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Dinner this weekend (yikes!) for friends visiting avec bebe

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picklebird Jun 5, 2008 04:39 AM

We just received last minute word that friends of ours are visiting this weekend. They are here for a job interview and are strongly considering moving to Montreal from London. We are new to Montreal ourselves and would like to show them the best side of the city.

So, we need last minute reservations for Friday and Saturday nights on Grand Prix weekend! Oh, and they have a 6-month old baby (which may mean we're eating early so have a better shot at getting a reservation). They will be here through Tuesday, so other suggestions of baby-appropriate lunches and dinners are also welcome! We are happy to travel outside of the downtown corridor, etc.

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    foodismyfriend Jun 5, 2008 06:29 AM

    Yikes is right. I would just get on the horn and start calling the usual suspects to see if they have any tables on any weekend night. I know PDC is full (hubby has reservations to go on Saturday with some out-of-towners here for Grand Prix and they made the reservations 6 months ago). Your other alternative would be to pick up some good eats and bring them home? Hit JTM and pick up a bunch of stuff? I haven't been since he opened for take-out, but the former AREA chef is apparently selling some great pre-made meals out of the spot where Halte Urbain used to be (on Bernard)--his food is so great, it might be fun to splurge on something like that, pick up a few nice bottles, and chill at home rather than try to squeeze in and out of a resto this weekend (with baby too!).

    At least your friends will see Montreal during one of our most lively times!

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodismyfriend
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      Plateaumaman Jun 5, 2008 07:46 AM

      Sometimes 6 month old babies make the most excellent dinner companions -often the noise is too much so they just sleep instead of dealing. You can try any of the usual suspects at 5 - 5:30pm so that you are more likely to get a reservation and can have enough quiet and space to entertain the baby if awake.

      Some ideas off of the top of my head include Reservoir for lunch (stroller space in a few corners there), dimsum in Chinatown, La Banquise and L'Anecdote on Rachel for poutine or some takeout sushi from Sushi Volant eaten in Parc Lafontaine. Picking up things at Jean Talon Market is a great idea and will give everyone a feel for the food options in this city. Lots of child-friendly posts on this board too if you search "kids".

      1. re: foodismyfriend
        zekesgallery Jun 5, 2008 07:58 AM

        Howdy!

        I would disagree with 'calling the usual suspects.' They are likely to be filed with out of towners who will not reflect Montreal in any way, shape or form. I'd suggest out-of-the-way spots that are unlikely to be on any F1 fan's radar.

        Places like Bouchonné, Los Planes, La Maison Bulgogi, Le Valois, Rôtisserie Panama, Le Roi du Plateau, Philinos, Brasserie Brunoise (there is nothing at the Bell Center on Friday) and Le Zeste de Folie (which is a BYOW). Most if not all will be baby-friendly, too.

        1. re: foodismyfriend
          hungryann Jun 11, 2008 09:31 AM

          Does the former AREA chef sell also his desserts there? I loved his lemon merigue pie!

        2. carswell Jun 5, 2008 07:57 AM

          Leméac (open seven days as week), Au Pied de Cochon (closed Mondays) and Au Cinquième Péché (closed Sundays and Mondays) all have good food and handle kids with aplomb. The first two are on everybody's radar and may be hard to snag a table at, but you never know until you try. A5P is smaller but less likely to be booked solid two days in advance. It's also the kind of place that makes many of us happy to call Montreal home.

          2 Replies
          1. re: carswell
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            picklebird Jun 5, 2008 08:24 AM

            Thanks, everyone! I opted for the eat early then walk around plan for both nights and was able to get a table at Lemeac and Pop (of Laloux) @ 6:30pm, and given how nice the weather is supposed to be, I think it will be nice to be out and about early.

            By the way, I kind of got talked into Pop after learning Laloux was full by a very charming man on the phone there who told me that Pop has a new menu fully designed and executed by Patrice Demers, the pastry chef. Has anyone tried this new menu?

            1. re: picklebird
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              lagatta Jun 7, 2008 04:36 AM

              I'm glad people were able to help you - a word of warning about the JTM area, where I live - St-Laurent is shut down from Beaubien (yep, before St-Zotique, unlike most street fairs) to Jean-Talon and even some of the perpendicular streets have outdoor setups - there is also some kind of event in Dante park at the corner of Alma and Dante. There are Grand Prix related events in Petite Italie. Shouldn't affect the market per se too much, but think of it if you are driving there.

              Your Londoner friends will be pleasantly surprised by the cost of a fine meal here!

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