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many suggestions for film festival week in Montreal needed

We are heading up from NY to Montreal for the film festival next Thursday-Tuesday (31 August – 5 September.) We will be staying at the Hyatt on Jeanne Mance (festival headquarters, right near the museum of modern art.) Neil and I are going, and we will be with (but not joined at the hip to) four other friends. We are unquestionably the chow hounds of the group; the others are somewhat more limited in both funds and adventurous taste buds, though only one is truly cautious. So far, we have only booked two dinners – Friday night at Brunoise for the two of us and Sunday night for all six at Au Pied de Cochon. We have been to both before and loved them. (PDC was a place we found via Chowhound, so thanks!) So that leaves room for 3 other dinners, 5 brunch/lunch outings and an unknown amount of cocktails/wine/coffee/bubble tea/ice cream, etc. etc. We are looking for:

1) An inexpensive, casual place near the hotel for Thursday night. Pizza or the like would be great. Basically, after the trip we doubt people will want to make any sort of production out of dinner, but we also don’t want to wind up eating lousy food court food.

2) A place or two for dim sum. Based on previous Chowhound recs we have tried Ruby Rouge before, and quite enjoyed it, especially the baby squid and salt shrimp, but we’re up for someplace new if there are other suggestions. We also went to (I think) Kam Fung once, but I think we were there too early, before the carts really got going en masse. So that might be worth a retry.

3) A place for lunch in the Old City, as we will probably spend an afternoon there. I saw the recommendation for Olive et Gourmando so that may be our choice there, but other recs are welcome.

4) Suggestions for a quick but tasty lunch in Jean Talon for Tuesday, when we will load up at Fromagerie Hamel before heading home. In the past we have just picked up this or that in the market and that has been fine, but we’re open to suggestions in case we’re missing something cool.

5) Suggestions for pre-dinner drinks, ideally not far from the hotel, or near the restaurant for that night. We would prefer that it not be a sports bar kind of place. We are all in our 30’s and drink choices range from a teetotaler to a homebrewer, the woman who only drinks Merlot to the couple with 50 cases of wine in the basement. If there is a place w/ drinks and good food, all the better.

6) Tapas or tapas-style food, fairly inexpensive if possible, so we can hopefully take advantage of the larger group to try 25 different things.

7) A good but not daring place for the rest of the group to go where we are at Brunoise. A good steak place, for instance, would probably be great.

8) Breakfast/brunch suggestions in the area, other than dim sum. (The guys really wanted to try a crepe place but we have never seen any, and I just read on here that they are passé.)

9) Places we might stop in mid-afternoon to sit for a bit during a break between movies (café, ice cream, bubble tea, etc.)

10) Any other places we’ll kick ourselves for missing!

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  1. 1)Amelio's a good pizza place about 15 mins walk fromt he hotel. Or Sur Bleury on Bleury south of René-Lévesque less than 10 mins from the hotel for soup and really good sandwiches.

    3)Olive et Gourmando is a very good option so is Chez l'Épicier or Garde Manger but I think that the latter is not open for lunch. Not sure.

    4)I'd say Petit Alep on Jean-Talon diagonal (to the east) from Hamel for syrian food of good quality a very reasonable price. or head to William J. Walter on the market for good euro sausage dog.

    5)Pullman is a wine bar on Parc just north of Sherbrooke that might satisfy everyone. A little bit further, on St-Laurent north of Laurier, Bu is probably Montreal's best wine bar with good apps.

    6)Pinxto would probably fit the bill.

    1. 3. Olive et Gourmando, Titanic, Cluny Art Bar

      4. I second Le Petit Alep, otherwise I'd suggest simply grazing at the market itself.

      5. Me, I'd just have drinks at APdC. Get the Cochonailles platter to go with. Don't tell your friends that there's pickled deer's tongue on the plate, just let em try it. ;)

      6. Tapeo, Ail Y'ail Y'ail, Pinxtos, La Sala Rosa

      7. I never thought I'd ever recommend Gibby's, but your less adventurous friends might like it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rcianci

        Actually, on my visit to APdC, pickled deer's tongue (yummy) was a separate appetizer. The cochonailles, as suggested by the name, were all pork-based. (And also yummy.)

        1. re: Mr F

          >>The cochonailles, as suggested by the name, were all pork-based.<<

          No doubt true when you were there but definitely not always the case. I've had cochonailles platters with deer tongue and chicken livers, among other non-porcine delights.

      2. 2) Kam Fung is pretty reliable for dim sum, but in my experience Ruby Rouge has a wider selection of dishes, at least on weekends. On a weekday, I'd take Kam Fung every time. There's also Lotte Furama on Clark St. and another place whose name always escapes me east of St-Laurent on de La Gauchetière. Only went once, and not very recently, so I can't say how it is.

