3 days in Montreal - first time!
We are a couple in our early thirties from downtown Manhattan looking to explore as much of Montreal as possible over three days! Any recommendations for where to dine? Budget is not much of a concern but we are more interested in casual restaurants rather than upscale/stuffy. We are staying in Old Montreal. I would love to hear what my fellow Chowhounds have to say!
I agree with CCP and Olive & Gourmondo..
1. I would also recommend Lucca in little Italy. Upscale Italian but not stuffy at all. Very fresh food. Love the filet mignon pasta.
12 Dante, Montreal | Tel. 514.278-6502
2. Joe Beef on Notre-Dame near the Atwater Market. Great little spot with chalkboard menu that changes daily.
2491 Notre Dame Street W, Montreal, QC
heres a review:
3. Cartet for bruch right on McGill in Old Montreal. Unique fun place for brunch and you can shop for gourmet items while you wait!
I just did this - three days for the first time - in April. Wow, I wanted to stay! Montreal is an amazing food city! You might want to check out The A-Z List on the blog "An Endless Banquet" - truly exhaustive and spot-on for everything I tried. Definitely Au Pied de Cochon - perhaps my best meals anywhere, anytime, and I've been around quite a bit. The spirit of the place is infectious and delightful. I don't know if you can do Montreal without Poutine, and while the foie gras poutine at APdC is wicked, the place to go is La Banquaise, where you can get about 20 different kinds, and two sizes, of poutine 24 hours a day! I had great oysters at Maestro SVP. Don't miss the Jean-Talon Market. I recommend (if you don't have reservations yet) Auberge de la Fontaine, very reasonable bed and breakfast at the Parc de la Fontaine. Have fun!
Tastes differ but I can tell you my own favorite place that I run to first in Montreal. While I am not a vegetarian, I love Le Commensal, a vegetarian buffet-style restaurant, because it has the best salad bar I have ever seen in my life. I remember dozens of cold dishes, piles of greens, and big platters of avocado halves. The ultimate salad lunch. Check phone book to locate nearest branch to you---there are several downtown.
You're right that tastes differ. Commensal gets me running too, but in the opposite direction...
Anyway, love 'em or hate 'em, there are only two stores left in Montreal proper: the one on McGill College and Ste-Catherine, the other on St-Denis in the Latin quarter.
Cool ! You'll love it.
Montréal has many of these casual restaurants. And if I may, you will probably be impressed with the quality of the service in this small places, compared to NYC.
Montée de lait
Pied de cochon
Tri Express (for lunch)
Les Cons Servent
Olive et Gourmando (breakfast and lunch only)
DNA (crazy decor, excellent food and wine list, excellent service)
Club Chasse et pêche
La Terrasse du Château Ramezay (operated by Club chasse et pêche)
Also, if you are in the Marché Jean-Talon area, go for Tapeo or Kitchen Gallery.
For fantastic coffee, try Café Santé Véritas in Old Montréal, but their food is really boring (too "healthy", no taste) or Caffe in Gamba on Park Avenue, near Outremont.
With these places in mind, you should have a good time.
Also, remember that there are many other places than the ones recommended over and over by the NY Times and other American media.
I went to La Montée de Lait early in May of this year for the first time and I would have to say my feelings about the experience are a bit mixed. The prices are $12 a piece for any food item or four items for $44 which is what we took. Wines by the glass for each course are also available; we took our waiter’s recommendation for wine for each course – mostly around $11 a glass but variable.
I found the food amusing rather than transcendental: such as the mini langoustine burger I had. My date liked her eggplant pancake and goat cheese quite a lot, but nothing sticks in my mind as truly sensational. (Also the actual menu only overlapped about 10% with the menu that was on-line at the time). All in all I think I much prefer Au 5eme Pèchè as a place to eat – the food there can border on the transcendentally good.
Another problem can be the seating. We were sitting in an alcove with three two-person tables. Initially it was fine when the middle table was vacant. Even though it was a Wednesday in early May, pretty soon the place was totally full and the middle table became occupied. The tables are so close together the waiter had to stand between the tables to take the orders for the people at the middle table. This meant his rear-end was literally in my face and hanging over our table – this occurred often and frequently as the orders at the other table were taken course by course and discussions of wine-pairings often were prolonged. So if you have a choice where to sit, chose wisely and expect the place to fill to capacity.
The food was interesting and the course by course wine-pairings was a nice options. It was about a $100 per person with wine but before tax and tip.
You might want to try reading these recent threads: