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Jan 6, 2009 06:56 AM

Fabulous & Casual Brunch


I will be visiting Montreal in February with some friends and we are looking for a great brunch place in the downtown/plateau ish area.

I used to go school in Montreal and frequented places like Beauties and Cosmos but I haven't been in a few years and know nothing of what is good.

Varied omelet and frittata dishes in a relaxed place is what I am looking for. So if you can recommend anything along those lines that would be great.


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    1. re: mainsqueeze

      Réservoir is very good, but it does not offer "varied omelet and fritata"; I would be surprised that there were more than 1 or 2 egg "dishes" (1 omelet and one sunny side up dish)

      They have a small but various menu, yogurt, scallops, fish(depending on what's good that day), some meat options, some boudin, ....

      I like it very much.

      Other options :

      Bouchonné (only on the first sunday of the month)
      Lemeac (a bit more upscale)
      Byblos (mid-eastern food)
      L'Avenue (for basic brunch stuff, the few times I've been there, it was ok)

      Le Pistou Déjeuner (small brother of the Pistou restaurant)

      1. re: Maximilien

        It's true that there is usually only one omelet option at Reservoir, but it's always fantastic.

        A place that has a lot more egg options is Café Art Java on Mont-Royal. I see eight omelets on the menu and 5 soufflées.

        1. re: mainsqueeze

          One omelet option is fine if it is amazing! Menu and some photos I saw look pretty good at Reservoir. I will definitely float the idea to the group.

          1. re: airsey

            I love Reservoir for brunch but do be aware that there is not a lot of variety for those looking for the usual egg dishes. I really want to try the fish & chips but can't face it at 10:30 am! I went with a group once and all 7 of us got either the omelet or the pancake - not that there's anything wrong with that. The only less-than-fantastic brunch I've had there is an omelet with TONS of sundried tomatoes, which I'm not crazy about. They have a sample menu on their website - that will give you a better idea, though the exact offerings seem to change frequently. Good coffee and delicious bread, too!

            1. re: stak

              I would be against Reservoir if it is the omelette you want to eat. Rest is always fantabulous, the only meh brunch I had there was when I ordered their omelette.

              Their sunny side up option is usually great with lots of interesting seasonal sides (such as fiddlehead ferns or squash blossoms during the summer and root vegetables during the fall/winter); of course in the winter it gets a little too protein-on-protein, but no complaints from here.

              So while a great fan, I wouldn't recommend it if you are in the mood for an omelette only.

              I am also sorry I cannot come up with an alternative recommendation. Frittata is something I tend to cook at home a lot, so never seek for it when it comes to ordering it out

          2. re: mainsqueeze

            I like Cafe Art Java very much. They have a very nice selection of egg dishes. And the latte is not too shabby either!

            I also like El Dorado on Mont Royal, they have some very interesting dishes.

      2. Senzala on Bernard, just east of St Laurent definitely has an interesting atmosphere and very good frittata dishes with a tropical bent.

        177 Bernard W.
        Montréal, QC H2T 2K3
        (514) 274-1464

        Thurs-Sun 9 A.M.- 3 P.M

        Google for "senzala bernard montreal breakfast review" and read the 1st link.


        3 Replies
        1. re: pyropaul99

          Senzala is west of St-Laurent. But it's a great suggestion.
          They also have another location, on de la Roche, by Parc Lafontaine.

          1. re: rillettes

            Doh. I even wrote the address with the "W". It's particularly nice in the summer when one can sit out on the terrace. I've also had dinner there once and that was good too - though the cocktails I had may have influenced my perception somewhat ;)


            1. re: rillettes

              Do you know if there is any significant quality difference between the two locations? They are both still within range of d/t and it looks quite interesting and different.

          2. I'd say Cafe Orange is a good bet. It's been my Cosmo's back-up for the last year, and I've always been satisfied.
            They've got a location on Decarie in NDG, and a new one on Stanley by De Maisonneuve.
            Pretty big menu, a bunch of Omelet, Frittata, Eggs Benedict and straight up fried egg and meat(ask for the sausage *butterflied*) options. Also, they have some fun specialty breakfasts as well. Coffee's pretty good, they have an espresso machine and VERY good smoothies. If some people in your party don't really want breakfast or brunch, they have a full lunch menu as well....It's like a better, less corporate version of Eggspecations. Bon apetit!

