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Fantasy Dining Week

Where would you choose to eat given the following conditions:

1. You will have to eat there for every evening dinner, for one week straight;
2. It must be a restaurant;
2. It must be within an hour of downtown Montreal;
3. Money is no object.

Let me know why you chose your place.

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  1. I have actually eaten dinner at Qing Hua for a week straight when I was getting some work done on my kitchen.

    6 Replies
    1. re: bigfellow

      With the menu being just dumplings, that amazing soup and pork bones, did you get the same thing every night or did you vary it a bit?

      1. re: Andria

        I varied the dumplings, and they made me fried dumplings once!

        1. re: bigfellow

          Did you ever get the plate-o-bones?

          1. re: Andria

            Are you talking about the "salad"?

            1. re: bigfellow

              No green to be seen. Just pork bones, neck I believe, in a bowl served with disposable plastic gloves.

              1. re: Andria

                Yup, that's the neck bone salad!

    2. It would probably be M sur Masson. I love the service, love the food and it somehow feels warm and cozy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mtlmaven

        Ooooooooh! I have never been, but just checked out their menu. I would love to try most of their menu. I could even enjoy all their desserts! What are you favorite items - starte, main, dessert?

        1. re: Andria

          We recently ate there and I really loved the food. I had the bouc émissaire appetizer (chevre chaud), the scallop risotto with fresh peas and citron confit, and the caramelized pineapple. All three were excellent. I do find the prices quite high for the level of service, but luckily I wasn't paying.

      2. I'd head to Joe Beef right on Notre-Dame W. I dig the funky and intimate vibe, the food is fresh, delicious, and inspired, and the service is friendly without being overbearing. The fact money is no object is what seals the deal since I certainly couldn't afford to chow down there seven nights in a row under normal circumstances.

        1. The first two that come to mind are Le Petit Alep and Meat Market. Le Petit Alep always has excellent food, and the menu is varied enough that I haven't gotten around to ordering everything that I want yet (but so far, everything was fantastic). As for Meat Market, I've only been there once, and I was going there specifically for a burger, but I realized that there were a lot of diferent things on the menu that looked very good.

          1. I would also be happy eating at Le Petit Alep all week.

            I also would like to dine at Kieu Ahn, because I could never tire of really good, fresh, affordable Vietnamese food.

            Maybe also Le Georgia, because how could I deny daily katchapouri?

            1. My choice would be my favourite restaurant - Europea. Great food and service. I usually go for the table d'hote as it is much cheaper than a la carte, but this time, as you are paying, I would try all of the a la carte items I have wondered about, and one (or more?) evening I would try the chef's table (20 or 25 courses).

              It would be interesting (just going by reputation, as I have not eaten there) to try this at L'Eau a la Bouche in Ste. Adele (56 minutes from Montreal, per google maps) as it is a luxury hotel and spa too. Great place to exercise off all those calories and be pampered in the spa.....or did your deal not include a hotel and spa?

              23 Replies
              1. re: souschef

                L'eau à la Bouche, the restaurant is good (was there 2 years ago), but not overwhelmigly good.

                The hotel, is crap; service is good, but if feels old and is in need of a real make-over.

                1. re: Maximilien

                  I believe the hotel has been partly renovated. They now have more modern and stylish options than those tacky themed and B&B type rooms they used to have, although they still have those rooms.

                  1. re: Maximilien

                    I've never actually seen the hotel, but assumed it was upscale as it is a member of the Relais & Chateaux group. Seems I was wrong.

                  2. re: souschef

                    I did their tasting menu last Saturday night (oh, and the Saturday night before) and loved most of the food. I wasn't crazy about the bass... not because of the plate itself, but because I think another fish would go much better. I think the main reason I wouldn't choose Europea is because I would feel a little overwhelmed having to be so proper every night... I need to slouch a little.

                    1. re: Andria

                      Oh, so you now have an additional requirement ? You need to slouch a little :)

                      Given your bottomless purse I would not restrict myself to just one restaurant for a whole week. Imagine if all the high end restaurants had a chef's table........

                      1. re: souschef

                        True, going to a different restaurant every night wold be ideal, but I really wanted something that was so consistently good one could eat there every night. For example, while I love Indian/Pakistani food from Shahi Palace, I could not eat there every day for a week. Thai food, on the other hand, I could do every day.

                        1. re: Andria

                          If only there was a decent thai place to go to for 7 days in a row...sigh!
                          I love the idea of sushi everyday. Yeah, I would definitely hit up Jun-I.

                          1. re: hungryann

                            I would happily eat at Talay Thai every day for a week (Côte-des-Neiges & Côte-Ste-Catherine). Mmm....

                            1. re: kpzoo

                              I have went twice for lunch and ordered off their specials, lunch menu and I found the food very bland and uninspired. Maybe à la carte is the way to go ?

