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$$7.5 million us sales, 65 seats


davidkemp
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Sorry davidkemp, but I think that is complete bullshit.

I have been to over 250 restaurants in this city and I wouldn't call any of them reproductions of great American restaurants. We are a major gourmet type town with our own homegrown chefs and our own style of cuisine.

Quebec boasts over 300 varieties of cheese and countless other excellent ingredients. Ever heard of Dennis Ferrer? Or Mr. Daignault? Where do you think Alain Ducasse and Daniel Boulud go to buy their friggin' foie gras. HERE!

Also I know many terrific chefs who have chosen to locate here. I happen to live with one of them who decided to stay in this city precisely because he wasn't limited here. You want to talk limited, check out France.

Posts like yours set us back further than you can imagine. If you don't think this city has a good enough gourmet scene for you, maybe you should relocate. I, for one maybe, am enormously proud of the food scene in this city. I write about it every week, and I never, ever run out of topics.

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we are not a gourmet type of town,and the restaurants that are here are reproductions of great american restaurants

I couldn't disagree more with either claim.

Gourmet consciousness is as high here as anywhere in North America. Indeed, as far as the food and wine awareness of the general populace goes, I don't think there's another city on the continent that comes close to Montreal. There are very few neighbourhoods in this city where you can't set out on foot and in an hour or two have bought, say, a guinea hen or rabbit, a fine raw milk cheese, an excellent baguette and a good bottle of wine. Although you can do that in parts of New York and San Francisco, you can't do it in all but the poorest neighbourhoods.

How you arrive at the conclusion that Montreal eateries are carbon copies of the great American restaurants is beyond me. Please provide examples. Sure there are some copies (personally, I'd put all the local steakhouses in that category) but the real restaurants -- Toqué!, Les Chèvres, Chez l'épicier, Au Pied du Cochon, Anise, Chronique, to name only six I'm familiar with -- are wholly original, terroir-driven reflections of their chefs and their home turf. No less a "great American" chef than Charlie Trotter has said as much about Toqué!, by the way.

If there is a copy-cat problem in Montreal, it's a self-referential one. There are so many great bistros (you know, try as they might, nobody in the States has succeeded in copying the L'Express model) and so few great ethnic eateries. Yet that probably has more to do with language and culture than anything else. Which leads directly to your next point...

..not to many good chefs will relocate to montreal due to the the fact that they are limited here.

I hope some of our chef-eGulleters chime in. But my impression is that, except for a few chefs who are interested in running a money-is-no-object-we're-going-for-three-stars kind of joint, you're wrong. First, Montreal has lots of excellent chefs. Montreal's reputation as a food city rests mainly on their shoulders. Second, a number of our chefs are immigrants, have relocated from other parts of the province, from other parts of Canada, from abroad. Sure, the French fact is dissuasive to some; it's also an inducement to others (do the names Nicolas Jongleux and Christophe Geoffroy ring a bell?). And, sure, the community is tight-knit and hard to break into. But, really, where isn't that true? Third, many chefs don't consider the lack of megabucks a drawback or a limitation so much as a challenge. That very attitude is one of the things that makes Brunoise one of Montreal's great buys.

Edited by carswell (log)
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15 million tourists seems high to me, where did you get this figure carswell?

The 15 million is davidkemp's figure, cook-em-all. I agree it seems high. Anyway, the actual number is not relevant to my arguments.

How 'bout this question, what are the top ten food cities in North America?

Food City being defined as a city with many choices of great restaurants.

I have a problem with your definition. Maybe it's because I'm an avid home cook, but food shopping – for raw materials but also for prepared foods like bread and cheese – is as central to my definition of food city as the number of good restaurants. Of the North American cities I'm familiar with (i.e. where I've spent time eating out and cooking in), New York, San Francisco Bay area and Seattle would make the cut, along with Montreal. Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington and Raleigh wouldn't (which isn't to say that they don't have some great food). But what do I do with a small city like Santa Fe, which probably has more restos per capita than Montreal (several of them very good, none of them consistently great), which has limited access to top-quality French ingredients but which has plentiful access to stupendous local ingredients (chiles, blue corn) and a traditional cuisine as unique as it is delicious?

What's on your list? (Or is this topic creep?)

