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Early August Montreal/Quebec City

bucksguy14 Jul 18, 2009 08:01 PM

We'll be visiting Montreal (Marriott Chateau Champlain) and Quebec City (Frontenac) for 5 days each beginning Aug. 1st. It's our first time in Quebec Province. We're looking for B/L/D recommendations. We enjoy everything except Indian food. We'll have a car, so travel shouldn't be a problem. We'd like to experience some of the local flavor, rather than just the tourist go-tos. We've checked the board but feel that there are probably some places that haven't been mentioned. The only restriction, other than Indian food, that we'd put on recommendations is that we'd like to keep dinners under $125 (just 1 glass of wine, we don't do bottles). Also wondering what the availability of BYOs are - that's something we always look for at home!

  1. w
    williej Jul 19, 2009 09:58 AM

    Bistro Bienville is tucked away in a corner of le Plateau. Small place, excellent food.
    Review: http://www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iID...

    1. i
      idenon Jul 19, 2009 03:59 PM

      in Montreal: except the obvious choices for lunch/dinner (Au Pied de Cochon, Lemeac, Europea, La Montée), I tend to gravitate towards the same ones... Solymar for Peruvian, Ouzeri on St-Denis for traditional Greek, Il Piatti della Nonna for home-cooked Italian food, Mekkdala or Magdala for Ethiopian (although if you don't like Indian, you might not like Ethiopian either... not that they're similar, but everyone i know who does not like one, does not like the other either).

      1. p
        Psychofoodie Jul 19, 2009 10:12 PM

        In Quebec I would recommend:

        Échaudé: Classic french bistro cooking about 30 a meal and lots of wine choice
        Panache: Great cuisine of quebec city, a bit more costy than l'Échaudé

        1. bucksguy14 Aug 11, 2009 04:57 AM

          Well, the trip's just about over. I'm sitting in a hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY waiting for my wife to wake up so we can have breakfast and hit the road for home.

          Montreal was, for us, disappointing. My wife was not feeling well most of the time there and the only decent place we ate at was Modavie, which was recommended by the concierge at our hotel. The worst place we ate at during the entire trip was Le Piment Rouge! Unfortunately, many of our meals were room service due to her health. I spent a lot of time walking the city and I'd have to say I don't think we'll be back. To me it was just another city, not what I'd consider a "destination".

          Quebec City, on the other hand, was a real joy and, a place we expect to visit again. We both love Vieux Quebec! We had a not so good first meal at Conti Caffe but, fortunately, that was the last bad experience. We really liked both Le Pain Beni and L'Echaude. Other posts on CH have touted Toast. We took a look but didn't really like the menu. And, when we walked by Toast on our way to L'Echaude, at 8:15 on Saturday night, the dining room was completely empty. We enjoyed lunches in the Lower Town at Le Lapin Saute and Bistro Sous Le Fort. I, again, spent a lot of time walking the city. The Marché du Vieux-Port, a Farmer's Market is the best I've seen. I'm sure we've not seen the last of Quebec City!

          5 Replies
          1. re: bucksguy14
            p
            Porto Aug 11, 2009 06:31 AM

            Hi there Bucksguy,
            Can I ask what it was that did make Conti Caffe not work out. You are right though, Quebec City is truly a destination place to visit. I wanted to let you know why Toast looked empty. The reason being they do not use the indoor dining room in the summer months.
            They only seat people and serve dinner in the back garden patio which is quite a tranquil and heavenly place. It's unfortunate you were not aware of it. You must do Toast next time you are in Quebec City...........

            1. re: Porto
              owlwoman Aug 12, 2009 08:32 AM

              Yes, it's too bad you didn't eat at Toast, we had an exceptional meal there...I'm going to write a quick report.

              1. re: owlwoman
                bucksguy14 Aug 12, 2009 11:17 AM

                As I mentioned in my reply to Porto, we did find anything on the menu that appealed to us. That's the reason we didn't try Toast, not the fact that the dining room was emply. We were on our way to L'Echaude when we perused the menu and saw the dining room, we weren't looking to eat there that night, but were looking at it for another time.

              2. re: Porto
                bucksguy14 Aug 12, 2009 11:15 AM

                I think there were 2 things that we didn't like about Conti Caffe. The first was that we were seated at the table directly at the top of the stairs leading to the restrooms, which was bad enough, but the tables are so close together that I was constantly bumped by the wait staff, servers and customers. The second issue was the entrees we selected. Me wife had an app of minestrone that she enjoyed. I had an endive salad that was very good. However, my wife's linguine w/pesto was disappointing (she commented that mine is much better - not a good thing for a restaurant meal!) and I had fettuccine that I thought was very ordinary. Caffe Conti's prices are not ordinary. We didn't think the food should be. Regarding Toast, I don't think it mattered where they might have sat us, we just didn't find much to like about their menu. Maybe next time we'll find that they've changed it enough for us to give them a try.

                1. re: bucksguy14
                  c
                  Campofiorin Aug 12, 2009 12:19 PM

                  Considering the circumstances, I'D give Montreal another try if I were you. I once had a terrible weekend in NYC, of all places, just because I was sick. Returned a few months later and throughly enjoyed it, as usual.

                  Besides, you were quite unlucky with you restaurant choices and could have done much better.

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