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VenusSavvy

Montreal Restaurant Recommendations

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I have been disapointed some times at Toqué but when Laprise is there and it's good, its really good.  I have been disapointed to many of the great restaurants in the world but it dosen't mean these restaurants are ''crap''.  Hey, Keller restaurants got some bad reviews and it dosen't mean that Per Se or the French Laundry are ''crap''.

Toqué is a excellent restaurant!

P.S. Better than Laurie and Initiale for sure. And BTW, it's all about L'Utopie in Quebec city.

Perhaps worth another try... I guess every place can have an off night. I've had a mediocre meal at Auberge d'Ill and a downright horrible one at Bouley, but yet people I know and trust when it comes to food tell me that I might just be horribly unlucky.

As for Per Se, I had a meal there last month that was very good but certainly not up to his usual high standards.

One more chance, then its 2 strikes and he's out :shock:

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"non-local"

So I guess you're saying that we locals cannot offer an objective review of the place?

:hmmm:

I don't think anyone that actually loves food can write a truly objective review about any restaurant. The fact that locals may be friends with the chef or be some way biased as a matter of culinary pride are color peoples assessments.

I could tell you that Eigensinn Farm has the best food in Canada, but you would take that with a grain of salt because I'm from Toronto. If 5 people from outside Canada told you the same thing, you would be inclined to believe them, wouldn't you?

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Well, if you love the food and not the chef - I think you can. :) Of course you can.

To me the best part of a professional review is the REPORTING and CONTEXT. What kind of food, what kind of presentation, layout and style of restaurant etc. will usually tell me if it's something I would be interested in. Just the facts, Ma'm!

I am looking less for "opinions" and "emoting", which rarely belongs in a good restaurant review.

And there is nothing wrong with pride and "promotion" of local talent and producers if it's done in an informative way. I think that is an important role of a reviewer - to inform especially out of towners of what is available. To help local and out of towners broaden their experiences, and yes, SUPPORT local providers.

And a good reviewer makes his/her judgements based on several visits to a resto, rather the the often snap judgements you find on egullet.

That's why I usually recommend professional reviews like "Flavourville" etc. to visitors above egullet opinions which are much more often clouded by personal agendas.

Which are enjoyable also but needs a hefty addition of salt. Like the person who really enjoyed the food at LCC&P but "would not go back" because the waitress had an off night on their ONE visit.... H'mmmm

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a good reviewer makes his/her judgements based on several visits to a resto

I hate to speak for all MTL reviewers here but that rarely happens anymore. Dining-out budgets aren't getting any bigger and most of the reviewers are freelancers. More time spent on the job doesn't mean more money. So the idea of the three-visit review is just dying out -- a shame but there it is, a matter of economics.

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a good reviewer makes his/her judgements based on several visits to a resto

I hate to speak for all MTL reviewers here but that rarely happens anymore. Dining-out budgets aren't getting any bigger and most of the reviewers are freelancers. More time spent on the job doesn't mean more money. So the idea of the three-visit review is just dying out -- a shame but there it is, a matter of economics.

this is very sad and again goes back to the issue of this being a city that is best on a budget since the media cannot afford to promote the city best since the dynamic is changing too fast

i read your sad review of i sense in the paper today

i ate there 3x so far 1 was terrible 1 was soso 1 was great. i agree with the oversalting it reminds me of an old place on st laurent called BAILA that was like eating in a salt factory, i d o not agree about the clamari i think they were excellent

i hope that lesley you will start your own web site of independent food review like a blog. this i think is the future for this city since our local newspapers cannot do justice to the food scene which is very dynamic and if they pay you per word there is no motivatin to go to a resto many times before a review

the saving grace is the gazette website needs a subscription so i think most turists will be coming here to get a review insttead of the newspaper

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.

And a  good reviewer makes his/her judgements based on several visits to a resto, rather the the often snap judgements you find on egullet.

That's why I usually recommend professional reviews like "Flavourville" etc. to visitors above egullet opinions which are much more often clouded by personal agendas.

