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May 18, 2009 12:39 PM

Montreal: Dinner, lunch, and “Name that bar!”

I have been to Montreal once before, maybe 4 years ago, and loved every minute of it. I am an adventurous eater so no cuisine is off limits. However, I would love to find some great quality French or Greek restaurants (or restaurants with French or Greek influences), two cuisines I do not have regular access to at home, but all suggestions are welcome.

I have two dinners (ideally downtown or Old Montreal) and one lunch (ideally Old Montreal) to work with, possibly some late night snacking somewhere. Oh, and I missed out on the smoked meat sandwich last time. Is there anywhere decent within walking distance of the Rue Peel Metro station?

As for the price range, $20-$30 per entree for dinner is OK for one night. The other night I’d like to be more moderately priced.

Now for a game of “Name that Bar!”

I recall going to an English style pub on Rue Crescent with a nice beer list that was nice to sit around in and toss a few back. I only remember it was on the corner and I could see the lights from Hard Rock from this bar (opposite side of street). It sat slightly elevated above the street and the side windows were all opened up as it was warm out. It wasn’t very large. If I had to absolutely guess, I would say it was on the corner of Rue Crescent and Rue Sainte Catherine. Does anyone have any idea of where I am talking about, if it is even still open?

Any bar suggestions would be great. There are 4 of us in our early and mid 30s, interested in sitting down, having some drinks or beers and catching up with each other - no clubs, no madness. Any thoughts?

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  1. You were probably at "Winnie's" aka Sir Winston Churchill Pub on Crescent.

    If you want to avoid madness and clubs & quasi-clubs, though, avoid Crescent. Bishop Street, one block further west of Crescent is a bit quieter and loads more charming. I recommend McKibbin's above Ste-Catherine, and Regan's or the Irish Embassy below Ste-Cath. You could also drop into Grumpy's if you don't mind something a bit hole-in-the-wall and with live music (I'm early 30's and it's my fave bar in town, for what its worth).

    For smoked meat, there is only Schwartz's. It's about 15-20 mins walk east then up St. Laurent from Peel (east side of street, above Pins). Seriously, for gods sake, don't settle for [unnamed other smoked meat places] just cause they are downtown.
    Schwartz's is the authentic delicious Montreal smoked meat experience.

    For French and Greek, there are too many to name, everyone has their faves, and mine aren't that close to downtown. Chez Alexandre (French) is right on Peel, and pretty good. Greek restos are further afield though. You'll have to search for threads on those cuisines for more.

    Have fun!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Shattered

      I recommend O'Regan's a block away on Bishop.

    2. I'm wondering if your mystery bar is the one that used to be Claddagh (I think), on Crescent near Winnie's. Not sure if it's on a corner - maybe the corner of an alleyway. Anyway, it was small relaxed and Irish, as I recall. I passed by there last week and it looks like it's something else now - I can't remember what. I'd agree with Shattered about avoiding Crescent in general.

      4 Replies
      1. re: stak

        The Claddagh Pub was replaced by Taverne Crescent a while back.

        Not sure if they are still doing it but back in February the Taverne Crescent was serving "pay what you want" lunch.

        1. re: mainsqueeze

          The lunch deal is still on. Daybreak had an interview with the owner and several patrons this morning.

          1. re: carswell

            I am very suspicious of this deal.

            Does anyone know whether the quality of the food is okay?

            1. re: mainsqueeze

              The owner claims that it's the regular fare and that the promo is intended to get people to come back, especially in the evenings. He also implied that, on average, people are paying at or near what they normally would (patrons can see on the menu what the dishes run). FWIW and IIRC, a couple of the patrons interviewed said the food was good.

      2. Sir Winston Churchill Pub isn't elevated off the street, but Thursday's is.

        I've attached a photo of Thursday's for your reference. It's right across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mainsqueeze

          I'm pretty sure Winnie's second floor is raised up enough and has an outdoor seating area. But it could be either one. Anyway, as I pretty much said, it's not like I hang on Crescent, unless I get dragged there by a gang of idiot friends (not that I was recently forced to waste time and money on a precious Saturday nite in Thursday's basement skankatorium, oh no).

          1. re: Shattered

            You're right. I was thinking of Winnie's downstairs. The upstairs part is elevated, just like Thursdays.