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Three days in Montreal - need help cutting down choices.

I'll be in Montreal for three days and there are way too many good recommendations on this board and too little time to try all. Please help me cut down some of the choices. I am extremely picky about food so I'd appreciate good food critics to give me some good opinions.

Brunch/Lunch: Le Jardin Nelson, Lemeac, la chronique (should i do dinner instead?), Reservoir
Dinner: Les chevres, la chronique, Brunoise, club chasse et peche

Or, I can perhaps save Lemeac for after 10 pm where they serve two plates for 22 dollars?

I know I am also missing plenty of great restaurants, but I'd love to hear more suggestions on what else to add and what I should take out of my list.

Merci beaucoup en avance.

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  1. I just checked..most of the restaurants i listed are not open on Sunday! So, I am deciding between Bonaparte and Lemeac for dinner. Which one should I pick?

    1. I went to Bonaparte often a couple of years ago and it was exquisite back then. It was more a traditional french restaurant, but the quality was excellent and the restaurant's decor was romantic. It was not a hip crowd. It was more a couple's crowd and quiet people. I think Lemeac is more trendy, but it depends what you want. If you want quiet and romantic, Bonaparte is the place.

      I would skip Le jardin Nelson if I were you or go only to have a drink. It is a nice place in terms of decor but the food is a tourist's trap I think.

      La chronique is really expensive, so you could save a bit of money there by going to lunch instead of dinner. Lunch is often the way to go for expensive restaurants.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cricri7

        Thanks cricri. Bonaparte does look more stuffy.
        I have revised my list and added a bunch of breakfast places:

        Breakfast: Beauty's, reservoir, Tutti Frutti
        Lunch: La chronique, au petit extra, l'express
        Dinner: Les Chevres, Brunoise, Lemeac
        Juliette et chocolat for dessert

        I wonder if I can eat that much for a weekend. :)
        What do you all think?

      2. my suggestions are
        BYBLOS or RESERVOIR for breakfast
        Lemeac for dinner

        1. Tutti Frutti is a chain. Its not very impressive. If you are heading towards Mount Royal for Beauty's, you may want to consider L'Avenue (about 10 blocks east of Beauty's). They have a great brunch. Lemeac and Brunoise are both great-you can't go wrong.

          1. The bad thing about l'Avenue are the long lines and the crowded place. It is expensive and not worth it I think. Beauty's would be a much better choice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cricri7

              Funny thing is I heard similar complaints about Beauty's. let's cut the pear in half and send her to Byblos on Laurier East.

            2. "Or, I can perhaps save Lemeac for after 10 pm where they serve two plates for 22 dollars?"

              Two plates? Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but the 22h special menu gives you a choice of an appetizer and a main (from a limited menu) for 22$. I hope that's what you meant by "two plates". Regardless, it's a wonderful choice and an excellent bargain at that price.

              As for breakfast, there's a whole slew of places to go. Beauty's is definitely a landmark. The diner experience is great, but I've been let down by the food in my most recent visits, finding the dishes not worth their price tag. After all, diner style eggs and bacon are diner style eggs and bacon. The cheese blintzes were great when they were made in house, but I believe they're serving pre-prepared frozen blintzes now.

              Avenue sells very substantial breakfasts, but be prepared to wait, especially for brunch on weekends. Either is ok - but you may try some off the beaten 'breakfast' path. Vaudeville on Bernard has decent benedict. La Petite Ardoise has a nice brunch menu on Laurier, with an outdoor patio in the back. Senzala has a more exotic Brazilian take on brunch (which is too rich for me) but some folks I know just love it. And of course, as mentioned already Byblos is a solid option for brunch, but don't expect an "eggs and bacon" style meal.

              4 Replies
              1. re: grillit

                My two cents on Beauty's and L'Avenue: there are far better alternatives to both of them.

                Beauty's: yes it is an institution, but the lines are far too long for my morning nosh. Go around the corner on St. Laurent to Bagels etc. Fantastic kitch atmosphere, and hollandaise to die for.

                L'Avenue - again, long lines. How do people stand there with their stomachs grumbling, minus their caffeine-jolt no less. L'Anecdote, Art Java, and Petite Marche are all fantastic alternatives in the neighbourhood, and don't involve an agonizing wait.

                On the other hand... perhaps we should stop telling people about these places, lest the lines get long there too!

                1. re: Sam Ottawa

                  Caffe Art Java is one of my favourites too and it's got delicious sandwiches for lunch. I'd rather tell people about it than not, so that it stays in business. Chez Jose is a nice little place for breakfast/brunch that feels more local and less tourist than L'Avenue. I'm also a big fan of the St-Viateur Bagel Cafe.

                  1. re: eoj

                    No worry about Caffe ArtJava staying in business. In fact, they're getting ready to open a second location, this one downtown on corner of University and Président Kennedy. It's also worth noting that they serve up a good breakfast, along with the best lattes in town. Who needs L'Avenue?

                    1. re: carswell

                      I've had breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and just coffee at Caffe Art Java and all have been delicious and affordable. The only thing I haven't liked is the bread pudding included with the lunch special. Fortunately I didn't care much because the whole meal was so filling I wasn't really hungry for a dessert anyways. If you are, go for one of the desserts in the case instead.

              2. tutti fruitis is no worse than beauty's
                aint that the truth

                1. For an Old Montreal brunch, don't overlook Le Cartet.


                  1. Thanks everyone for their helpful comments. I'm gonna go for Le cartet and reservoir for brunch!