                              1. re: hungryann

                                I've never had a lunch special, so I can't compare. I am addicted to their Thai fried rice with green beans and Thai basil. I've never found the food bland. Had a fish dish once and it was excellent.

                                1. re: hungryann

                                  I've had exactly the same experience. I wondered whether evenings weren't maybe a better time to go.

                                  1. re: carswell

                                    FYI - you can order a la carte at any time of day, no problem.

                                    1. re: kpzoo

                                      Yes but at some places noon and afternoon KP is handled by second-stringers.

                                      1. re: carswell

                                        I've eaten there at lunch and dinnertime an equal number of times and I've found no difference in the quality of the food, and have seen the same lady cooking at both times of day. I think it's a family-run place, judging from the articles I read on their review wall.

                                        But anyway, maybe we just have different taste in Thai food. I also like the place on Monkland and others hate it, so what-ev.

                                        I've also been served what I considered horrible food at the Thai joint at the Faubourg, which many here revere - last time it was so awful (disgusting inedible bits of chicken) that I vowed I'd never go back.

                                        To each their own!

                                        1. re: kpzoo

                                          There's no disputing taste, that's for sure. But we do see eye-to-eye about Indian food. And the thing is, you're not the only active or lurker hound I pay attention to who likes the restaurant. A group of us should go sometime and put the kitchen to the test, sampling a wide range of dishes.

                                          1. re: carswell

                                            "A group of us should go sometime and put the kitchen to the test, sampling a wide range of dishes."
                                            I would be interested. Let me know.

                                            1. re: hungryann

                                              I am always up for Thai, so I'm in too! Thai food is always better shared among friends (or even a group of people we have never met).

                                          2. re: kpzoo

                                            Kpzoo, I thought maybe because they are rushed at lunchtime (the place is usually packed), the dishes are more generic since they want to feed many people as quickly as possible. I agree that Bangkok (Faubourg) can be great at times but it definitely has its low moments. I haven't had quite as bad an experience as yours but sometimes the food is very lacklustre. Montreal just doesn't have great thai food.

                                      2. re: carswell

                                        Carswell,I wondered the same thing about their evening performance but since my 2 visits were blah, I haven't rushed back. If I am ever in the area at suppertime, I will give it a third try.

                                        1. re: hungryann

                                          Went to Talay Thai last night and along with my usual Thai fried rice with chicken, basil, and green beans - which was excellent as always - we had a most wonderful mango salad that was just perfect: tart and crunchy, with shreds of red pepper and mint. My friend was also happy with her chicken & rice-noodle dish.

                                          1. re: kpzoo

                                            Yes, the mango salad is good although not traditional; I guess in this part of the world underripe mangos are easier to find than underripe papaya.

                                            1. re: hungryann

                                              They also have a green papaya salad on the menu, but I haven't tried it.

                            2. re: Andria

                              I just remembered that I had bass there 2 years ago. They happily substituted the bass for the salmon in the table d'hote (for an additional charge). I don't remember the preparation, but do remember enjoying it; it was probably not the same as what you had.

                              One thing I will never forget is their mackerel rillettes. It was sublime. I actually asked for seconds.

                          2. Jun I. Why? It's out of my price range in general, and everytime I eat sushi I want more the next day. I want to try nearly everything on their menu as well.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: C70

                              Where is Jun I? I could possibly do sushi every day if it was super fresh. What else is on the menu there? What sushi stands?

                              1. re: Andria

                                It's on Laurier W (http://www.juni.ca); it's been a while since I've been there (don't know why, just happened like that

                                )

                                They have a small sushi/sashimi list, good, well, prepared, some seasonal specials, some out-of-menu options (always ask).

                                The rest of the menu is/was Japanese inspired French/Italian dishes.

                                The first time I was there, it just openned, I had the tasting menu !!! with little sushi in it, so it was strange but very good experience.

                                i also had there, for the first time, un-filtered Sake.

                            2. Maybe i'd try to do Pied de cochon, in a perfect world it would be the time of year where they would have both their summer and winter menu at the same time

                              but then, i'm not sure the body could survive a whole week of pied de cochon indulgence

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: westaust

                                Only if whatever you ate that week was calorie-free!

                              2. Where? Au Pied de Cochon.

                                Why? I have a death wish.

                                Seriously though, I would focus on the seasonal specials and fish dishes, order two apps instead of a main, ask if half orders were available. I expect I would make it to the end of the week without dying or looking like the twin brother of Jabba the Hutt.

                                1. I think the week-long aspect would make me want to eat somewhere simpler, like Justine, bistro a vin. Too much rich, fancy resto food in a row and I start feeling a bit icky. Even if it's all delicious, the meals served at high-end places are richer and saltier than the food I eat at home and really are better enjoyed on occasion rather than every day.

