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Vices & Versa

Not Rated.
Vices & VersaVices & Versa

23 Reviews
Reviews: 23
Visits: 38
Avg: 4.29
pDev: n/a
Taps: 36
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

6631 Saint-Laurent Blvd
Montréal, Quebec, H2S 3C5
phone: (514) 272-2498

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: Goldorak

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 23 | Visits: 38
Photo of Quej
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Went for the first time last night and was instantly impressed with the amount of selection, 29 micro brews from Quebec. It was quiet when I got there on a tuesday afternoon, but quickly filled up to capacity by 7 or 8. I tried several great beers there and was pleased with the service. I tried a plate of cheese and Bavarian hotdog and was very impressed. They don't have a large selection of food, but what they have is good. Some of their beers were quite expensive considering they only came in 12oz. glasses, but I have not been able to find them anywhere else, so I guess it's worth it.
A very nice place that I look forward to going back to. Hopefully in the summer so I can appreciate the terasse in the back.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Managed to head down here after an early Friday evening spent at the Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel. It’s a fair walk, probably 15 minutes or so, maybe more, but thankfully BA Erica had it all neatly marked out and clearly highlighted on her CAA Street Map of Montreal. Heading West down Boulevard St-Laurent and into the Little Italy district you’ll soon come across ‘Vices Et Versa’ on your right hand side.

The street level exterior is clad in a pale looking pinewood cladding and easily spotted. The entrance is to the left of three large paned stainless framed windows, which may in fact even be sliding patio door style windows; these do well to reveal the guts of the interior. A pole hanging wooden sign near the entrance, which is shadowed by a small balcony, declares ‘Vices & Versa – Bistro Du Terroir’, below this a second separate chain hanging sign advertises ‘En collaboration avec La Barberie’, a local Brewery whom I came across earlier in the day at the 2006 Mondiale de la Biere. An old style lean too chalkboard sits uncomfortably by the entrance and advertises the food specials.

Up a brace of low slung concrete steps you enter the main front room from the front left hand corner. Inside, you are greeted with a colorful interior which exhibits a cosmopolitan décor. Wooden clad walls are stained close to the bar area but to the left and right mustard, pastel lime green and dark sky blues are used to great effect to color the atmosphere. A tin effect ceiling is painted in a dark copper color sponged with random green paint tinges to produce the effect of an aged ceiling. Paintings and some very arty framed Photos line the walls; it all conspires to reinforce the impression that this was indeed a Café of sorts prior to its recent incarnation as a Bistro du Terroir. The back wall is bare brick and is decorated with steel fittings; here there is a back door that leads out to an open terrace area that looks great for those long hot summer nights.

The bar area is set in the back far right hand corner, of dark wood construction; the chest high bar-top is higher than usual it seems. Set in front of a blue painted wooden wall cladding and some dark wooden cupboards filled with bottles, liquors and glasses, the whole bar area is festooned with plants on the bar, and hanging in wire chrome balls over it. Five chrome fonts in total; four each sport three taps with one that just has two - delivering up to fourteen draft beers at any one time. The Barbarie taps all have a similar design, made from wood they have a phallic shape with a profiled shank which sits underneath a rather bulbous head which sprouts two curved horns, it is supposed to be a Viking style helmet affair, couldn’t help thinking that it looked like a different type of helmet I must say.

On my visit the brews were all neatly listed on a La Barberie sponsored Chalkboard:

1. Rousse Bitter
2. IPA (Alchimiste)
3. Cuivrée Forter
4. Weizen
5. Imperial Stout
6. –
7. Rousse Forter Aux Fruits
8. Pale Ale Lime & Gingembre
9. Cidre de Pomme
10. Mistigris Blonde
11. Pale Ale Lime Framboise
12. Claymore Scotch
13. Noire à L’Avoine
14. Bière de Blé à L’Abricot

Prices were CAN$4.50 for a “V” or CAN$6.00 for a “P” (Pint?), or less. I tried the Cuivrée Forter and a Pint of the Claymore Scotch, both were very tasty brews. Being a fan of Magic Hat #9 I think Erica tried the Apricot brew, can’t recall stealing a taste of that one though.

The food menu was mostly in French but the waiter explained it all perfectly for the ignorant English speaking tourists; lots of Cheeses, Pizzas, Sandwiches and Ice Cream & Desserts, all made with local produce it seems. As Erica and I had both already eaten, we just wanted some nibbles with the beer, so opted for the Pretzels with a decent enough locally produced “French” mustard. Rest of the Menu looked interesting though; distinctly tilted towards quality rather than quantity but others food platters looked very interesting.

Service was excellent, the chap that served us was more than happy to translate the French Menu without any rolling eyes or condescending attitude, far from it in fact. Constant reviewing of the liquid line in our glasses as he passed us serving others meant that we were never wanting for beer. The second order was followed by an interesting chat about La Barberie and the Mondiale; if memory serves me right our Waiter told us that he was serving at the La Barberie stand over the weekend.

This is about as close as you get to a La Barberie Brewery Tap it seems. A very cool place to hang out, far from the madding crowd, as Hardy would have said. For me the VEV was the second highlight of my first visit to Montreal after Dieu Du Ciel, maybe I’m getting old but I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed quality atmosphere, the Barberie brews and the laid back quiet downtime in here. A quality establishment, if you get to the Dieu Du Ciel, take the walk West, it’s well worth it.

Last Visit: Friday 2nd June, 2006.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: Quite a long ways away from the Downtown/Plateau area, the only way to get here is to take the St-Laurent street bus northbound and get off at St-Zotique street. Vices et Versa is half a block away from Montreal's little Italy, and that seems to reflect on the décor inside. You can tell this used to be a quaint little Italian café. Nice wooden bar, local artists exposing on the walls, terrasse in the back that I haven't had the chance to visit yet but looked nice from the quick glances I took.

Selection: This Beer bar seems to be the Montreal outlet for Québec city Micro-COOP la Barberie. They have 5-7 Barberie Beers on tap. They also have quite a few non-Beer products, like ciders, honeywine, booze made with maple syrup, all Québec-made and most quite excellent, if you have to bring along someone crazy enough not to like Beer. Vices et Versa is a "Bistro du terroir", which basically expresses their commitment to Québec-made products. I wasn't able to convince my tasting partner to try any of the food, so I can't give it a score. However, I did check out the menu and everything looks great. Craft-made cheezes, desserts, etc. Next time I'll make sure not to eat before I go.

Service: Great, the waitress was friendly, curteous and knew her menu well. She tasted everything they had, and it showed. It didn't take her long to pin me down as a Beer freak and took the time to go into more details about what they had on tap, and even offered me a free sample. The place wasn't packed, so service was fast.

Quality: The Beers offered are mostly "crossover" type beers, with one or two more complex offerings. During my last visit I sampled a molasses Brown ale that had subtle hints of molasses and malty flavour, not too sweet and low in ABV (4.5% the website says). Perfect to break the old stereotype that brown ales taste too strong, but I personnally like my brews with a little more oomph.

This is a nice quiet place to hang low, bring a date, and maybe initiate someone into the wonderful world of craft Beer.

---update 10-JUN-2004---
I finally tried the food...wow, I had the large cheeze/paté plate and it was suberb, served with nuts, onion jam and hot fresh bread. And the kicker? A chocolate truffle, that I matched up with the Imperial Stout they had on tap. A match made in heaven.

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Vices & Versa in Montréal, QC, Canada
94 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.