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Driving East on Notre-Dame, With Odario

Yeah, that’s right, DK… I’m stealing your style. (My favourite posts of yours, as you well know.)

I met my friend France downtown at 6:30 at The Eaton’s Centre for drinks and dinner. The place is under a mega-renovation so we were lucky we found each other!  France’s friend had told her about the new Timeout Market that had opened.  Call it the Bougie (Bourgeois) Food Court, if you will. (Thanks, B, for such a great term). Instead of your usual, Greek, hot dog, Chinese, etc. counters, these are all from some of our fancier restaurants like Le Club Chasse et Pêche or T Burger which is the baby of Toqué or Olive et Gourmando, to name a few.  They have a bar for mixed drinks or beer, a soda bar and a wine bar where you can buy by the glass or the bottle.  The concept is simple.  Get yourself a drink, stand somewhere while you pray for a couple of seats to liberate and, should you be lucky, grab ’em as soon as you find ’em.  Then, you leave your coat on your seat, tell the person(s) sitting across from or beside you that you are just going to choose your meal (not that anyone would consider moving your coat or stealing your spot, so really, it’s just an unnecessary added assurance) and go peruse the possibilities.  There are tables outside of the bar area but you can’t bring your booze there so, needless to say, not an option for us.

Everything is made to order so, once you have chosen what you want, they give you one of those light buzzer doohickeys (mine was no. 40) that let you know your food is ready.  So off you go, back to your now-precious seat, sip your wine and chat while you wait. Or, as was our case, by the time we had our first glass of wine and found a seat, it was close to 8:00 pm so we chose to just wait near the counter for our food as there were no line-ups.  We both ended up getting our eats at “Charles-Antoine Crête and Cheryl Johnson”.  France went for the char tartare served with popcorn and shrimp “croutons” and I went for the Yaki-katsu which is a big bowl of Boston lettuce, fried beef, paper-thin pineapple and kimchi.

Our meals were tasty, and at $17/plate before taxes and tip, we ate every last crumb, and managed to refrain from licking the bowl.  The wine was wonderful – at $20 for a 9 oz glass (tax and tip included), not a drop was left. The place is happening and loud. Way too loud. We were both glad we could say we have been and neither one of us is in any hurry to return. It’s a great concept to give you a taste of a restaurant you would love to go to but that you know you need to sell your first-born to pay for the meal.

Despite the insane noise decibel, we did manage to catch up and promised each other we would not wait another year for our next one.  I had parked a few blocks away to get my steps in, but France went even further so we walked to my car and I drove her the good six blocks (at least) to her car.  Just as we got close to my car, I had to stop and grab a picture of the Cathédrale Marie-Reine du Monde (Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral). She’s a beauty though this nighttime shot of crappy quality barely shows it. What are you gonna do? You do what you can with what you have! However, I am now wanting to return during the day and try again.

Whenever I go downtown, I like to drive back towards the Jacques-Cartier bridge via Notre-Dame Street.  It’s just so pretty with its boutiques and antique dealers.  Odario Williams is the “Afterdark” host on CBC Music from 8 till midnight, Monday to Friday, turning out the music for our “nighttimes feels” as he says. From 8 ’til 10 there is a mix that is groovy and has good beats but come 10 pm, he slows it down.  Just so happens it was close to 11 by the time I got to my car.  My drive home was dreamy, starting with Imogen Heaps’ “Hide and Seek” then the very lovely “The City Holds My Heart” by Ghostly Kisses

A sweet French song “Les animaux” by Klô Pelgag and finally, bringing me to the last leg of my drive, “Stay Going Nowhere” by Jodie Landau & Wild Up, for which, unfortunately, no YouTube exists.  Well, it does, but not the studio recording, but the one I’ve provided is with Valgeir Sigurðsson, a close enough match. All songs I had never heard, some a little more ‘new-agey’ than I normally listen to but felt just perfect to bring things down from the buzz in my head brought on by the noise and loud talking we were obliged to do. Thanks, Odario… you never disappoint!


