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Jan 25, 2008 05:42 PM

Lunch near La Fontaine Park

Hi all again, I am having a business lunch on a weekday in the above mentionned area. I have it narrowed down to either Justine or Au 5e Peche. Before I make my final decision just wanted to check with the "experts" if there is somewhere else I should consider that is not more than 5-10 min (walking or car) in either direction from the park. Don't mention Au Petit Extra since I am not a fan of the place.

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  1. There are places that are closer by foot but not many that are open at lunch time. Pintxo is great for lunch and also Reservoir isn't too far away, probably the same distance as the two you mentioned. That said, I think Justine Bistro à Vin is a great choice.

    1. One of the closest is Le Poisson rouge, but I think recent reviews haven't been so hot. I ate there years ago and it was very good. Has it picked up again?

      It is a byow, specialised in fish of course, but there are other items. Would anyone know whether it has picked up again? It is right on the park, on Rachel.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lagatta

        I was there in the past year (forget exactly when now) and had an extremely disappointing meal. My salmon had a strange mushy texture as though it had been frozen and thawed poorly.

        1. re: eoj

          Yecch. I was hoping it had recovered - years ago I loved that little place (fish! and a byow! and a great view!) Pity.

      2. Probably too casual for a traditional business lunch but there's always Café Bicicletta in La maison des cyclistes (Rachel and Brébeuf, IIRC). Ditto La Maison des Pâtes Fraîches (865 Rachel East) and Miga (431 Rachel East).

        Unless they've changed their schedule recently, Le Poisson Rouge isn't open for lunch.

        1. While I can't vouch for it personally (haven't yet tried it), Le Pistou (corner of Mont Royal and Garnier) received a decent review from Ms. Musgrave in last week's Gazette (Jan 18th edition, I believe). Despite its location on the oft-uninspired Mont Royal strip, it seems a little less raucous, a little more refined.

          There's always Ma'am Bolduc (de Lormier and Marie-Anne) and while it's quite cozy and close to the park, it comes with the same caveat as Carwell's suggestions: perhaps too casual for a business lunch. But I would second the café at La Maison des cyclistes. They often have lovely (and lovely-priced) lunch specials. Had a delightful chilled lemon soup there last summer. But it's not fine (or even fine-ish) dining, if that's what the occasion demands.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lait cru

            Le Pistou is only open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, though.

            I haven't been there in a few years, and although I was never blown away by the food there, I was never disappointed either. It's a solid neighbourhood bistro.


            1. re: SnackHappy

              Seems the Gazoo has them open Mon-Fri at 11:30am. Unless they haven't updated their website, best to call, I guess. Thanks for a first-hand opinion on the food.

          2. I am thinking of going to Au Petit Extra with some friends but your comment gives me pause. Could you elaborate on what you don't like?

            8 Replies
            1. re: Plateaumaman

              Well, I went about 3 months ago for a business lunch. We had made reservations since it can get quite full and they were indeed. We waited a good 10 minutes before somebody even acknowledged we were standing there. They took us to our table and we were seated at a table which could easily seat 4-5 people. The bread basket was brought over and we were given the menus. Almost half an hour went by before we could get our waiter's attention to place our order. The host finally came over and kindly asked us if we would mind changing places since a party of 5 had arrived and there was no other place. We agreed and asked if we could order and be served promptly given the delay. He winked and told us that he would throw in something extra for our trouble. So we moved to a less confortable table and sure enough we were served within 10 minutes. The food was not memorable in any way. We had their daily special which happened to be some sort of vegetable autumn soup (good) and lamb chops as a main (which were way too fatty and gristly). The special also included coffee, which the host brought and told us that's what he was throwing in for us! I couldn't believe his nerve! We paid our bill and left. I didn't bother saying anything because I just don't care for any place that has such poor service and vowed never to return.

              1. re: hungryann

                Oh, that's good to know. Doesn't sound like the kind of service that suits me either. Thanks for taking the time to elaborate!

                1. re: Plateaumaman

                  I can't say that my experience at Au Petit Extra reflects that of hungryann. I've always gotten very friendly and efficient service there. I've only been there for dinner though, but I've always found it quite enjoyable. The food has been really good too.

                  1. re: SnackHappy

                    That seems like a rather odd review, given that there are no menus at Petit Extra - everything's written on the chalkboards. Are you sure you're not mixing it up with someplace else?

                    1. re: cherylmtl

                      You're right. We were not given menus, we chose from the blackboards. I did not recall this until you pointed it out but it was au Petit Extra and the rest I remember well!

                      1. re: hungryann

                        If I were you, I'd give the place another chance. I have never had that sort of service there, and was extremely surprised to hear that you had (I was hoping you had mixed up the restaurant with another one). But perhaps for dinner, not another business lunch, just in case ;-)

                        1. re: cherylmtl

                          As it turns out, I will be going there again!! That's why you should never say never, I guess. I just found out yesterday my colleague booked another meeting there. I will go with an open mind. Do you guys have any suggestions food-wise?

                          1. re: cherylmtl

                            Just went again today for lunch. The overall experience was better than last time. I had a swiss chard soup and a pot-au-feu with seafood provencal style. Both were good. The creme brulee was very good.Their service is not the greatest however; the waitress was a bit annoyed when we weren't ready to order when she came around and then it took a while for her to come back even though she could tell we were now ready. Anyhoo, a small gripe. At least the food was better this time and we had a pleasant lunch.