Help in narrowing down Montreal options
Montreal Chowhounders were so helpful to us in April, (thanks especially to Carswell and rcianci!) that we’re looking for your help again for our trip next week. We’re bringing foodie friends who haven’t been to Montreal before. We’ll be in town Friday through Sunday, so will have 2 dinners, and 2 or 3 lunches. Last time, we loved Au Pied du Cochon and Les Infidels. We got a wonderful picnic lunch at Olive and Gourmando. This time, after checking the board, we’re also considering the following:
Au Petit Extra
We’ll probably return to APDC for one of the dinners, since it’s such a uniquely Quebec experience. What would be a great choice for the other dinner, something different from APDC in atmosphere and menu. Which places would be best choices for lunch? We’re also hoping to visit the Jean Talon market, so a lunch stop near there would be excellent.
Also, any recommendations for a place to listen to good music (jazz or local flavor) and have a drink or cocktail?
We’ll be staying near Parc LaFontaine, and we’re looking forward to walking to most places, but we will have a car.
I ate at three of those places....Yoyo, les Héritiers et le petit extra. This last one is not BYOW. It was good in the past, but it is more bistro and more noisy. The food is not as good as the two first. Yoyo is definitely the better one. I had ...I'm sorry I don't know the words in English...it is called "ris de veau" with a foie gras sauce. They were the best I had. Don't be taken back by "ris de veau", I think it is the liver part, my father had "cerf". My mother had a crab salad as an appetizer. I had a "cerf" tartare as an appetizer. And you bring you wine. It had been a couple of years since we had gone there and we wondered why it had been so long. You got to have their "gâteau beauceron" as a dessert. Les Héritiers was good but not worth the stop. I would go to L'os or au pied de cochon before.
Ris de veau is sweetbreads and it's not liver, I do believe it's a gland that is mostly made out of proteins. :-)
As for food options in and around Marché Jean-Talon. There are plenty. Petit Alep is a very good spot. You could also try Trattoria da Noi for homey italian cooking. But if you really want to live marché Jean-Talon, you could just buy veggies and fruits as well a great bread, cheese from any of the merchants and cold cuts. By the way, there's a Iles-de-la-Madeleine kios in front of the Veau de Charlevoix store that sells a prosciutto type of ham to die for. Many places also sell prepared goods ready to go like baguette hot-dogs, calamari, charbroiled chicken skewers and many more.
Near Jean-Talon, you could try Au Petit Alep, a Syrian resto that has delicious, affordable food.
Petit Alep, 191, rue Jean-Talon Est, Montréal, (514) 270-9361
There are also countless Vietnamese places nearby (one on the Northwest corner of Jean-Talon and St. Denis is especially good). If you don't mind a lack of atmosphere you can have some nice meals there.
Of course, since you will be right in Little Italy, there are a lot of Italien places around... perhaps someone else can recommend a good one?
Your options are all good ones and I'm sure your guests won't be disappointed by any of them.
As you may know, Les Héritiers, Yoyo and À L'Os are BYOs. All serve well-executed french-inspired fare. Le Petit Extra is not BYO, but has an interesting menu, and I've often brought out-of-town guests (I'm an ex-Montrealer, and still consider myself a local)there to good reviews.
Brunoise is one of my favourites though. Dinner is Table d'Hôte, and I've never failed to experience superior service and delicious food. Prices have gone up since they originally opened (justifiably, but unfortunately), but it remains a "must" for me, and is still excellent value (39-50 for the 3 courses). Don't let the Table d'Hôte menu scare you away - you can check it out in advance: http://www.brunoise.ca/
As for lunches, O&G is a favourite in Old Montreal, and Le Petit Alep is a great suggestion near Jean-Talon. You could also combine your market trip with a visit to Little Italy.
At this time of year, Jean Talon Market is a lunch destination in itself.
Breaded Gaspé scallops or cod from the stand across from Les Volailles du Marché, corn on the cob from various places, charcuterie from the Iles de la Madeleine (stand on the north end of the new section -- they seem to have kidnapped a master Italian or perhaps Spanish charcutier), heritage/organic tomatoes from the adjacent stand, cheese from Qui Lait Cru or Hamel, ice cream or sorbet from Havre aux Glaces, fresh berries from more or less everywhere, sausages and other grilled foods from various places, the list goes on...there are picnic tables available though it can be tough to find a place to sit if you're there at a busy time.
Also in the market, Le Tartarin generally has some interesting fare. Lately they've been serving the same special every time I've walked by: cuisse de canard confit on a bed of mesclun with new potatoes, served with an excellent lentil soup. Just $9, which is about the price of the duck alone in a store.
For a breakfast (or brunch, rather) right close to Parc Lafontaine (just west of it), I highly recommend L'Anecdote as a lovely neighbourhood option. They also serve burgers made with all sorts of game meat.
801, rue Rachel Est,
Montréal, QC H2J 2H7
Tel. : 514-526-7967