Not to take anything away from professional critics (and fortunately we have a number of good ones on eGullet such as Lesley), but I get a lot more out of eGullet reviews than I do from most professional critics. It is hard to get a worthwhile sense from someone posting for the first time, but over time and through direct interaction with other members one can get a much better sense of shared affinities than through someone who is a total stranger. In the Montreal and Quebec forum, amongst others I can always rely on Carswell and Lesley for their knowledge and insight. Others provide equally great insight in other areas.

Although I haven't been to the new location yet, the old Toque has always been a world-class restaurant to me. One thing I agree on with Tom Gandey is Laprise's foie gras is amazing. I have never had better anywhere.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Hi everyone,

I am planning a five day trip to Montreal over Labor Day weekend. We have booked a room at the Bonaparte Hotel in the old town. Does anyone have thoughts on this hotel? I would also love recommendations for a great wine bar as well as Montreal restaurants. We live in NYC so we would like to go to places that are truly, unique to Montreal. Thanks in advance!

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My wife and I were in Montreal Easter weekend. My father drove up from Kingston and we all went to eat at Bonaparte. It was quite good, though nothing cutting-edge. There are better "destination restaurants" in town (and you'll get tons of recommendations here), but if it works out that you've got to eat at the hotel for some reason, you'll have a good meal.

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Hi everyone,

...I would also love recommendations for a great wine bar as well as Montreal restaurants...

welcome to eGullet, annapin~! :smile:

try these threads, for starters:

my weekend in montreal--top ten

montreal in gourmet

top ten dishes i ate in montreal

there's lots of stuff in the archives, and a lot of the most helpful stuff is by a user named carswell--if you search him as a user and then "read member's posts", he has essentially written *detailed* guided tours on here before!

so it's not that i'm not being helpful--it's that i can't hope to do better than he already has!

please post back during/after your stay here, and bienvenue a Montreal~!

:biggrin:

ALSO:

1st trip to montreal

and

http://www.montrealfood.com


Edited by gus_tatory (log)

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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i'm from brooklyn, not montréal, but i visited montréal for the first time last may, and in brief, i will say joe beef. book now. ask to sit at the bar. eat light during the day. i'll then add au pied de cochon. book now. again, eat light during the day. after that, perhaps brunoise and le club chasse et pêche, which i'm mentioning based on recommendations by other trusty egulleters rather than my own experience. be sure to visit the jean-talon market if you have the time. if you love eating in brooklyn, you will adore eating in montréal. bob tenaglio is right, if you enjoy life, you will no doubt enjoy au pied (and joe beef). i am jalouse.

(edited to properly accent "montréal" and try to do a couple of other french things right.)


Edited by bethala (log)

can't believe it's not butter? i can.

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Gus_tatory's hit it right on the head: read carswell's stuff. You can also see if the local library has a copy of the March 2006 Gourmet.

As for the wine bar thing: Bu. There are a couple of others as well.

I'd personally pick CCeP over Joe Beef and APDC but that's me.

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another oldie but goodie thread:

9 days in montreal...

i want you to know i am manually going through the archives here; such is my respect for my city and the fair people that visit her~! :biggrin:

later...:

montreal for the weekend...

a truly great, detailed thread on another (ahem cough cough splutter) food board:

detailed montreal foodie planning list


Edited by gus_tatory (log)

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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Thank you so much! I am going through all the posts and doing my research. One thing I forgot to ask, my husband is a lover of fine cocktails. I already saw a recommendation for Whiskey bar. Does anyone else have thoughts on places that make a fabulous cocktail in Montreal?

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i did see david mcmillan shaking some martinis at joe beef, but i didn't have any cocktails while in montréal.

i'll just say, though, that the wine selection is excellent at montréal restos, if you love french wines, as i do. props to montréal restos for placing plenty of loire valley wines on their lists, something you don't always see even in french restaurants here in ny.


Edited by bethala (log)

can't believe it's not butter? i can.

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Thank you so much!  I am going through all the posts and doing my research.  One thing I forgot to ask, my husband is a lover of fine cocktails.  I already saw a recommendation for Whiskey bar.  Does anyone else have thoughts on places that make a fabulous cocktail in Montreal?

