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Oct 20, 2008 03:28 PM


(Please refrain from singing any Bread songs- and I mean the band, not the floury/yeasty thing).

So, if you had to go out for dinner for my birthday (Nov. 08 to be precise - lavish gifts, cards, cash or cheques gladly accepted) where would you go? Narrowed it down to Laloux or Graziella. Heard the food at Graziella is superb, service not so good - and I am one of those who's meal and evening is tainted by bad service - I can't just slough it off. Was thinking also Europea, but for someone who has fish/shellfish allergies, the menu (at least the one that's online) is very limiting.

That burger joint someone was talking about earlier sounds great too - but I'm thinking, it's my birthday, hell let's splurge - and I'm assuming they don't have any Supertuscans or Opus
Ones hanging out in the back.

Wine lists are also important to me (see previous reference to favourite wines which also make a nice gift, by the way) - well, wine is important to me but that's a whole other issue - so : WHere is happy birthday to me going to be?

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  1. Well,

    Italian or French ?

    I'd go for Laloux for the deserts and the drinks (they are both designed by Patrice Demers, one of the best, if not the best, deserts chef in Montreal).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Maximilien

      I am not food racist LOL. I don't care - french or Italian. I want a great restaurant with great food through and through and that "special" feeling.

    2. Europea is great for a celebration. Why don't you call them and discuss your concern; they may be able to do something special for you. Maybe a special 20-course tasting menu ?

      7 Replies
      1. re: souschef

        20 courses!! Jiminey crickets, I'd need Moh with me to finish that!!!

        1. re: maisonbistro

          Please, have some respect; moh is a gourmet, not a gourmand. Though...when you read about her vacuuming down potato knishes, you stop to think :)

          Let us know how it goes, whatever you decide.

          1. re: souschef

            Clearly you've never dined with moh.

            Once as we exited Tapicoa Thé after a meal that left me and others -- all of us taller and heavier than her, some by quite a bit -- completely satiated, she proposed dropping by the nearby "broasted" chicken joint for a snack and became mildly indignant when confronted with nothing but disbelieving looks, gagging sounds and cries of "you can't be serious."

            Try as I can, I can barely keep up with her at dim sum. Toward the end of the meal, as I struggle to avoid entering a narcoleptic state due to carb overdosing, the others around the table are instructing the servers to pay her no heed and threatening to apply physical restraint to prevent her from ordering more food. And then, as soon as she's been marched out of the restaurant, she makes a beeline for the candy aisle of the nearest Asian supermarket.

            She is the person who inspired the schmiet diet.

            Gourmet or gourmande? It's really not an either-or situation with her.

            1. re: carswell

              No, I have not dined with moh. And sigh ! I used to be like moh, but that was when I was skinny. I notice that she also gets around to all of the out of the way places.

              1. re: carswell

                EEK! Rumours of my eating are definitely being highly exaggerated! I've been showing great restraint lately!!

                I will admit that I have made it through a 20 course meal once in Chicago, and even had the nerve to ask for seconds on the short rib course, bringing the total to 21 courses plus wine (hangs head in shame).

                But the schmiet diet is working wonders.

                1. re: moh

                  The schmiet diet is no doubt the infamous "seefood diet".

                  I think it's time we approached the mayor of Montreal to rename one of the streets in Mile End after moh. After all, a lot of the food places would not be doing so well if moh were not posting here.

          2. What about Toque?

            I'm taking my best friend out for her 45th birthday in December and I have it narrowed down to Europea and Toque. However, we're from out of town, so all I know about the restaurants is what I've read here. It will be interesting to see what you choose. It may change my plans.

            Do keep us posted. :-)

            23 Replies
            1. re: Davedigger

              I ate at Toqué just once, when they were at their old place on St. Denis, and really enjoyed it. Thoroughly enjoyed the local cheeses too.

              I don't think you would go wrong with either restaurant.

              1. re: Davedigger

                I tried Toque again last week. My initial visit about a year ago was underwhelming. This time around they redeemed themselves in my eyes. I had a celery-root puree soup topped with a variety of sauteed mushrooms and foie gras shavings that was probably the best thing I have eaten in the past few months; truly autumn on a plate. For a main I ordered the venison (cerf) and it was unbelievably tender and juicy. The dessert was the lowlight (chocolate creme brulee which oddly sounded better than it tasted) but then again I am not much of a dessert person so it did not diminish my appreciation of a truly excellent meal.

