Toronto Wino & his Concubine hit Montreal this weekend
I don't normally post on the Montreal board, so I'll introduce myself...
I'm Jamie Drummond, Sommelier for the Jamie Kennedy restaurants in Toronto.
I am in Montreal this weekend (Friday night through Monday night)... and I would love some tips on where to go, as after being in Canada for 10 years I have never really had a trip to Montreal.
We are joining my good friend Sacha for dinner at Joe Beef on Saturday night, so that is sorted.
But the rest of my time is free.
We are staying in "new" Montreal (?) at Le Petit Prince... here: www.montrealbandb.com and would love some advice regarding reasonably priced boites and bistros (we are both on a budget this time!).
Also... I need some good bar recommendations... In Toronto I frequent the Communist's Daughter, The Crooked Star, Unit, The Gladstone and the Spoke Club.
So I tend to enjoy a place with lots of character and swathes of interesting people to watch.
Can't help with the bars -- my shadow darkens only wine bars -- but for a recent list of resto recs, look here www.chowhound.com/topics/400827#2576211 and follow the links to ...an endless banquet's listings.
Le Petit Prince is a great B&B. Too bad about the mostly razed block and the sad spectacle of the Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine house it faces, but they're easy to forget once you cross the threshold.
You will enjoy Joe Beef-you might ry and get up to BU on St.Laurent either for dinner or some wine and italian style tapas-a slightly simpler concept than JK wine bar,
You could also spend some time in Old Montreal-lots of great options there too-Holder on Mc Gill as a good atmosphere again for dinner or drinks.
re: montreal traveller
I followed a recommendation on this board recently and had an excellent lunch, 3 courses for $11.95, at Bistro Justine on St-Denis just north of Mont-Royal. Can't find that in TO. It's also a wine bar so that might (or might not) be interesting for you. Wine list is on their website.
Pintxo (Basque tapas)is very good and reasonable, also Reservoir on Duluth, Brunoise. Being kind of Plateau-centric but that is the 'hood with great food.
And you are going to Au Pied du Cochon, oui? Lots of character there, worth the money.
For restaurants you have already have some good recommendations. However, I would second the following: L'Express (for a true french bistro feel, as well you should ask for the second wine menu), Au Pied de Cochon (something of a Quebecois version of Joe Beef, though that doesn't come close to doing it justice) and Aszu (if you want to experience something with an old Montreal feel).
As for bars, if you go to BU you might wish to check out the trendy Mile End Club which is almost directly across the street. Judging from your list of bars the closest equivalents would take you much further south on St. Laurent. Maybe, start with GoGo Lounge (on St. Laurent between rue Prince Arther and ave. du Pins), check out the scene and maybe proceed a few steps north to Le Bifteck since you seem partial to dives. If you are still not satisfied continue north on St. Laurent hitting Blizzart, Jupiter room and Korova. By this point I would expect the rest of the evening to be a blur.
If you want to step out of your familiar element for lunch go to Schwartz's Deli for the smoked meat. It's full of character and the best smoked meat I've ever had. Mordecai Richler used to hang out there. I always bring a whole brisket back top Toronto. No wine, but hey you wouldn't want to ruin a good sandwich!
I agree about Au Pied-Get JK to pay the tab there, you'll return with some great ideas.
How about Greek seafood? One of the most enjoyable meals I've had in Montreal. Very fresh fish, you pick out your own. Can be pricy though. And not downtown.
Get some bagels at St Viateur to take home if you want to try traditional Montreal style bagels., Just a few blocks (I think) from Schwartzes. It's neat to watch them make the bagels.
You'll be going back.