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relax everyone,we are not talking about food cities,i started a topic about a restaurant that does $7 million a year with 65 seats.why is there no such restaurant in montreal like that? .toque ,anise ,chevres ,copies of the thomas keller ,charlie trotters and many others who start food trends,everyone else follows .at the moment everyone is deconstucting.another thing is the internet alot of chefs have acess to it ,makes it easier to get ideas .years ago you had to actualy visit a restaurant to actualy know what there up to.the only world renowed restaurant in montreal that started something is schwartz. no where else in the world could you you get what he has exept maybe georges smoke meat in laval.and out of the 250 restaurants that lesley has reviewed how many actualy made the top list and are they still around.maybe you should pick up kellers book and see the similarities for yourself.i have been allover the world but montreal is still my home and i love it for what it is.and as for restaurant in montreal hitting $10 million canadian with a 65 seats it will never happen here.

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montreal does not have the big spenders it should have .montreal has a lot of flash and the people are more frugal than most big cities.

I’m a bit confused. You state that Montreal lacks “big spenders” and that Montrealers are “frugal”, but you seem to agree that you do not need to spend a lot of money to enjoy a great meal in Montreal. Does that make Montrealers frugal or shrewd?

What exactly IS a big spender? Is it someone who overpays for the sake of overpaying? I suspect it would not be someone who eats in Ville St. Laurent and pays half what they would pay at Milos. Does that make you frugal or shrewd? Or, does it mean that despite what you write, your actions support what just about everyone else is saying on this thread. That is, Montreal has a diverse, exciting and unique restaurant scene and its dining crowd need not overspend to enjoy great meals.

Anthony - aka "unreserved"

"Never eat at a place called 'Moms', but if the only other place in town has a sign that says 'Eats', go back to Moms."

W. C. Fields

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That is a very imperialistic view on food and it is, in my books, one of the worst offense a foodie can make... This thread is so funny, I think someone confused their wallets for a super size wopper...

Imperialistic, shrimperialistic. What this city needs is an ace chef. Then we'd hold all the aces. We'd ace the food city sweepstakes. Ace, see, ID?

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well said carswell.montreal is a great city with good food ,you could live here if your poor or rich unlike many other big cities,but we are not a gourmet type of town,and the restaurants that are here are reproductions of great american restaurants..not to many good chefs will relocate to montreal due to the the fact that they are limited here.

This has to be the most inane, uninformed comment that I have read on my admittedly short but extensive one year of eGullet involvement. Is there a way that one can filter out the particular bullshit of certain members?

Let me not take away from the many wonderful restaurants in NY, San Fran, Chicago and several other US cities, but the home of McD's and the $3.99 all you can eat buffet is hardly a standard for any food loving person any where. This comment is an insult to a city where I would venture to guess that people as a rule spend more of their disposable income on food and restaurants than any other city in N. America (this is educated speculation and not born out by research).

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Speaking of dollars, I am guessing everyone read the crackdown that is going on today in the offices of Le Globe, le Buena Notte, le Shed Café, le Café République et le Cafeteria Concept Stuart... There is apparently a really nioce software on the cash machine...6 million has been erased according to La Presse. Shed I am not very suprised, the others I dunno, are they all owned by the same folks ?

Let the drama begin...

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ah the infamous "zapping" software rears its' ugly head again....

Same thing happened at the Nickels chain a few years back.

I guess will confuse those who think that all the restaurants on St. Laurent are there to launder cash rather than pocket it!

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Let me not take away from the many wonderful restaurants in NY, San Fran, Chicago and several other US cities, but the home of McD's and the $3.99 all you can eat buffet is hardly a standard for any food loving person any where.

:blink:

This thread full of snipes and the "near" personal attacks are a riot. Opinions are grand, no?

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Speaking of dollars, I am guessing everyone read the crackdown that is going on today in the offices of Le Globe, le Buena Notte, le Shed Café, le Café République et le Cafeteria Concept Stuart... There is apparently a really nioce software on the cash machine...6 million has been erased according to La Presse. Shed I am not very suprised, the others I dunno, are they all owned by the same folks ?

Let the drama begin...

Since I am not in Montreal, I have not read this. Please clarify.

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Whadayaat? I always tend to wade in on these discussions with a smile......I think that there is far too much emphasis in the culinary culture of some to focus on elite stereotypes...who has the best food and the attendant name dropping....in my exp many a great city, town and roadside cafe can offer great food as long as I find it so.

I think Montreal, Toronto, the US, the world, or any other such place will have great food along with great chefs at whatever level...I often wonder in all of these critiques how much time is really given to the food....

I consider fine dining (if I may use that phrase) to be an often over rated exp anyways...more about commodity production (whether it be in the numbers, the status of a name, or any other factors that focus on elitism of a market share).

