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Apr 10, 2007 10:34 AM

Montreal Recs for a casual dinner

Some friends and I are coming to Montreal from Toronto in a few weeks and I was wondering if you folks had any recommendations for good, not overly expensive (mains up to low 20s but if there's a 5 buck wonder out there, please don't hesitate to post) food that is isn't too far from downtown. Type of cuisine doesn't matter too much and it wouldn't hurt if it's something that's not commonly found or all that good in Toronto. Thanks in advance.

I'm also looking for various street eats/counter places that I can nosh on while walking around the city that concentrates on local specialities or good "ethnic" fare.

Addendum: What are the prices like at Au Pied du Cochon? It's someplace I've wanted to go try.

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  1. inexpensive, ethnic in a walking neighborhood would be Boustan for middle eastern. It is on Crescent or de la Montagne, just north of de Maisonneuve. A small basement restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rooibus

      Moderately-priced French bistro and of course Québécois cuisine are much more common here; we also have large North African (Maghrebi) and Lebanese communities. And of course, you look like you are out for fun (which is great!) so don't forget that we have many, many restaurants where you can bring your own wine (and sometimes beer, but not hard stuff).

      Au Pied du cochon is considerably more expensive than the other places mentioned, but it could be the high point of your visit.

      A fun place (though not walkable from downtown, as it is in the northeastern Plateau) is Maam Bolduc, with good poutine, traditional dishes and modern twistes of same.

      You should read back over this board - you will find MANY topics relevant to what you are seeking.

    2. Here's an off-the-beaten-path recommendation:
      Bistro L'Express on St Denis.
      It's casual, but some go semiformal. The food is just very "typical" quebecois: daube, marrow bones, etc. No pretentions, just good Montreal francophone food.

      Google turns up this review:

      2 Replies
      1. re: bellywizard

        first : l'express is NOT off-the-beaten-path !!!! it must be the most recommended restaurant in montreal in every discussioin/forum/blog on the planet.

        second : the food is NOT typical québécois, it's french bistrot/brasserie type; we DO NOT usually eat daube and bone marrow in here ( but we like it nonetheless )

        1. re: Maximilien

          Well, at least bellywizard's link works. :)

      2. fine then - l'express is well known and isn't what montrealers eat every day.
        but it's great food, and certainly has a french culinary focus.
        it's worth a visit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bellywizard

          The point is that equating Québécois with French French is as erroneous as equating Canadian with British English.