12 Days in MTL
I have 12 days in MTL for business. Below is my dining plan of action as yet so far. A good deal of it is based on my student days at McGill and my favorite restaurants from that time. Some additional suggestions are appreciated. Particularly some more stuff in the old port as that is where my conference is. Also anything Kosher and decent. Thanks.
Your comments are truly interesting. But I think a few of missed the point that I used to live in Montreal so some of the restaurants I put on the above list are pure Nostalgia and I have eaten at all of the numerous. As for breakfast I really like Beauty's, I find cosmo's way to greasy. Beauty's has yummy fruit shakes and fantastic homemade soup, plus during the week there is no one, I wouldn't be caught dead there on Saturday morning however. As for Gibby's I really prefer it to Le Keg, for business dinners it is a perfect place. The advantage to Gibby's is that they have a solid fish menu and decent steak which makes everyone happy. As for the Kosher I need to take a client out, so I will look into you suggestions. That being said I find El Morocco pretty mediocre compared to the real deal. As for Holder being better than L'Expresse maybe times have changed.
Café Santé Véritas on St-Laurent just south of Notre-Dame for the city's best espresso and healthy breakfasts and lunches.
Cluny Art Bar for lunch on weekedays or dinner on Thursdays.
Olive + Gourmando for breakfast and lunch.
Club Chasse et Pêche for high-end dining (much better than Gibby's or Remparts).
For kosher, hop the metro to Snowdon station and head west on Queen Mary to Chez Benny. The city's only wow-worthy falafel, great hummus, awesome kefta on laffa, excellent salads, etc.
While the draw may that it's an old haunt, there are better bistros than L'Express. Holder (in Old Montreal), Leméac, Au Petit Extra, Cocagne, etc., not to mention the neighbourhood bistros like Au Cinquième Péché, Les 3 Petits Bouchons, etc. Ditto (only even more so) Chez Gauthier.
I second Chez Benny on Queen Mary. I find their baba ghanoush outstanding. And their falafel is made the way & size a falafel should be - not golf ball sized! Also further east on Queen Mary (ie below Decarie) are a few other Kosher restos - Exodus & another that escapes me but they open & close so frequently in that 1-2 block area, I'm not sure anymore. There's also El Morocco for Kosher but haven't been there in eons. And do not forget the city's best strictly kosher bakery - Cheskies on Bernard just below Parc. Skip Beauty's since they are mediocre at best & imho only good for reminiscing about how few breakfast spots there used to be. About Café Santé Véritas - I've passed by a few times on a Saturday but they have not been open. Carswell - any idea about their opening/closing hours & weekends?
Have only been to Véritas on weekdays but have been told they're open on weekends. In fact, a recent query about barista Anthony's current schedule elicited the response that he was there on M, W, F, Sa and Su but left early on weekends. What time did you go by? And did you actually walk up and tug on the door (the place often looks deserted from street level)?
If you can, go to Montreal North and try Ciociaro, they make their own sandwiches, bake their own bread and make their own xangos, which are to die for. It's run by an italian family and the camaraderie is great, the ambiance relaxed, a perfect place for lunch.
8868 Langelier, St Leonard
Tel: 514 - 324 - 3700
I would also recommend Les Trois Petits Bouchons for their food, choice of wines and northern French food.
4669 St. Denis Street
The young owners work the room themselves, are knowledgeable and witty, it is a wine bar also, you can sit with others and chat about wine selections, another great thing about them is theirs wines are mostly bio-cultured wine, which means they don't have the standard wine list, but quite satisfying when I went and they know how to pair it with their meals.
Les Trois Petits Bouchons
4669 St. Denis Street
Other's will probably tell you to forgo Gibby's, I probably would, but I honestly believe that it is important to try restaurant ourselves before deciding if we would return or not.
For simple fun, an not a foodie restaurant perhaps, but truly great for ambiance and steak is The Keg on St Paul, down at the old port, anyhow, good luck and please tell us about it when you can!
I would skip Beauty's (overrated, long lineups) and go to Byblos for an amazing Persian breakfast instead - incredible homemade jams, delicate rosewater-scented eggs. (Or if you don't mind low-brow, head to Cosmos in NDG for amazing hash brown potatoes and incomporable local atmosphere)
My Byblos link disappeared - it's at 1499, avenue Laurier Est - 514-523-9396
Cosmos Snack Bar
5843 Rue Sherbrooke W, Montreal, QC H4A1X4, CA