drove over to their house in the Verdun neighborhood of the city, and we walked a few blocks away to a cute little restaurant called Nu Art Cafe at 3780 rue Wellington.
Nu Art Cafe is a small, “mom and pop” restaurant, with a fair number of tables. The art is funky and colorful and sets off the brick walls nicely, and there is a lovely patio for dining during the summer months. It was perfect. It really reminded me of some restaurants in Burlington, Vermont in its embrace of the arts and casual atmosphere, with a wholesome menu of mainly vegetarian items. The main difference is that they only speak French Canadian and the menu is only in French.
Luckily, my friends translated for me. It was fun, because according to them, the menu items have very interesting names, along the lines of “Hold me close” and “Push me away”. If I can trust that my friends were not pulling my leg, it kind of makes me wonder if the cook is pouring relationship issues into his or her cooking. In any case, it was hard to choose what to have, because everything sounded so good. There were crepes, omelettes, combination plates with crepes and omelettes, fresh fruit, home fries, etc. You can smell the food as you approach the restaurant, and it smells wonderful.
Because I was with my friends, I forgot to take photos of my food, and I didn’t take notes on what I ordered. I know it was one of the few items that had meat on the menu. It was an omelette with, I believe, tiny diced ham, spinach, tiny diced apples, and cheese. It was very, very good. I’d eat here again in a heartbeat, but I’d make sure I either learned some French first or brought my friends with me again.
While this isn’t the sort of cafe that most tourists would seek out or even stumble across, being so far off the beaten tourist path as it is, if you are looking for an authentic neighborhood cafe with great food and very reasonable prices, just hop on the green Metro line and get off at Station De l’Eglise. The rest is up to you.