In my experience (and no I have not had the exp to eat at many of the places mentioned) great food is simply about the cooking...dining exp is another game altogether....in working with many big names I have come to realize that in essence the cult of the personality takes center stage....all those grunts doing the cooking get little notice.....albeit quite often a Thomas Keller, David Mac or a Susur deserve the credit due but there is room for understanding what it takes to put out great food anywhere, anytime.....freddychef

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good food could be had anywhere in montreal ,but the only restaurants mentioned here are the toques ,chevres ,anise ,in a city where theres thousands of them.99%of the local population cannot afford to eat at these establishments,80%of the these people will cook at home ,maybe even better food than they would find in any one of these restaurants,we are a diverse multiethnic community with a lot of great home cooks .i saw a couple of posts knocking the baton rouges and the guidos in the city ,one member went as far as saying that his kids would not even eat that junk.we should start talkin more about the little neighbourhood restaurants that offer great food at reasonable prices.i was at guidos and angelinas for lunch the other day ,i had the suckling pig,it was excellent and it was under $20.as for hidding revenues from the goverment it is common practice in restaurants or else they would close down .very few restaurants pay their taxes ,suppliers ,landlords on time.montreal has one of the biggest bancrupt rates in restaurants.

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You make some strong points davidkemp. I would love to be able to aford to eat in some of the "top" restos and you can bet that as soon as my ship comes in, I will. But in the meantime, I have had some very nice food at some of the little palces around town. A teammate of mine invited our entire team to her place for a full Indian dinner last summer and believe me, I would pay to eat her food again.

On the other note, I wonder how many other restos/small businesses are getting a little nervous...Once things reach the "shakedown" stage, you know they've been watching you for awhile...

Edited by jersey13 (log)
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i saw a couple of posts knocking the baton rouges and the guidos in the city ,one member went as far as saying that his kids would not even eat that junk.we should start talkin more about the little neighbourhood restaurants that offer great food at reasonable prices.

Montreal does indeed have thousands of excellent and inexpensive restaurants in addition to a number of restaurant chains where crap is sold for high prices. If I am not mistaken you started the thread to see if there were any restaurants doing stratosheric numbers a la FL rather than to ask about good inexpensive local eateries.

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thats right jersey there are no restaurants in town that do those numbers,why is another story.has nothing to do with ship coming in or having lots of money,people have lots of money by not going to places like that.i personaly spend $30 thousand per year in restaurants not because i like eating there but because my clients demand it ,its a status thing and i will do anything to keep them happy .

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thats right jersey there are no restaurants in town that do those numbers,why is another story.has nothing to do with ship coming in or having lots of money,people have lots of money by not going to places like that.i personaly spend $30 thousand per year in restaurants not because i like eating there but because my clients demand it ,its a status thing and i will do anything to keep them happy .

If you don't mind me asking, what do you do? :smile: What I'd give for a 30K resto budget! :raz: (What I'd look like is another story!) :laugh:

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pharmaceutical sales,doctors love eating out at fancy places .majoritie of requests is for bice .another factor in french laundry sales is wine ,diners in montreal will never crack open a petrus or a vintage cheval blanc altough some could afford it.the only time you see big cheques in montreal is when movie stars and drug czars are in town.

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This thread is getting confusing. The originator started it to talk about the huge volume done by C. Trotter. At some point he made the statement that

"the restaurants that are here are reproductions of great american restaurants..not to many good chefs will relocate to montreal due to the the fact that they are limited here."

I think the vast majority of informed eG participants would take exception to that statement. Do you not think that Ducasse and his team did their research in choosing Montreal as its only N.American location outside of the ultra-world class restaurant scene in NYC? As the well informed Lesley C. indicated, certain Quebec food producers are generating products that are the envy of other regions.

Where else in N.America would you find a city with a population of about Montreal’s size where Carswell could have written (and hopefully continues to write) as wonderful a piece on his search for the ultimate confit de canard, with as many alternatives in the mix? (BTW prepared the Belanger offering on Sunday past and had the family clamoring for seconds).

The discussion then switched to the fact that the vast majority of Montrealers cannot afford Anise, les Chevres or Toque.

What’s up? Which restaurants are “reproductions of great american restaurants?” Is it the upper end three mentioned above (A, les C, T) or the ones that Montrealers can afford? If it’s the former I would like to know what American ones they are modeled after. I travel to the U.S. quite a lot and I’d love to add some interesting alternatives to what can be a dull scene. While you are at it what American restos have Milos and les Caprices de Nicolas been cloned from?

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