3 days in Montreal for hounds with some limitations
I am travelling to Montreal with two friends this weekend, and we want to eat well. We are staying on Rue St. Denis and we really want to experience Montreal and local cuisine.
A couple caveats. One of my friends has severe allergies to carrots and anything within the carrot family, including dill, parsley, parsnip...Are there places that cater to food allergies? Any recommendations?
Je suis vegetarienne. I will go to meat and fish places without a problem, but I do not eat either. So we need great places with lots of options. Or does every place have a vegetarian plat du jour?
What are the highlights that we can't miss?
Now that nut-free Formosa has closed, I'm not aware of any place that caters to people with allergies. That said, many restaurants are willing to adapt their dishes, especially with a little advance notice. If your friend's allergy is so accute that s/he can't be exposed to food that has been prepared using kitchen tools (knives, cutting boards, etc.) that have been used on carrots and company, you'll definitely want to talk with the restaurant's management beforehand.
See www.montreal.com/tourism/veggie.html for a fairly extensive listing of Montreal's vegetarian options. Vegan Aux Vivres is surprisingly good. Not listed is Au Cinquième Péché, a casual but serious and seriously good neighbourhood bistro that always has at least one vegetarian option -- usually a variation on sweet potato gnocchi -- on the menu. www.aucinquiemepeche.com
If you're looking for something pretty casual but with a good vibe and a good selection a vegetarian choice, then I'd say to head for Bottega pizzeria. The pizza is made in true napolitenean style, and is really good. Not much of a carrot un sight there. Plus the space looks great and is very stylish. Prices are decent but I'd advise you to reserve. It's located in Little Italy near Jean-Talon Market which makes for a fun visit this time of the year.
The major problem at an Italian place would be (flat-leafed) parsley, but that isn't used much in pizzas, and you can certainly as not to have it in any salad.
Idem the nearby Petit Alep (Syrian), a great spot for vegetarians just north of the Jean-Talon Market (Bottega is just a couple of short blocks south of it). I don't remember any carrot-containing items as part of their excellent vegetarian plate, but you should ask about parsley.
There are also great choices for meat-eaters.
Where are you on St-Denis? It is a long street. Most hotels and b+bs are in the Latin quarter (below Sherbrooke) or Plateau Mont-Royal (between Sherbrooke and the railway viaduct). Chuchai and the more casual byow Chuch are two fully vegetarian Thai restaurants on St-Denis in the Plateau.