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Feb 4, 2009 01:08 PM

Help! Weekend in Montreal...

I have not been to Montreal since I was 13 years old; however, I have an upcoming trip. This trip just so happens to be over Valentine's Day weekend, and just so happens to be the first trip that a very special woman and I are taking together.

On that note - I have no clue where to eat. We both like *everything,* (well OK - she's allergic to bell peppers, and I don't like natto, but nobody's perfect I guess...) from fine dining to authentic food in a downstairs restaurant on a hidden side street. I would love for this brief trip to encompass a bit of everything.

So I could use some help. If there are any suggestions out there for the following categories, I would love to hear it:

- Romantic Dinner (Willing to spend up to $100 a person, but would prefer to keep it around 50-70)

- Jazz Club with well-made cocktails (I appreciate bartenders who have been around awhile and really know their stuff)

- Local specialty food (Not sure if there is a food that is really *Montreal.* Like Clam Chowder in Boston and Providence, Lobster in Bar Harbor, steak in Chicago, etc. Also, this does not need to be an expensive version - it's all about TASTE)

- Good brunch spot

Also.... any recommendations of places to visit would also be nice. Thank you all for your help! And yes... this is somewhat last minute...

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  1. For your romantic dinner might I suggest LaLoux , 250 des Pins Ave e, 514-287-9127.
    We have been dining there for 10 years and have yet to be disappointed. It is to us the ideal example of a French bistro, good menu,great service,and the right atmosphere for that special romantic moment.

    1 Reply
    1. For romantic Valentine week dining, there was a recent thread:

      Jazz Club: I am at loss. Jazz music is not ingrained into the culture here, so you definitely won't find a Chicago or Oakland scene here. If jazz music is imperative, I will be the least helpful person anyway, because I tend to go to clubs that are filled with hipsters who care way too much about their haircuts. But for cocktail recommendations, this could help:

      Local specialty: Poutine (fries, cheese and gravy). You can have it for a buck or two at a fast food store, for slightly more at Banquise, or with foie gras at Au Pied de Cochon. Other specialties include tourtière (meat pies), pâté chinois (kind of like shephards pie) and pouding chômeur (flour and brown sugar pudding). For an high end experience of all, Au Pied de cochon might be a good bet.

      There is also a great deal of mid range French that you cannot access for that money elsewhere, (at least anywhere else in North America). Better yet, some of them come as BYO restaurants so that you don't have to pay booze markups. Please do a board search for that.

      Brunch: Please do search. I don't want to be snarky, but there are recent posts that discuss most of the questions you have asked. It kind of overwhelming for the locals to respond every single post that asks the same question over and over, especially during tourist seasons. We would like to help, but it is considerate that one does their homework first as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: emerilcantcook

        No I understand - I just realized I hadn't started searching yet and did a mid-work post. I appreciate the advice though.


        1. re: Dioneo

          Alternative to a jazz bar, you could perhaps go to a wine bar. Some of them also serve excellent small plates. No experience can be more Montreal than this. My personal favorite is Bouchonné (cool wine list, friendly people, fantastic food), but Pop! (which also serves cocktails), Pullmann, Aszu and BU have their own fans as well.

      2. Jazz club: Upstairs club on Mackay is popular with friends of mine, but I've never been. I wouldn't know anything about cocktails in general.
        They have a menu section on their site, though:

        Specialty food: Smoked meat at Schwartz's on St. Laurent. If you like a big meaty sandwich, this is ground zero. Get it medium (not lean, like those other tourist wussies ;)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shattered

          My wife and I went to Montreal for the first time last year and loved Garde Manger. We still talk about it.

          I was sort of disappointed with the Poutine and Banquise. I found better poutine here in Brooklyn at a place called Sheep Station (opened by a Montreal chef).

        2. Welcome back, Dioneo!
          Romantic...thats a tough one as likes and dislikes vary.
          Maybe check out Altitude 737, Montreal's highest resto - if not for the food (i actually never ate there) then a coupla drinks and the view. Its been awhile, maybe someone else can elaborate with a yes or no if this is still a good option

          apparently French only website

          Jazz club
          As Shattered mentions, Upstairs comes to mind (but never been).
          Also coming to mind is Modavie in Old Montreal

          I've seen a few jazz ensembles here (although jazz is not my forte), had a few drinks, but never ate.
          Not quite jazz, but plenty of blues, I'd recommend Bistro A Jojo on St. Denis. Maybe a $5 cover for a show

          I see Carl Tremblay is playing Feb 14 - I've seen him alot at the Tremblant Blues festival. Sunday's Bob Harrison is a great, intimate show and usually not crowded. All seats are good.

          Local food - ditto Au Pied De Cochon and Schwartz (don't know if you're from NY or Boston, but Schwartz is kinda like a Katz's at 1/4 the price).

          Brunch - well I love a Sunday dim sum. Maybe Rouby Rouge in chinablock and they apparently have dim sum 7 days a week.