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Jan 15, 2009 08:54 PM

Please Help Me Choose: Only 3 Nights in Montreal

I will be in Montreal in early Feb for a conference and I plan to eat my way through your beautiful city. I have a few foodie friends that I plan to bring along (drag if I must!) for these dining adventures. One drawback is that I will be in town on a Sun, Mon & Tues night and I know that many places are closed on Sun & Mon. For Sunday 8 Feb (my birthday), I want to go somewhere with a group of 6 friends that's special and has an air of excitement. I have become OCD with choosing restaurants and making reservations...I think I need an intervention. Below are the places I have narrowed it down to...please help me choose.

Sunday: Laloux or L'Express for my birthday

Monday: Ferreria or Europea. (I guess if I don't choose Laloux or L'Express on Sunday, that one could go here as they are both open on Monday).

Tuesday: Bonaparte, Toque, Raza or La Colombe

Any help-especially strong opinions-would be greatly appreciated. If I am off-base and there are other places (especially not so well known) that I should venture to, please advise. It would be great to learn about them. Many thanks!

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  1. Personally, I'd go for Laloux over L'Express, no question. Especially for your birthday. As for Ferreira or Europea, that's tougher. It would depend on what style of food you're looking for - but either would be worthwhile choices. For Tuesday, my vote would be Raza.
    There are so many places worth trying in Montreal, it's hard to just pick a few - but you have made some good choices. Other suggestions would depend on your budget, whether you have any geographic restrictions, and if there are any types of cuisine in particular that you'd like to try,

    1. I really enjoy Ferreira, but I think Europea edges it out a bit.. Also, Europea is great value for the money if you go with the table d'hote or the 9-course tasting menu; and I like the extra little courses they give you. If you go to Ferreira, don't miss their truffled potatoes or their hazelnut ice cream.

      Stay away from Bonaparte. I went there once and was unimpressed by the stuffy old cuisine and the nondescript brown sauces.

      1. Are you going just to fancy places?
        'Cause if you want the real Montreal experience, head to Schwartz's and La Banquise.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Shattered

          Thanks thus far to the three of you...this is good info to go on.

          1. re: mhm2109

            Don't forget to report back here on your experiences.

        2. I think you should tailor the decision based on how adventurous you and your friends want to be.

          I also would think that Laloux might be preferable to L'Express.

          Re: Ferriera vs. Europea, I cannot comment on Europea, as I haven't been. But the food is a little more experimental there than at Ferreira. At Ferreira, the food is expertly prepared, and if you have some conservative tastes in your group, this place would be great. Delicious food, but nothing terribly new or original. I would happily eat at Ferriera, but if you are looking for excitement and new-fangled, this may not be the best choice. The fish is wonderful, and the potatoes divine.

          Another nice option: just had a fantastic meal at Pinxto, a Spanish tapas place, great wine, great tapas. They have a very reasonable $30 degustation option, 4 tapas chosen by the chef, and your choice of a main course. That being said, it is so much fun choosing about 5-6 tapas from their list. I had their wonderful bacalao, marinated sardine, beef cheeks, grilled vegetables, and this insanely delicious wild mushroom with snails and parsley oil dish. They had a lamb special that was also fabulous, and my friends fois gras with lentils was wonderful as well. And they also have a very rare Spanish white wine, a Txacoli, which you can get by the glass. It was superb with the cod and the marinated sardine. With the cod, this was a match made in heaven!! Great place.

          4 Replies
          1. re: moh

            being on the tapas subject, i am interested in your opinion, moh and others!. do you prefer pinxto over tapeo, i so why/why not? i am by no means a tapas genius, but i would like to know more!

            1. re: alixium

              I've only been once to each Tapeo and Pintxo, but I'd say I prefer Tapeo. I found Pintxo to be a little bit inconsistent (fantastic goat cheese ravioli in duck gizzard stew, but bland and uninteresting salpic├│n). Tapeo was generally lovely all around. The staff was nice and they helped us choose a really great wine. My only complaint was that the tortilla was a far cry from what I was expecting - guess I was spoilt in Spain.

              1. re: alixium

                You'll have to go by the opinion of Mainsqueeze, as I have only been to Pinxto. But I've only had great meals at Pinxto! I do need to get my butt up to Tapeo...

                1. re: moh

                  i am most thankful for your replies! I was pondering returning to tapeo, which I had very much enjoyed, or try pintxo instead. i definitely have to check it out myself.

            2. can only speak on la colombe, but I can say it is the best meal i have ever had. Not sure i would consider myself a "foodie" but being from nyc i have tried my share of $100pp+ meals and none of them come close to colombe. fyi i got the venison but also tasted the bison, BOTH excellent but liked the venison better. both need to be rare as per kitchen, although i would have ordered it that way either way.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Daniel8

                i too am going to be in town mid-month and well my work has been done for me, thanks...i was in town last spring and had a wonderful meal at Laloux...i had planned on a return visit but i think i will visit some of the ideas on this post.