Montreal: Le Hobbit Bistro

The menu for this French bistro maintains an assortment of standard restaurant fare (at the expected prices; $15-$20 plates) and wine (including wines from South Africa).  The pasta is earthy and the maple tart will NOT fall from your fork.  There is also an extensive ‘after-dinner’ cocktail list with a surprisingly wide variety of coffee drinks, a touch that invites hours of alcohol consumption. And so, the restaurant becomes a relaxing and necessary escape from the frigid Quebec cityscape (and a further excuse to remain indoors).  But the reality is that half of the allure of Le Hobbit stems from its name, which may or may not have anything to do with the Lord of the Rings (a history of the name appears to be available on their website).  I may have been disappointed that a tiny person with hairy feet wasn’t my waiter.  While the interior and menu are undeniably un-Hobbitesque, there are a few unique features worth mentioning.  Most notably, the brick walls are accompanied by an odd and perhaps even warped interior design.  Do you see the gigantic white cinderblocks hovering in space?  It’s a point where the Hobbits gave way to some fat drunken Elf (and Elves don’t get drunk, so you see what is happening here).  Fortunately, instead of intruding on the experience, it keeps the place interesting.  Also, the ‘Hobbit influence’ is reflected in (at least some of) their dishes, garnished with gooseberries, (edible?) twigs and a variety of leaves that yields warmth, curiosity and an unmistakable appreciation for things that grow.

700, Rue Saint-Jean
Quebec, QC G1R 1P9

Written by Jason Summerfield