Quartiers Gourmands 2007/8 publication
I picked this edition up from my recent visit to Chez Vito (thank you Carswell). Do any of you have it and which stores have you recently visited, recommend and why?
By the way, I recently asked you all for "More Informal Eating in Montreal"; we were out-and-about at the weekend and I didn't have the list, so having called the likes of Au Pied who like many others don't open until the evening, and having swung passed Joe Beef which was also closed (from the outside it looked permanently closed), I then remembered I had read about Reservoir on Duluth. A long story short, I was really pleased to see that Reservoir was not one of the places you recommended (but I could have sworne I'd seen it somewhere as a recommendation). Having spent 3 days finding a parking spot, then going into a grungy and dirty (tetanus recommended after visiting loo) small room where there was barely elbow room, we walked out having laughed about the $10 they wanted for an omelette.
Where in this town can we hang out, have a beer, spirit or wine, over some good, but informal food, shooting the breeze? Is it not common here to service liquor, beer and wine in the same establishment, and do eateries generally not open for lunch at the weekend? Anyone been to Brazil and visited Fogo de Chao? (If you've been to Brazil, you'll know this place). If you have, where can we go here for similar service, opening hours and standard of fare?
We finally ended up in Clyde's (nearer to home and recommended by someone near home [Beaconsfield]) which is a bar and just way, way too American/Canadian (quilted jackets, baseball caps, 25 TVs playing sport, 3 guys propping up the bar glued to said TVs and wooden food). Carswell, Moh, Maximillien - shout out a place we can visit this weekend and we'll check it out and get back to you next week.
I can't address most of your questions, but I can help with a few. Most of those type of restaurants (Joe Beef, Au Pied) are closed for lunch on weekends - many are not open for lunch at all. That's not at all uncommon. Clyde's, on the other hand, is going to be more like what you will, unfortunately, find by sticking in Beaconsfield. But if you weren't crazy about looking for parking around Reservoir, and thought it dirty, I'm not sure how happy you'll be with a lot of Chow favourites. You could try Bouchonne - good food, but mostly wines. Certainly enjoyable for weekend lunch/brunch, IMHO, and a wee bit easier to find parking nearby.
Traveller, it is hard to answer all your questions at once, it may be easier to focus the thread on Quartiers Gourmands or brunch on weekend. For the Quartier Gourmands publication, you could do a search on this board for specific places that interest you, and you may find threads that discuss these establishments already. Also, if you are particularly intrigued by a place, feel free to start a thread specifically on that place, and you may get more useful info. Personally, I love that book, and love exploring many of the places listed.
Re: Brunch on weekend, you might really like Lemeac (excellent french bistro, and a good selection of drinks). I think you will like the atmosphere much more that Reservoir. Here is a recent thread:
Here is another thread on Gourmet Lunches, but I notice that most of them offer only on weekdays. Still, you can check and see if they are also open on weekends, most of these places have websites. There is a link in the middle of the thread to an article in the MOntreal Gazette which nicely lists the best gourmet lunch deals, well worth keeping.
If you are near Little Italy and Jean-Talon, you might like Cafe International, their specialty is expresso, but they do lovely pasta and lunch specials, you might like this place (on St. Laurent). They are definitely open on the weekend.
I'll try to think of more that may suit your tastes. But I would say, check out Lemeac.
Gosh! I'm so excited about having found a decent place (I did some independent research after I read your post) that opens from 10.30am til midnight and provide good food, liquor, wine and beer and plenty of space all in the same restaurant. We've reserved a table for Saturday and will let you know how everything went next week. Any more suggestions gratefully received.
Actually Reservoir constantly gets recommended in this board, and noted as one of the best brunch deals in town. And I have never seen it dirty. Yes it has an industrial vibe, and is decorated very bare bones; but it is clean and they put out consistently good food. But yeah, it is not a high roller place (neither the Chowhound is), nor a place to soak up any ambiance (unless you are sitting at the terrace). But it is worth giving it a chance because of the food.
Fair enough, two things annoy me about Reservoir: 1. The service gets inattentive and even annoying at some weeknight shifts (I even ranted about this before, but then I love the people that work during the weekends) 2. That $10 omelette is the worst item in the menu, in terms of QPR. It is ridiculously boring compared to what you can get from that menu. For example, last weekend's highlights were two eggs+lardons+roast beef+yorkshire pudding for 13 bucks, a fish soup with yogurt and spices for 6 or 7, and a goose dish with apple/onion confit for 14. Add that a 5 dollar chocolate pot de creme with fleur du sel to share, I don't think you can do a better brunch anywhere else.
Anyhoo, like cherylmtl, I cannot think of any other chow favorites that could satisfy you, except for the ones that were already mentioned in the said thread. Perhaps you can try some of the places around Sherbrooke and St Laurent (Globe, Buenanotte, etc) since the ambiance is more polished and they tend to serve multiple types of booze.
As I wrote in another thread, most/all restaurants will offer limited "bar" service if they do not have a "real" bar section.
Me think that you should go to Lemeac, it got good food, good drinks, good vibe...
There is only one place in montreal "close" to ressembling "Fogo de Chao", Milsa (somewhere downtown). IMO it's a "party" kind of place, it's good for what it does, but not somewhere I would go for a quiet dinner with friends (quiet is the operative word).
I'm not a "lunch in a restaurant" person, I cannot help you that much.