                1. re: hungryann

                  Thank you making me feel a bit relieved, We are making the trip up to Montreal for four days over (Amer) Thanksgiving. I was considering cancelling our reservations at Toque after reading such wide-ranging reviews! We don't need to spend a lot of money (though if it is worth it, okay). We just wanted one really fine meal. I have lots of choices from the boards (thank you!), but if anyone has any other ideas, great! We are staying at the Nelligan.

                  1. re: hungryann

                    Damn you Ann! I had decided on Europea, but after your review I have to put Toque back on the list. Oh how will I decided??? :)

                      1. re: maisonbistro

                        Have you decided on your b-day dinner yet?

                      2. re: Davedigger

                        Will Toqué allow you to sit in the kitchen and sample a chef's menu consisting of 20 courses, with the chef himself explaining the menu? Européa will. Every meal I have eaten at Europea has been superb. I usually go for the table d'hote, but have also tried the 9-course tasting menu with the appropriate wines. I also like the extra little morsels they send out if they keep you waiting a bit longer. Also, they have given me little cakes for my breakfast the next morning. I also like their concept of a "pre-dessert" dessert. Like moh, I hate to eat on an empty stomach :)


                        1. re: souschef

                          How much is the 20 course meal in the kitchen? Does it have wine pairings (20 glasses of wine?!? - now that could be fun.)?

                          1. re: Davedigger

                            The cost is $250 per person and includes a half bottle of champagne per person. Tax and gratuity are extra.

                            I am potentially partaking of this on my honeymoon in Montreal in just over a week. Still working on the finances. :o)

                            1. re: Davedigger

                              Their 9-course menu features 3 or 4 glasses of wine (can't remember which). 20 glasses of wine would be beyond lush!

                              The Champagne is probably Laurent Perrier, which is what they use for Kir Royale.

                              Seth, please post here if you do go for the 20 courses.

                              1. re: souschef

                                Absolutely. We are still debating due to the cost, but if we do go, a review will be posted.

                          2. re: Davedigger

                            Hey, just doing my duty of informing my fellow hounds :D

                            1. re: hungryann

                              I was not giving you a hard time, Ann. I was just needling Davedigger, to help make his decision more difficult. Hence the evil laugh at the end. As I was telling a pastor friend of mine, he comforts the afflicted whereas I afflict the comfortable.

                              1. re: souschef

                                Yes. Her decision is much harder now. I've made reservations for both places and will flip a coin. Or wait and see what maisonbistro decides. :-)

                                1. re: Davedigger

                                  We have to decide soon.

                                  Short of calling them, can someone please tell me if Europea's menu is much more extensive than what's on their website? Like I said, I have a fish/shellfish allergy and their on line menu was not inspiring to me.

                                  1. re: maisonbistro

                                    It's been a while since I was last there, but I think that their online menu is current.

                                    1. re: souschef

                                      Does the 9 course tasting change with any frequency? My friend isn't much of a seafood eater either.

                                      1. re: Davedigger

                                        Your best bet would be to call the restaurant.

                                        Too bad about all of these non-seafood eaters. They are missing so much !

                                        1. re: souschef

                                          Well, I like breathing through my nose and not a hole in my throat (what happened when I discovered my seafood/fish allergy) so I will live vicariously through my husband et al on the glory that is seafood.

                                          We have made our decision, and Toque it will be. I can't wait. Woohooo

                                          1. re: maisonbistro

                                            An allergy is a totally different matter from people who just don't like seafood. An allergy is something I can understand, as I developed an allergy to beef out of the blue a few years ago.

                                            1. re: souschef

                                              Gasp!!!! Beef??? My condolances. :(

                                  2. re: souschef

                                    I realize. I was responding to Davedigger for `damning me` after my report on Toque.
                                    It`s all good...we have to laugh sometimes. We can`t take all this too seriously.

                          3. Oh, maisonbistro. Again I am at a crossroads. When I called to make a reservation at Europea and asked if I could arrange something special for my friend's birthday, I was told, rather rudely, no. After some prodding however, I was told they could put some "fire" on her dessert.

                            Not so sure I want to go there anymore.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Davedigger

                              Oh Dave, I feel your pain. I don't know if it's just me, but it seems that we are on a very slippery downard slop of service. Restaurants, stores, delivery services just don't seem to give much of a damn anymore. I don't get it - in this economy wouldn't people be killing themselves to get and keep customers??