Montreal next weekend
Coming to Montreal next weekend - I've been a few times before, so I know some of the restaurants...but probably only select (touristy?) places.
I already want to go to L'Express on Saturday evening, as I've enjoyed it so much before.
Any other suggestions for:
*Brunch (I've heard Juliette et Chocolat is good for crepes????)
*a different casual dinner for Friday evening
*a wine bar with good Montreal vibe
I'm staying in the Holiday Inn just off Rene-Levesque, so recommendations downtown/old montreal, or midtown (st denis) would be good.
Here is a very nice place for a good but economical lunch at a local history museum in Old Montreal: http://www.pacmusee.qc.ca/pages/servi...
What kind of food do you like? I'm assuming French bistro is among your choices, due to L'Express. Any other favourites?
I think you are staying right in Chinatown, no?
It is good to narrow down the options as otherwise there are just too many. If you are staying at this Holiday Inn Select:
Holiday Inn Select Montréal Centre-Ville
Ideally located in downtown Montreal, just within Chinatown, the Holiday Inn Select Montreal Downtown is an Asian pearl in the heart of Montreal.
99 Viger Ave West
Montreal, QC H2Z 1E9
Phone: (514) 878-9888
Fax: (514) 878-6341
then you are just opposite the Champs-de-Mars métro on the orange line, and are also convenient to anything up Saint-Denis, up to the Jean-Talon market area, and including all of the Plateau...
Of course you will want to enjoy places you can walk in Old Montreal. I haven't eaten there, but friends have liked Restaurant du Vieux Port 39 rue St-Paul est. Montreal (Que) H2Y1G2 - that is just a short walk south (towards the river) from where you are staying.
Look back over the board - you'll find a lot of recommendations for Old Mtl, le Plateau, etc.
In the Frecnh bistro style (I think this where Montreal truly distinguishes itself) my picks are:
Au Pied de Cochon - 536, ave. Duluth E corner
Great Bistro atmosphere, and great unapologetically fattening bistro fare.
Au Petit Extra - 1690, rue Ontario E corner Papineau
I haven't been here in a while but until 1.5 years ago you could always count on good food, wine list and service.
Are you travelling here alone, or with your partner or friend(s)? Not to be nosy, but if there are at least two of you, Montréal is also very well known for the large number of bring-your-own-wine (apportez votre vin) places, making it possible to enjoy a much nicer bottle than you'd be likely to spring for. Just google montreal apportez votre vin or byo - there are many lists.
In every way, but especially vibewise, BU is city's best wine bar. www.bu-mtl.com
Brunch options have been covered extensively in recent threads. The short list: Le Cartet, Olive & Gourmando, Réservoir, Byblos, Leméac. The first two are the closest to you, though O&G is closed Sundays.
Bistros are indeed one of the things that make this city special. Au Petit Extra, Leméac, Le Continental, Holder and probably the new Laloux are great but a bit too similar in scope and scale to L'Express to make them top reccos. Head instead to one of the intimate neighhbourhood joints: Le Jolifou, La Montée de Lait, Au Cinquième Péché, Les Trois Petits Bouchons, L'Atélier, Cuisine et Dépendence, Jun-i, M sur Masson, Le Bouchon de Liège, Brunoise, La Gaudriole, Cocagne, Halte Urbaine, etc. Again, all have been discussed on this board.
Nice suggestions so far as far as I can tell!
I'm traveling with my ladyfriend - and yes I'd definitely be interested in a BYO wine restaurant - something that's rare in Toronto, and I have a couple of nice bottles that I could bring along! So that's a good suggestion.
Is Au Pied de Cochon similar to L'Express, or different? I've read a lot about Cochon but don't just want two similar meals at two similar places. If its different enough, I'd still try to hit both of these places.
L'Express is like a classic Parisian bistro. Au Pied de Cochon is a temple to the Gods of Wretched Excess and a prime meeting place of PETA (People for the Eating of Tasty Animals). APdC does some of old the bistro classics, but puts its own, over the top, spin on them. They serve onion soup, for instance, but they make it with pork stock and rousse beer, then add bacon along with the onions, croûtons and cheese. Also I find the atmosphere is noisier and livelier at Au Pied than at L'Express.
There was a great report on Au pied du cochon in the famous Gourmet issue devoted to Montréal. I'm not meat-centred enough to appreciate that type of cookery, but friends who are rave about it. It is more "Québécois" than L'Express, which is very much Parisian - though of course well-integrated into the Montréal scene.
As for PETA, it would be funny to set a film in Au pied du cochon and Aux vivres, the hardline vegan resto also on the Plateau... (At least Chuchai serves booze...).
I do make my onion soup with dark beer - St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout - usually with a meat stock, but I can make a quite decent version based on it for vegetarian guests.