MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK
Bogartís Bar and Grill
Having only ever eaten duck once, I had no idea what kind of wine best compliments the taste of game bird served with a traditional a líorange sauce. Wines 04, 10 and 42, according to my menu, are the preferred choices. Suggested wine pairings arenít uncommon at most restaurants but for a Greek salad? Thatís the standard at Bogartís Bar and Grill; Monctonís wine and dine capital. By the end of my meal, the dark, flavourful and moist duck had gotten the best of me. I may need to try the "Simply For Life" menu next time, where even the heart-conscious red wine drinkers can take joy in choosing selections like the Bogartís blackened salmon filet or 6oz filet mignon, wines 18, 28 and 42.
Located in the heart of downtown Moncton, at 589 Main Street, Bogartís Bar and Grill is a terrific place for couples or business associates to enjoy world-class wines and acclaimed dishes in an elegant and relaxing atmosphere.
St. James Gate
Black is back in downtown Moncton. With the help of its Guinness Stout and dishes like blackened catfish, St. James Gate continues to gather strength as the cityís premiere Irish pub and eatery. For many, St. James Gate is a sanctuary. For me, itís the only place in Eastern Canada I can find catfish, a weakness of mine since visiting Florida several years ago. Accustomed to having it deep fried, the fish exceeded all expectations.
Although it shares its name with the birthplace of Guinness stout, St. James Gate draws its good fortune from its horseshoe shape and not the traditional Irish four leaf clover. It works though. The main bar is planted at the closed end of the shoe, opening up the room to dozens of tables and a stage for live music. The barís dome ceilings, like those found in a cathedral except shorter, bounce the sound of jazz, alternative, and rock off old stone walls, adding to the roomís unique acoustics.
Tonight, a group of diners have taken over the elevated stage. Fortunately for us, that will change after the dinner rush.
St. James Gate is located at 14 Church Street, near the corner of Main Street and Church Street.
The Creek Seafood and Steak
An exotic combination of vanilla and shrimp gives the Creek Seafood and Steak restaurant real credibility as Monctonís premiere spot for seafood. The award-winning dish is one of two prized possession - the fried clams being the other Ė created by the Creekís talented kitchen staff. Full of flavour yet light on the stomach, this vanilla shrimp is worth the trip.
Trophies aside, the Creek is a favourite for local seafood lovers and visitors alike. Soon after I arrived, two motorcyclists sat down at the table next to me for a quick yet sizeable feed of clams and chips before continuing onto Prince Edward Island. A table over from them, two older gentlemen in dress pants and collared shirts shared stories about their families over a glass of red wine. Variety is not lost on the Creekís patrons or its menu.
Tucked away just off Main Street Moncton, at 107 Robinson, its location offers ample parking and also plenty of room for an extended summer patio. The restaurantís marine-themed decorations grab your attention, but the food captures your imagination.
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