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French restaurant in Old Montreal

gavspen May 21, 2008 02:15 PM

NYC Chowhound will be visiting Montreal next weekend for my/our daughter's graduation from McGill. We would like to have dinner at a fine French restaurant somewhere - Old Montreal perhaps? - and would appreciate recommendations. Both kids have sophisticated palates, tripe, offal, bring it on, any price point is good....we've eaten at Schwartz's enough; gotta do something special. (Well, different...I LOVE Schwartz's)

  1. f
    foodismyfriend May 23, 2008 01:09 PM

    The finest French and a great spot for a celebratory meal for me would be Toque....although you might be hard-pressed to get a reservation at this point. Very French and consistently good is L'express on St. Denis, though the atmosphere might be a too bit loud and bistro-ish for your night. We love l'Atelier too---very different and much less formal dining than Toque.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodismyfriend
      MickFlanagen May 24, 2008 11:29 AM

      I am a huge L'Express fan, and I definitely second that recommendation. I can't speak to the other recommendations, but I am also a student and whenever my dad comes into town, we always go to L'Express.

    2. carswell May 22, 2008 10:07 AM

      CC&P would be my Old Montreal pick.

      Chez L'Épicier's fine if you're big on as much emphasis being placed on the presentation as on the food, don't mind sometimes challenging (read odd) flavour combinations and have a high tolerance for twee concept desserts (e.g. dessert club sandwich).

      Others appreciate the plush and soulless Toqué! more than I do, though admittedly I've not been since the arrival of the new assistant chef who's said to have invigorated the kitchen (usually said by people who never complained of its lacking vigour prior to his arrival...). Not that they're strictly comparable, but for that style of cooking I far prefer the smaller, friendlier, slightly less expensive and much less full-of-itself La Chronique on Laurier.

      While the ambience is definitely more bistro than fancy, you should also consider some of the city's smaller French restos. Two personal favourites that also get a lot of love here are Au Cinquième Péché and La Montée de Lait, though there's no lack of other candidates: Bistro Bienville, Cocagne, L'Inconnu, Le Jolifou (Central American influences), Raza (South American influences), Bouchon de Liège, M sur Masson, etc.

      1. r
        riboflavinjoe May 21, 2008 02:58 PM

        Le Club Chasse et Peche. http://www.leclubchasseetpeche.com/
        423 St-Claude (514) 861-1112

        9 Replies
        1. re: riboflavinjoe
          rcianci May 21, 2008 03:12 PM

          I second that.

          1. re: riboflavinjoe
            souschef May 22, 2008 01:55 AM

            I went to CC&P once, and did not like it at all. The food was very variable. Check out other threads here, e.g. "Exceptional Night Out".

            If it has to be in Old Montreal, go to Chez L'Epicier. But, my favourite is Europea. I have had many wonderful meals there.

            If you like offal, especially foie gras, go to Au Pied de Cochon. They do some amazing stuff with foie gras, pig's feet, etc. Don't miss the cromesqui appetizer (an innocent-looking breaded cube that bursts in your mouth, depositing warm, liquid foie gras). I usually have several. There are a few threads here on the resto.

            1. re: souschef
              1Marlowe1 May 22, 2008 04:21 AM

              I will agree with the Europea recommendation. I think that their tasting menus are some of the more interesting ones in Montreal.

              To that, I will add Toque, which is on the fringe of the Old Port. In terms of overall quality and consistency, it is probably the best restaurant in Montreal.

              1. re: 1Marlowe1
                souschef May 22, 2008 06:25 AM

                I went to Toque just once, in their old location on St. Denis, and the food was exceptional.

              2. re: souschef
                rcianci May 22, 2008 04:53 AM

                I've been to CC&P several times and never failed to have a great meal and a great time. But it's been a while since my last visit and I have noticed a growing number of negative reports on this forum, mostly about the service. I hate to think they've gone downhill. Next time I'm in town, I plan to check it out for myself. Meanwhile, I heartily concur with the APDC rec.

                1. re: rcianci
                  cherylmtl May 22, 2008 09:06 AM

                  I was at CC&P on Friday, and the food was wonderful as always. Service was good, although the server was a little more occupied with the large group in his section, and small things like bread refills appeared there, but not at our table (although perhaps they asked for more bread - we didn't specifically request any more), but otherwise the service was fine, and I'd still recommend it highly.

                  1. re: cherylmtl
                    Minnow May 22, 2008 09:12 AM

                    I was also there on Friday for the first time, and it was fantastic. I had no problems with the service, even though a large bachelor party was seated about halfway into our meal. Wonderful food (I've never tasted anything as savoury as the risotto) and lovely atmosphere. I'd recommend it over PdC if you're set on fine dining, but I think that PdC is a must!

                2. re: souschef
                  Em24 May 22, 2008 06:02 AM

                  I second L'Epicier for a special event like this. The food and atmosphere are amazing.

                  1. re: Em24
                    gavspen May 22, 2008 08:34 AM

                    Thanks for all the suggestions, I will examine the various websites...the menu at Au Pied de Cochon is certainly interesting. Doesnt have to be in Old Montreal, that was just a thought. Keep 'em coming and thanks again.

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