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Montreal Restaurant Recommendations


VenusSavvy
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Tom, I spend 50% of my time between Montreal and QC. It is quite different. Quebec City is small, a full week there might be overkill. The character of the old city is beyond anything else in NA. It is much more French than Montreal but less cosmopolitain (painfully lacking in the department).

The choice of Auberge St-Antoine is excellent, best hotel in the city. Also, Hotel 71, it is very quiet and comfy, much less amenities than st Antoine that is a relaix and chateau and just a beautifull place to the eyes. The panache restaurant on the premise is excellent. There is also Dominion Hotel all three hotels are footsteps away. If you want a condo room, you can also rent a suite at hotel A Priori (that has Toast! restaurant in the lobby).

The problem with food in Quebec city is that...well...

-confis de canar, tartare de saumon, jarret d'agneau, foie gras, cassoulet, etc... A lot of the menus are similar but only a very few will handle such classics properly.

My list:

All around great neighborhood bistro and great wine pairing and staff (great brunch, great lunch): Cafe du Clocher Penché

Classic bistro: Echaudé

Best ecclectic, great wine list: Utopie, Toast also but beware of to much mixes of flavors and butter, great place for lunch... I would put Laurie Raphael in that group also.

Upscale French: Panache, Initiale

Old World French: Champlain in the chateau Frontenac

I also suggest getting some pastries and bread at Pouillard on St-Jean street.

Quebec City is way more relaxing and way more romantic... perfect for a two nighter.

Montreal has it's advantages, it`s bigger, more ecclectic, more of a people city than historic city, trendier (if I can use the word in a good way). You will have 100x more choices of restaurants and hotels in Montreal, no question about it.

Edited by identifiler (log)
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It could be, personnally, I do not go there. However, I have seen some evening during the holiday where the tasting menu was rather affordable, I think it could be a lot worst, especially around the Chateau. Probably similar to St-Amour, I find that place uninspired with sky high prices.

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Last August I went to Quebec City with my girlfriend. We stayed the Dominion Hotel which is located in the Old part of the city. Dominion hotel was stunning, the best part was the bed. I have never had a better sleep in my life. We ate at L'echaude (a bistro), no complains. The only problem with Quebec City is that most restaurants have the same menu, with minor variations. Montreal has dozens of great boutique hotels (including the brother hotel to Dominion called St. Germain) and the number of restaurants are infinite. The greatest places to stay have aready been mentions, as have the restaurants. The best place to eat would have to be Joe Beef (but I am a bit biased)...I work there. Well, honestly for a few nights the best place would have to be Montreal, there is much more to offer than Quebec.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello all,

My wife and I will be staying in Old Montreal at the Hotel St. Paul in mid May, and were hoping we could get some recommendations for dining spots. Ideally we want to be able to walk to everything (we are taking the train from relatives in Ottawa, then flying out of Dorval back to Calgary).

We will probably do one night of spoiling ourselves (meaning cost here), and the rest of the time looking for unique gems hidden away - we eat anything and everything so any hints would be great!

Thanks

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Chris:

I wholeheartedly agree with the Club Chasse et Peche recommendations...my brother and I dropped a bundle there about this time last year but it was worth the grape stained teeth [smile].

Not in old Montreal but definitely worth the cab ride is Au Pied de Cochon. Had a terrific time there one evening.

Again away from the area where you will be but experienced good bistro fare at L'Express, Ferreira's and of course Schwartz'

Hope you enjoy your stay. Best wishes to Shari-Lynn. Hope to get down your way but our next trip will be to the Jasper Park Lodge for our anniversary rather than Banff/Canmore but we'll see. Maybe we'll do the Parkway and come south if I can spare the time from the office.

I am sure that you will enjoy yourself in Montreal

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Da Emma's a quick stroll west from your hotel & don't forget to have breakfast or lunch at Olive & Gourmando, on rue St. Paul, corner rue St. Pierre (1, maybe 2 blocks east from corner of rue McGill & St. Paul). Neither will disappoint, but note that O&G is closed Sundays & the lines start early on Saturdays. Not sure anymore about CUBE in the hotel, but when I was last there a few years ago it was awesome.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

I'm going to be spending a full week in June in downtown Montreal to watch the F1 race. I've perused the threads on this board and made notations of great-looking places (such as the Snowdon deli and Joe Beef), but I'm also looking for other suggestions.

