Cafe Review: Le Colonel Moutarde, Montreal, QC

Where we played: Le Colonel Moutarde, Montreal, QC

When we played: November 2015

Our last game café of 2015 is also our first review of 2016.

COlMoutardeWe had been following the opening of a new game café in Montreal for a few months, ever since a Journal de Montreal article about the impending opening came across our Twitter feed. A new game café in Ellie’s hometown, backed by one of the best game stores in the country (Le Valet d’Coeur)? We couldn’t say no.

Le Colonel Moutarde opened in September 2015, and at the end of October the PWP crew took a road trip to check it out – the smoked meat, bagels and poutine were simply icing on the cake. We showed up at the bar just before dinner, and despite the early hour, the bar had a few patrons enjoying a beverage, and there were 2 other table enjoying some games.

The bar is dark and cozy, with a real speak easy feel to it. The tables near the game library are a good size, with an IMG_2078individual light for each one. The coolest part of the table was the fact that it had cut outs, perfectly sized for a pint or cocktail glass. No more accidently knocking your glass over during a rousing debate over whether or not you’re a spy for the resistance!

We settled in, ordered a few beers from their draft list and started to pick a game. As this was not our first rodeo, we had been discussing on the way down which games we were hoping to try. High on our list was Quantum, something we’d been eyeing for a while and were hoping to try out before purchasing. This is where we ran into our first issue – Col. Moutarde did in fact have a few copies of Quantum, but they were all in French only. We checked all three and yep, all French. Now, all three of us have enough French to get along, but enough to teach ourselves a complicated looking board game? Not quite.

IMG_2075We started looking through the shelves, and there were not many options that were bilingual. Which was surprising, as so many euro games traditionally come in multi language packaging. We ended up starting with something small – Welcome to the Dungeon – and mixing up translation with BGG resource library to figure it out. By the time we were finished with that, there was a super helpful Guru on duty who stayed to help teach us Taluva followed by Gaia – both fun games, and our guru was great getting us up and running in no time.

IMG_2072Of course, while we were playing we couldn’t help but sample much of their incredible menu. We started with their house made popcorn with parmesan and thyme, and a charcuterie plate of course. The presentation was impressive, with custom plates and board as well as glasses. We stayed long enough to sample their Indian Pizza as well as a few more beers.

By the time we left, the whole place was packed with people. Many playing games, but many just sitting by the bar having a drink. Col. Moutarde has managed to do something that we haven’t seen at any other game cafes. They’ve designed a bar that is equally welcoming to people who just want a drink, or some food, as it is to those who want to come sit down around a board game. It was very impressive to see, and we will definitely be planning a return visit. Not just for the smoked meat, either.

PWP Ranking:
Space: B
Collection: C (Unless you’re fluent in French)
Food: B
Drink: A
Staff: B
Look and Feel: A
Overall Score: B
Other Stuff we like:

Retail: Nope – but Le Valet d’Coeur is right next door!
Flat Fee: Yep!
Events: Yep!

Great for: Grabbing a beer over happy hour with some (bilingual) gamer friends!

What we played: Welcome to the Dungeon, Gaïa, Taluva

Ellie Frederickson is an experienced player of many board games and has cred as a purveyor of games from a time working in a game store. She has an inclination towards Euro-style games, but isn’t especially picky. Reading rules is a particular skill of hers (and a source of enjoyment, oddly enough) and she usually gets a game right the first time she plays it. She has a keen eye for good designs; in art, cafés and games; and an aversion to sub-standard food and drink

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