I'm pretty much a wine drinker these days, but I hear good things about this place.

Baldwin Barmacie

If you get a chance while you're here, try an Icewine Martini.

Enjoy Montreal.


Edited by rcianci (log)

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Thank you so much!  I am going through all the posts and doing my research.  One thing I forgot to ask, my husband is a lover of fine cocktails.  I already saw a recommendation for Whiskey bar.  Does anyone else have thoughts on places that make a fabulous cocktail in Montreal?

I'm pretty much a wine drinker these days, but I hear good things about this place.

Baldwin Barmacie

If you get a chance while you're here, try an Icewine Martini.

Enjoy Montreal.

I second that suggestion. Another superb cocktail joint - L'Assommoir ... Bernard corner St. Urbain.

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...

As for the wine bar thing: Bu. There are a couple of others as well.

...

a lot of people seem to really enjoy Bu very much. one small caveat with this:

there are three establishments, all named somewhat alike, on that block:

--Bu, the wine bar with small food plates

--Bo, the new Chinese resto from the owners of Soy, and

--Boa, a new Portuguese-inspired neighbourhood bar.

...so make sure you know which one you're walking into! :smile::biggrin::laugh:


"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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a lot of people seem to really enjoy Bu very much. one small caveat with this:

there are three establishments, all named somewhat alike, on that block:

--Bu, the wine bar with small food plates

--Bo, the new Chinese resto from the owners of Soy, and

--Boa, a new Portuguese-inspired neighbourhood bar.

...so make sure you know which one you're walking into!  :smile:  :biggrin:  :laugh:

One would wonder why all the proprietors are suddenly buying vowels…

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Anise.

I've eaten in most of North America, in France, London, and a variety of European locales. When I travel, dining is a focus. I try to eat at the benchmark restaurants.

Anise is, simply, my favorite restaurant in which I have ever eaten.

(I know that ten minutes ago, elsewhere, I posted my latest rave about Blue Hill. But when I considered it's position amongst restaurants, I said "US" restaurants, because as great as it is, it isn't as great as Anise.)

We'll be back in Montreal in September for a weekend, primarily to have the opportunity for another dinner there! (Though we will also go back to APDC, which is a blast.) We'll love the rest of the trip because we love Montreal - but there's only reason we're going twice in one year!

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Anise: a very nice place. Racha Bassoul's apparently on vacation right now, so Anise is also on vacation but I think they reopen in a week (read their sign last week).

If you want to stay on just that one block of Laurier, you can go westward to (in sequence) Raza, La Petite Tonkinoise and Jun-I on the same side, or skip to the other side and hit La Chronique (my personal fave).


Edited by wattacetti (log)

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Anise will hopefully by open again for Labor Day.

We're going later in the month - I made the restaurant res before I set travel plans!

In the winter I made the plane res only to find that it was duing High Lights - nonetheless, it was a complete pleasure eating Vikram Vij's cuisine at Anise on that trip! Though diffrerent, Racha and Vikram would seem to be kindred spirits.

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Thanks everyone. After much research, I have made reservations at the following restaurants for 3 nights out of 4: Anise, APDC, and Joe Beef. I need one more! I was thinking a casual, not too expensive Bistro, would be a nice complement to the other three restaurants. Again, I'm looking for something quintessential Montreal that I can't get in NYC. Any thoughts?

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APDC and Joe Beef are actually sort of casual Bistro-ey, so you might want to actually do something else. Maybe not though...

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Thanks everyone.  After much research, I have made reservations at the following restaurants for 3 nights out of 4:  Anise, APDC, and Joe Beef.  I need one more!  I was thinking a casual, not too expensive Bistro, would be a nice complement to the other three restaurants.  Again, I'm looking for something quintessential Montreal that I can't get in NYC.  Any thoughts?

Obviously, I love Anise and will be following you there a couple of weeks later.

APDC is a must. Closest thing to St. John in North America. If you don't trust me, trust Bourdain!

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