We checked out XO Jazz at the St. James Hotel

Food, wine, cocktails and live music at one of the city’s world class hotels.

Every Friday night, it almost feels like the best of Europe in Old Montreal, specifically at one of the city’s Leading Hotels of the World, Hotel le St-James. To eat at their XO restaurant is truly an experience of its own. The rich atmosphere becomes that much more amazing thanks to a quartet playing live jazz.

Gentiane Mg (pianist) and friends play exceptionally well with agility and brio. They are always tight and truly stunning. (Believe me: I studied jazz piano at U. de Montréal, so when it comes to jazz, I am demanding.) Such talent, and such great food, cocktails and wines.

I started with a cocktail (all of them are house creations), the St-James tonic — very fresh with high quality ingredients including Piper Henricus gin. I also tried great white wines , fittingly paired with salmon tartare and the salmon poke. The ingredients were so fresh — what more can we ask for? Above that the service was exceptional, from the barmaid to the sommelier and the servers. One more little detail: you can talk without shouting, a plus when you want to relax. Strongly recommended. 

XO Jazz every Friday at Hotel le St. James’s XO Restaurant (355 St-Jacques), 7 p.m., free entry