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Dec 23, 2008 03:26 AM

Gourmet provisions

Can you recommend a place to pick up gourmet provisions (cheese, breads, foie, wine, etc.) in Montreal --hopefully somewhat close to either of these hotels: Hyatt Regency and Queen Eliz Fairmont. thanks

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  1. Your best bet is to head to one of the farmer's markets. Atwater Market is closer to downtown but Jean Talon Market offers the widest range, and that's before you factor in the wealth of resources in nearby Little Italy and environs. Both are easily accessible by metro or car.

    Otherwise, consider heading up to Outremont/Mile End, on the other side of the mountain from downtown:
    - Bernard Street for Fromagerie Yannick (cheesemonger), Bouchées Gourmandes (foie in jars, condiments, pastries, takeout), Prêts-à-Manger (caterer/takeout), Première Moisson, etc.
    - Park Ave. for Nouveau Falero (raw fish and shellfish downstairs; smoked fish, gravlax, prepared dishes, condiments upstairs), Volva (Russian caterer/takeout), Cocoa Locale (cakes and cupcakes), Caffè in Gamba (coffee), etc.
    - St-Viateur for bagels from the eponymous shop, Euro-Deli (Polish takeout), Genviève Gadbois (chocolates), etc.
    - Laurier for Anjou-Québec (upscale butcher, caterer/takeout), Gourmet Laurier (fancy condiments, charcuterie, cheese, etc.), SAQ Sélection (wine and spirits), Au Pain Doré (bread), etc.

    Laurier East between St-Hubert and Papineau is another hotspot, with great bakeries (Le Fromentier), pastry shops (Fous Desserts, Les Saveurs du Plateau), charcuterie (Queue de Cochon), chocolates (Maison Cakao).

    1. Jean Talon is a wonderful market, and worth a pilgrimage! (Not that it's very far out of the way.)
      Hamel at Jean Talon is a great fromagerie, with many local specialty cheeses and all the other gourmet provisions.

      (I miss Montreal.)

      1. For wine and alcohol, you are more limited, the SAQ (provincial monopoly) is the only(*) authorized seller of alcohol in the province; you can find a very good variety of wines and spirits from around the world (ok, more european centric).

        (*) For local alcohol, mostly wines and other non distilled alcohol, you can find local products at the "Marché Des Saveurs" at the Jean Talon Market; they have a special section just for that.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Maximilien

          Not true. Many depanneurs (corner stores) have beer and wine, and so does IGA, Provigo, Metro etc food stores.

          1. re: williej

            As you're new to the city, perhaps you've yet to year the expression "Château de Dep." ;-)

            I'll let the more booze-informed expand on this, but I believe all you can get at those outlets you mentioned is fairly crappy bottled-in-Quebec stuff due to our rather bizarre liquor laws.

            1. re: kpzoo

              Not true. I have had some fairly good wine from the dep.
              But anyways, I was just correcting a post saying you could only get liquor at the SAQ

              1. re: williej

                People who think they get better "deals" at a depaneur than at the SAQ are, in my opinion, really mis-informed.

                There are no reasons to buy wine at a dep. these days; there are many SAQ open late in the city.

                1- You get a better/wider selection at the SAQ for the same price range.
                2- You HAVE to pay additional taxes on the wines you buy at the dep.
                3- Well, the wines at the SAQ just plain suck, buy beer instead.

                1. re: Maximilien

                  «3- Well, the wines at the SAQ just plain suck, buy beer instead.»

                  You meant "the wines at deps just plain suck," right? If so, you rule.

                  Drinkable is the best that can be said about a very few of them. The rest are certifiable plonk. All are imported in bulk, hauled around by tanker trucks, stored in tanks and bottled in Quebec. Large amounts of sulphur dioxide are used to keep them from spoiling during transport. To ensure stability, consistency and a low rate of returns, all re heavily filtered before bottling. None can show the vintage or even the grape varieties used (some of them probably wouldn't want to even if allowed). Most are stored and handled by merchants who treat them like they do boxes of Kleenex and breakfast cereal.

                  1. re: carswell

                    yeah, my mistake...

                    3- Well, the wines at the DEPANNEUR just plain suck, buy beer instead.

        2. There is, if I'm not mistaken, an SAQ for wines in the train station (attached to the Queen E underground) and in a lower level of Complexe Desjardins (attached to the Hyatt). There are small counters for food in the train station - including Premiere Moisson - and an IGA which has a decent, if pricey, selection of foods in Complexe Desjardins. Neither of these options are anywhere near the quality or selection of the markets or other choices Carswell mentions, but they also don't involve much travel for a quick snack, if that's the idea.