I'm going to be staying between the University of Quebec in Montreal and Chinatown near Boulevard Rene-Levesque East and Boulevard St. Laurent. Does anybody have suggestions for breakfast, good quality coffee and/or bar/pub places nearby that have a casual atmosphere (I'm hoping to spend most of my vacation in jeans and sneakers)? I'm assuming since it's near the University there will be plenty, but suggestions for the better locations would be most welcome.

I'm also looking for suggestions for shopping near our hotel, which has a fully equipped kitchen. I have the Jean Talon and the Atwater markets noted, but suggestions for good places nearby would be appreciated. Also, is anything special available in early to mid June that I should keep my eyes out for, or specialties (besides smoked meat, of course)? I'd love to try some local items, especially things that aren't available or are harder to come by in Seattle, Washington.

Thanks for your suggestions!

Edited by kiteless (log)
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This may sound like a throwback to pre-web days, but I highly recommend Sarah Musgrave's recently updated (2007) book - "Resto A Go-Go" - "200 cheap and fun places to Eat and Drink in Montreal".

Musgrave is the casual Dining Critic at Montreal Gazette, so her reviews and opinions are professional, and well formulated I think. It's in a nice pocket format that's easy to bring along when you're on the foraging trail.

Please note that it also lists fun bars to go to..

It should be available in most Montreal Bookstores.

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Online, an excellent source of information about Montreal's mid-level and inexpensive restaurants and good ethnic groceries can be found on A. J. Kinik's and Michelle Marek's blog ...an endless banquet.

http://endlessbanquet.blogspot.com/

Scroll down the home page a little. In the left column, below the archives, you'll see two links to the list, A-M and N-Z. Even without the list, the blog itself is worth a read.

Edited by rcianci (log)
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Oh, and since you have a kitchen, check out the new Edition of "Quartiers Gourmands" which is a catalog of Gourmet Foodie stores throughout the city. It's just out for 2007 and available in most better food stores.... certainly in many places at the markets.

It has nifty pull out map which shows the locations of many foodie destinations. You will find many are concentrated around Mont-Royal East, Laurier Street and of course Little Italy.

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No need to confine yourself to the area around your hotel, the Metro is really fast and it's pretty easy to get around.

I was only there overnight last time I went, but I liked this place:

Taqueria La Nacion

1850 St Catherine Street West

near Guy Concordia metro station

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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I would suggest that you go out and really walk around the area too.

The weather should be beautiful and it is really an exciting city to explore.

I would suggest Garde Manger in Old Montreal and to try along St. Laurent as well.

There are lots of good little places for breakfast all through the area.

Try around the Prince Arthur area of St. Laurent.

I doubt you'll be able to get into Joe Beef while you are in town unless you make your reservations right now.

Call when they are open as they don't take reso's left on the message machine.

I am going to be shucking oysters at Globe on St. Laurent during that same time frame.

Feel free to drop by.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just returned from 4 nights in Montreal with the following reviews:

La Villette de Marche - St. Paul st. - this was our first meal in town, and probably one of the highlights, small local dine in/take out spot with great food, good service and perfect atmosphere. The 3 course plats du jour, gives about 4 options for main, everyone opens with the soup of the day and the dessert that day was a crepe with chocolate - all in all perfect. With francophone music in the background, peopel talking loudly above the din, and one customer having their large parrot with them on his shoulder it was true cinema - highly recommended.

Holder - next door to the St. Paul Hotel on Mcgill st - this large and very loud (I'm talking decibels here), was an amazing surprise. We were lucky enough to get seats (bar area was slammed) and had a couple of nice courses of food - although huge servings - my hangar steak with frites was perfectly done - service here was impeccable - small team of lightning fast staff all watching out for each other - quite impressive.

SoupeSoup - off of St. Laurent on Duluth this little hole in the wall offers 4 different soups daily combined with the same number of sandwiches. When something runs out they wipe it off the chalkboard and write up the next selection - cafeteria style - very cheap!

Les 3 Brasseurs - small microbrewery chain, with multiple locations - very good beer, decent food - it is a pub - but nothing to write home about.

Dunns - first time at their new location off of St. Catherines street, and it is what it is - always busy, very good smoked meat and decent poutine - and yes I had to have an Export with it - perfect combination.