            4 Replies
            1. re: meninthekitchendotca

              To facilitate any future searches and avoid confusion, it's actually called Bistro Orange (at least the one on Stanley is).

              1. re: meninthekitchendotca

                Your positive experience at Cafe Orange on Stanley must have been a while ago, because recently we had a terrible experience (runny oatmeal cereal, cream that curdled in the coffee, old fresh fruit with the lowest fat watery cottage cheese). The quality of the breakfast food has taken a dramatic downhill turn.

                1. re: naturelle

                  Sorry to say but your negative experience at Bistro Orange must have been an off day. I had breakfast there this morning and thoroughly enjoyed a really super vegetable omelette with great home fries and marble (half rye and half pumpernickel) toast along with a bottonless cup of OK but not great coffee ( I like a really strong coffee but found theirs to be a little weak). Maybe egg dishes are the way to go.

                  1. re: naturelle

                    Naturelle - That might just be, because I never order any of the stuff mentioned above(except for the coffee, of course - which I thought was pretty good). I was at downtown in Mid-December, and the NDG location still stands strong as my Cosmo's back-up. As for healthy breakfasts, those I generally have at home and like to switch it up when I go out :D

                2. 2 good options--toi et moi cafe on laurier, and la croissanterie figaro on hutchison.

                  1. A few other suggestions:

                    Laika – is a “party” place at night, but has great brunch. They have some nice gourmet touches to their food. 4040 St. Laurent (cross street: Duluth) tel: 514-842-8088

                    I think Beauty’s is still good, so you could go back. When you’re craving a fruit-topped waffle with frozen yogurt, this is the place!

                    I second Senzala: A little more money than the usual breakfast place, but good. Eggs Benedict on an avocado or mango half is yummy. I could be wrong, but I think they have a manual espresso press.

                    Byblos, 1499 Laurier E., 523-9396 (Plateau East) It's a lovely place, the main dining room is really nice - open and bright. Great preserves and in-house made breads. You can linger quite a while there due to the nature of the food (Persian - multiple courses). The shirred (?) eggs with feta are a great standby, great soups, and of course a variety of teas. Tel. 523-9396.

                    Pistou Déjeuner: 4489 de la Roche St. (not to be confused with Pistou, a sister restaurant)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: heliotrope

                      Oh, and I also second Toi Moi et Café. (I've only been to the Laurier location). The café au lait is really something special. Some days I'll just crave that. The breakfast isn't over-the-top wonderful, but still very nice. I like getting the soft-boil egg since it's not often on a restaurant menu. They give you a baked apple too with preserves inside.

                      I also absolutely love La Chroisannterie Figaro (5200 Hutchison, 278-6567), but not really worth it for their brunch. Lacking in my opinion, and pricey for what you get and their coffee isn't great...geesh I'm not making it sound great so far, but please bare with me, I'll get to the good stuff! You go there for their croissants and croissant-like things. They do it very well. And most of all, you go there for the ambiance (I don't normally put that as first priority, but here, I make an exception). Absolutely enjoyable interior – a Paris knockoff café, in the Art-nouveau style. I know if won't matter to you in January, but in the summer it also has a very impressive terrasse, very beautiful. If you want a meal here, it's for lunch or dinner, from the chalkboard menus - the printed menu food is disappointing. Just my humble opinion.

                      1. re: heliotrope

                        Another fun (but small) place is Chez José on Duluth between St Laurent and Laval. They do great omelets. I always enjoyed the smoked salmon omelets at Le Toasteur on at both their Laurier Est (near Papineau) or Roy locations (though this is now gone).

                        For great benedicts, I always really enjoyed the smoked salmon benedict at Fruits Folies on St Denis just north of Roy on the east side - mountains of fruit too.

                        I also second Pistou Déjeuner and Byblos but the menu here may not appeal to anyone who wants a "standard" breakfast.

                        Oh, and while we're on about places with interesting interiors, Bagel Etc. on St Laurent next to Marie-Anne is an institution and has great breakfasts - my fave there is their huevos rancheros.