80 thoughts on “Driving East on Notre-Dame, With Odario

  1. Thanks for taking me along, Dale. Sounds like a good way to sample a nice place without the snoot factor. Glad you listed all your going home music. Kept us awake on the way home. Till next time. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it is another life you lead, so different from my own. It fascinates, but seldom does it entice. Just keep telling me about it. Vive la difference, is what I say. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was. Any time I get to spend with a girlfriend is a fun outing.
      You also get up at a more reasonable hour… 😉
      Glad you enjoyed the music – they were all new to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a fun evening, Dale. They opened a place like that here, where you grab your drinks and food from different places with central seating. I found it too loud and expensive, too. I’m not sure I understand the appeal beyond trying it once. Beautiful music. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s apparently a new thing, they have locations all over the world (well 6-7 locations). Honestly, like I said, I am glad I have been but do not feel compelled to return.
      Glad you enjoyed the music!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Q,

    I’ve been to one of these, well actually a few. Each theme is different depending on the locale. There was one in Chicago that was my personal favorite because it had everything, from simple to second mortgage madness. It was this diverse selection that really got me going, because really, if it’s all bourgeois or too slanted to such a thing . . Imma just stick to a restaurant in that case.

    As far as the wine, I think I would have ‘pregamed’ that one. Nothing ticks me off more than spending good money on spirits whose sticker price is gallivanting into gated community numbers.

    The dishes do look divine though. But the sharing tables, I know what the idea is but I ain’t doing that. If it’s White Castle burgers I’ll share a table . . but tuna tartare? Gimme my own yard people!

    What it is about churches that they always take on a ghostly appearance at night?

    Lovely drive, Miss Q.


    Liked by 1 person

    • B,

      This Time Out Market exists in Boston, Chicago, New York, Miami, London, Dubai, Lisboa, Praha and now Montreal. And actually, they do have from simple to second mortgage madness: there were burgers, and pasta and dessert joints, not just foie gras and tartares 😉

      This is the price nowadays – we charge, at the golf club, with tip and taxes for an 8 oz glass of wine $20. Ridonkulous. Had we realised we would have two glasses, we would have bought a bottle.

      They were delish but that’s the whole idea. The share the table thing. Maybe they are aiming to get people to start talking to each other? Honestly, when it comes to tuna tartare or anything of the upper echelons of foodie food, I’ll have it served to my table that I am not sharing thank you, very much. At least now I can say I’ve been.

      I dunno… but my cover shot is even more so than the one I included, dontcha think?


      Liked by 1 person

      • It seems more upscale though, which is why I ain’t digging the shared seating arrangement. It’s food court-ish.

        Uh, no. Seeing as how I don’t partake of wine in public (Crying in public is frowned upon) I had no idea. I feel better now, knowing I’m buying wholesale!

        I was never good with the sharing a table thing. I’m a private person who needs to mete out my sociability. I can be as outgoing as a politician a week before election day, but time and place, yanno? Sharing ain’t always caring, especially when you just want to Zen out with a dish and a friendly.

        It’s glorious, as per. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • It is completely food-courtish. A very upscale food-court.

          You don’t? Interesting… Yes, much better to buy the bottle and consume at home, then.

          I am not a lover of the shared table. Hell, I hate when the tables are too close together and I feel part of someone else’s conversation unwillingly! And I’m with you on time and place (I know, mine are more frequent than yours but that’s the beauty, innit?


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  5. Hey, Dale!
    I really enjoyed sharing (vicariously) your night out on the town! ❤

    I think the "share a table with strangers" thing is totally aiming at encouraging “out of your comfort zone” experiences! And I would welcome that, most times. If it’s not welcome, I’d pick a different place. 😉
    Really enjoyed your writing, and the photos, and the interaction with folks here.
    Bright Blessings!
    ~ Karen J, in Flint MI

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey there, Karen!
      So very glad you did!
      I think it depends on who you are with in the first place. Both my friend and I didn’t mind and are outgoing and able to talk to strangers easily so no pressure. I imagine if one is extremely introverted, they would not enjoy it at all.
      So glad you enjoyed the lot!
      Have a wonderful evening!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      It truly was! There are three other songs that I simply put a link to and each one was lovely in their own way. Thanks for joining me!

      Shalom and lotsa love,



  6. Sounds like a fun night out, Dale …with the exception of the noise! It’s pretty much the reason why we go out less and less nowadays. The [loud] music haunts us wherever we go! Sometimes I think it’s a conspiracy to make people hate music! I remember one time we were at a restaurant, trying to eat while the beat was attacking our stomachs and trying to communicate with signals, Socratis asked politely the waitress whether they could turn it slightly down and the answer was this: “what, and turn this place to a cemetery?”!!!!! And just one more, we were looking for a place to eat [on vacation] and walked outside this beautiful taverna that was pleasantly quiet. We looked at eachother and immediately went in and took our seats. Guess what: with the arrival of the waiter, music started playing too! We were lucky though because we were early and as we were the only two people there, after seeing our expressions they lowered the volume! 😉 Back to you though… I enjoyed reading your night out, car driving and listening to music too! 🙂
    [gosh that’s a long comment for me!]

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