Fairmount Bagel - We walked everywhere while in Montreal, based out of the St. Paul Hotel (average spot in my opinion, needs some really good upper management to look after ensuring details are in order), so we walked and walked and walked some more, but Montreal is perfect for doing this. We figured over the 4 days we covered around 35-40 miles, but it all justified the pigging out we were doing - Anyway, this is all just explaining our long walk to Fairmont Bagel from our Hotel, and yes we would do it again!! I know Merlin has praised St. Viateur, but that was another distance itself, and we decided to settle on Fairmount. All I can say is it is possible to eat 6 warm bagels on a walk back to St. Paul Hotel - haha - fabulous bagels - Merlin, I need to find out where that great bagel shop is in Calgary???

La Garotte - located on a side street on the other side of the St. Paul Hotel - excellent food, I had the red deer medallions (more like chunks of loin), but everything was exquisite other than the service. Only 3 staff on for this decent sized spot and it was about 2 too few.

Reservoir - also located on Duluth, just around the corner from St. Laurent - highly recommened for everything - microbrew was very tasty (especially the Scotch Ale) and the Sunday Brunch dishes being served were amazing - would go back here week after week - highly recommended.

Papillon - on St. Paul st - very basic Italian fare, quick service - this was a default restaurant for us - several bus tours had shown up in Old Montreal about 30 minutes before we headed out, we were looking for pasta, and should have left the Old Montreal area, but had walked over 10 miles that day already, so went here - If the sign had said Spaghetti Factory on the door, the description would be the same - oh well!

Otherwise, Montreal was amazing, croissants were delicious everywhere, next time would stay in the St. Laurent/St. Denis area and enjoy the bounty of what is going in that area for food, drink and shopping.

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Tofino:

It is only 9:30 a.m. here and I am ravenous. I am sorry I missed Holder during my visit to Montreal although L'Express was delicious.

It certainly is a great walking city and that trekking does help given all the food. I took Sandy "home" once and our day consisted of steamed hot dogs and fries at the Montreal Pool Room and the Main, a stop at the Slovenia Meat Market en route to Schwartz' for smoked meat and then a stop on the balcony at Sir Winston Churchill's on Crescent for some vino....and then crash and burn back at the hotel.

My favourite Calgary bagel shop is Wayne's Bagels in Kensington on the main drag just before you get to the Safeway. I heard that it may be moving south on MacLeod Trail so check before you try to go the next time you are in "Cow Town". I was there over the week-end but too busy to stop....we were in the company of our 7 week old golden retriever pup Mystic who we acquired that morning from a breeder in Okotoks......

There are a couple of other bagel and smoked meat shops that Calgarians recommend that a post to the Western Canada list will be able to ID. So many Montrealers have moved to Calgary with a couple of the headquarter relocations.

Now I need to start planning my next visit to Montreal.

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...Now I need to start planning my next visit to Montreal...

there's also Garde Manger--what sounds like a very noisy, funky place in old montreal with great food, from what i hear. i've heard it referred to as 'the new Joe Beef', which is not to detract from Messieurs Morin and McMillan at all, but rather reflect favourably on them both i think... though they share no ownership or anything, i think that moniker is a reference to the laid back, yet extremely tasty food that leaves the kitchen...

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

--Isak Dinesen

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Fairmount Bagel - We walked everywhere while in Montreal, based out of the St. Paul Hotel (average spot in my opinion, needs some really good upper management to look after ensuring details are in order), so we walked and walked and walked some more, but Montreal is perfect for doing this. We figured over the 4 days we covered around 35-40 miles, but it all justified the pigging out we were doing - Anyway, this is all just explaining our long walk to Fairmont Bagel from our Hotel, and yes we would do it again!!  I know Merlin has praised St. Viateur, but that was another distance itself, and we decided to settle on Fairmount. All I can say is it is possible to eat 6 warm bagels on a walk back to St. Paul Hotel - haha - fabulous bagels - Merlin, I need to find out where that great bagel shop is in Calgary???

Actually, both shops are on the same street and almost face each other. If I'm not mistaking, there are 2 St-Viateur shop on Fairmount plus the café on Mont-Royal and another shop in the Esposito grocery on St-Michel.

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