The new sister restaurant to Dominion Square Tavern is proof that Downtown Montreal is no longer a food desert, writes Sarah Musgrave in a behind the paywall review this week: "Certainly with the addition of the Balsam Inn, the question of where to eat before or after you go to a movie is even less of a headscratcher than it used to be."
"Smaller, darker and cozier, Balsam Inn feels a little less business and a little more bar. While it’s on the edge of fancy, its mandate is affordable and approachable — you can easily pop in here for a drink and a snack, or a full meal, depending on your needs. The selection of small plates for sharing is based, as co-owner Alexandre Baldwin explained it, on how he and chef Eric Dupuis like to eat and drink themselves."
The drinks program is predictably strong and starters like caponata and a galette au four with goat's cheese soar. A smoked herring plate makes "a satisfying salad" and an order of tagliatelle cacciatore, while not huge, is enjoyable. Musgrave's verdict: "Cozy on all fronts, Balsam Inn is the perfect spot for a winter’s eve — or day."