The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.10.02


Eclipsed in Dorval

Sometimes, little culinary gems are in the least obvious locations.

Take Eclipse as an example. Local diners may be unaware that a place where you can sample a wide variety of wines by the glass exists on the West Island of Montreal.

Tucked nicely into the Dorval Hilton, perhaps only the astute traveler has noted this bistro with a difference. I'm spreading the word that indeed Eclipse offers something a little more upbeat and upscale without upscale prices.

Lots of free parking is provided and a simple trip around the Dorval circle leads directly to the Hilton's location.

Eclipse offers contemporary sand and burgundy décor in a casual setting designed not only for the weary traveler, but suitable for a quick business meeting over lunch or simply a pre- dinner drink.

The food menu provides a worldly sample of quality items that are easy on the eyes and wallet. Sushi, tempura, satay and Schechuan offerings represent an Asian theme, while crab cakes and fresh goat cheese make their way on to fresh salad greens. A grilled sirloin steak sandwich with guacamole tempts, as does a burger with a scattering of Brie. What stands out here though is the wine selection.

A full dozen wine-making countries are represented on a sampling list. My partner and I sipped four different reds on a recent visit.

While choosing food I enjoyed an Australia Yalumba Bush Vine at $8.95. This rarity comes across well. Long, smooth swirls of fruity attraction make it an outstanding wine. This set the tone for my next selection of another Australian red.

I chose a glass of the Shiraz variety and was impressed. The Aussies are definitely onto something beyond shrimp-on-the-barby as of late. My partner's selection kept her on this side the equator with selections from California and Ontario.

A Cappola Black (of movie production fame) and a Pinot Noir at the hands of Inniskillin. Both reds were excellent. Particularly the Cappola. Francis should be proud although this was the most expensive glass on the menu at $ 11.95.

We shared three dishes in an effort to sample as much as possible from the menu. The aforementioned Chevre on garlic bread with sun dried tomato and salad greens was excellent as a starter.

An order of chicken satay with a spicy peanut sauce was more wholesome and satisfying. Two skewers each disappeared quickly and we devoured our order of Magdalen Island crab cakes. This is a great place to share items and our waiter was helpful in recommending them.

Eclipse has obviously thought this over. Items arrive with even numbers of samples for even division or perhaps they simply arrive at this method according to the size of a group. Either way, it makes things easy.

A good selection of desserts is offered and a combo for couples that includes coffee and Baileys along with pastries for two comes in at $15.99.

Adaptation and innovation are key ingredients to success these days and by all accounts Eclipse is current and on top of this principle. I suggest readers make it a point to discover this happening bistro bar for themselves.

Eclipse is located in Montreal at the Dorval Hilton, 12505 Cote de Liesse. 514-631-2411.