        4) Jean Talon is still good for grazing, in fact probably better this year than last.

        And speaking of crepes, there is a crepe stand in the market. Not for breakfast, I know, but it's there.

        5) Cocktails for varied tastes: Café Méliès (3540 St-Laurent). Interesting by-the-glass wine options, various beers, full range of cocktails. Somewhat off your path, but not extremely so. The room is divided between lounge and resto. The resto is fairly highly regarded, though I haven't eaten there in a couple of years. Admittedly the decor is kind of pretentious-looking, but it's a good place to lounge over a drink.

        6)Tapas options abound, both classic Spanish-style and more adventurous, cheap eats to haute cuisine. Here I have to give you the infamous "do a search!" line.

        7) Make 'em line up at Schwartz's. They'll love you for it.

        1. 1) Café Lola Rosa (545 Milton) just a quick walk from your hotel in the McGill ghetto. Very tasty worlbeat food, some vegetarian dishes also. Nothing complicated, good healthy cheap eats.

          2) I like Kam Fung, but find Dim Sum in Montreal generally disapointing compared to Toronto or Vancouver...

          3) Olive & Gourmando (but be careful it is closed Sundays and Mondays) and I would also recommend Le Cartet on Mcgill College near Wellington.

          5) Definitely Pullman or if you want to try some interesting French Wines you could also try POP bar à vin on Pine Avenue and Laval. Both serve food but are wine bars.

          6) I still find the best authentic tapas are at Sala Rossa (a spanish club) but if you want something more refined and a little bit pricier try Pintxos on Roy and Laval.

          7) A french bistro like L'Express or Laloux would probably fit the bill. Both serve steak frites. I prefer the atmosphere at Laloux because I find the staff at L'Express a little too "Parisian attitude" (if you know what I mean...)

          9) Gelato at Pagliacci on Prince Arthur and if you want to treck up to the Mile End, I find the best gelato is at "Mile End gelati comme il faut" on Park avenue corner St-Viateur. The real deal italian gelateria, looks like nothing, has the worst name but tastes divine!

          10) Jolifou on Beaubien and Cartier. L'atelier On St-Laurent near Maguire. Both restauarnts are favorites of mine. Great food & atmosphere.

          1. Your message should be a lesson to posters who bemoan the fac that random "where should I eat when I'm in town" don`t get any responses. Thanks for doing your research first and asking specific questions! Now this is what chowhound should be about :-)

            Now for some specifics:

            2) I like Kam Fung for dim sum too. Perhaps it is worth another try!

            3) I will heartily endorse O&G for lunch in Old MOntreal. Chez L'épicier would be another good option.

            4) The suggestion for Le Petit Alep is a great one, but the market grazing often distracts me!

            5) A few posters have suggested wine bars - not sure if that responds to your request though. I agree that drinks at APdC is probably your best bet. As for the reccos, I'm not particularly a fan of either Pullman or POP. However, a visit to the Bu wine bar would be a great idea to add to your list.

            6) Comments on tapas places above: Tapeo (great food and atmosphere, a bit of an "in" place among francophone foodies at the moment), Ail Y'ail Y'ail (more casual portugese/brazilian/tabas - see comments elsewhere on the board), Pinxtos (basque-based, some chowhounds have found it a touch pricy, but I haven't been), La Sala Rossa (the cheapest option of the bunch - decor nothing to write home about, but the best value for money of the bunch - crowd is combination of Plateau hipsters on their way to a show in the hall upstairs, and spanish grandmothers settling in for the night with a deck of cards). Also - Le CLub Espagnol (again not strong on decor, but good vaalue for money, has a rooftop terrace in the back if it is warm enough, heavier on meat-based dishes than Sala Rossa)

            8) Yeah, I know you wanted in the area, but do try one day to hop in a cab and try Café Art Java on Mount Royal just east of St. Denis. Best coffee in the city, and lovely breakfast dishes as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sam Ottawa

              I'd put Sala Rosa (Rossa is upstairs), Club Espagnol and Ail Y'Ail Y'Ail in the same league price-wise, with perhaps a slight edge to the Club because of the generally larger portions. All three can be a very affordable night out, and all three can also turn expensive (Ail Y'Ail Y'Ail most easily). None will really please the wine-os in the group; if that's a concern, the somewhat pricier Casa Tapas should be on the list.

              I mostly agree with the descriptions, and would add: Club Espagnol is truly "old school" in every respect; Sala Rosa is a bit more adventurous food-wise but still firmly Spanish; Ail Y'Ail Y'Ail almost denies the existence of rules, and also has the most unconventional decor, and by far the smallest space, of the bunch.

              If you literally do want to try 25 different things, then definitely go with Sala Rosa, which has the combination of menu length and portion size to make that feasible for a group of 6. If you'd be happy with 2-3 selections per person, any of the places mentioned will do.