                                  1. If indeed money is no object, I'd go for Club Chasse et Peche. Why? Because that way I'd finally get to try everything on the menu over the course of a week, instead of only having to choose one meal...and I love their veggie plate (come to think of it, I could happily make a meal of a few of those every night with no problem)

                                    1. Although this is a cool question, I have issues with eating at the same resto for and entire week. I love variety, and I can't think of a single place in the world where I would eat for one whole week in a row. I would start to seriously crave other food after a while.

                                      I guess if I had to choose a place I would choose a large Chinese (probably Cantonese) place, where the menu is extensive and very varied. I'd choose Cantonese, because you can always add spice in the form of chili paste/oil, but can't take it away. Fu Kam Wah has such a varied menu here in Montreal, plus they offer different food on their lunch menu, so I guess I would go for a place like this.

                                      I love our high-end places. But I just can't eat like that every day. I need to have a variety of fatty foods... :) One day, fois gras, next day, fried chicken, after that chicharron. So it goes....

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: moh

                                        See, that was my point... I was trying to think of restaurants that excel in a variety of menu items so that you don't end up with all the same tastes day after day. And ambiance is crucial to me in making my selection as well... I am a somewhat laid-back & high maintenance person, so I like a relaxed environment with friendly staff who offer excellent service.

                                        1. re: Andria

                                          An alternative view to the variety of menu items requirement:

                                          I like it when a restaurant has a small menu. In my experience it means that the few things they do they do very well.

                                          Isn't "laid-back" and "high-maintenance" contradictory ? :)

                                          1. re: souschef

                                            I'm with you souschef, big variety on a menu usually means nothing is done particularly well.

                                            1. re: eoj

                                              Hmm.. I tend to disagree. Although this may lack of quality maybe common, I certainly don't think it's acceptable. For example, one could order every day from APC, especially with the current addition of seafood, and get something different every day. I have loved almost all the plates I have tried there... everything is done exceptionally well... and no compromise on quality. In my opinion, the same could be said about the food at some Chinese restos as well as some other places other folks have mentioned so far.

                                              1. re: Andria

                                                I disagree that Pied de Cochon is that consistently good. I used to love the place and have had some wonderful meals there (the best being perhaps the Lapin Royale - rabbit stuffed with (what else?) foie gras), BUT I have also had some disappointments there, and this with dishes I have enjoyed there before.

                                                I have not had luck with seafood there, having been served last summer a platter of rubber seafood and a truly mediocre softshell crab.

                                                Going back to my limited menu thoughts: there was a restaurant in the sleepy village of Carmel, California, where they had a black board with one appetizer, one main, and one dessert. That was all that was available, and I thought they had the right idea. I could not get in midweek as it was full; the food was known to be exceptional.

                                      2. I would choose Rugantino on St-Laurent corner St-Viateur. This italian restaurant has an interesting menu and I think that I would not be missing any food groups in my diet for that week.

                                        1. Hey Andria, you asked the question, but did not answer it yourself....where would YOU choose to eat ?

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: souschef

                                            I thought of this question after eating at Europea two Saturdays in a row. I love the food, but once again, there's the whole slouching thing ... for a full week, I need to be relaxed. I think I would choose Au Pied de Cochon. I have had great food & service ever time I have been, and I still haven't tried everything.

                                            I could easily do Thai ever day as well, but I am unsure of where. I used to love Le Thailand on Bernard, but haven't been in years.

                                            1. re: Andria

                                              without a doubt ROBIN DES BOIS on st laurent, always had a good meal there, and bought their bag of tokens(gift certificate) as gift to give to others at Christmas, and this orignal project of a restaurant staffed primarily by volunteers with profits going to helping community organizations such as le chanon and other charities makes the meals even more memorable. I adore this concept and support it whenever we have visitors coming to Montreal. Atmosphere convivial and more room in their new location, it is my fave place in montreal-- only in Montreal can you find a restaurant of this quality with a purpose to assist fellow citizens in need, so unique! http://www.robindesbois.ca/

                                              1. re: wilmagrace

                                                I have been meaning to try out Robin des Bois - I was supposed to book my group there in June, but opted for l'Ambroisie instead... big mistake. What have you eaten there?

                                                1. re: Andria

                                                  It is a chalkboard menu so changes whenever i have been, I have had lamb, moroccan chicken, pasta with asparagus etc, cerf, but usually go with the fish of the day. Often we have gone later which is a problem as they can run out of certain items on the board which can be disappointing. I have also enjoyed the appetizers which were different such as beets, Portions are not large,i dont recall the exact details of the meals as I have not been for awhile, just know we were never disappointed. We have only gone on weekends, not tried it during week. The waiters/waitresses can get a bit mixed up (check your bill!) and frazzled but they are volunteers so be prepared!

                                          2. I could eat at Romados every day for a week, even with chicken and pork being the only things on the menu. I ate there 3 times in a week once.

                                            But with money no object, first places that comes to mind are Cafe Ferreira or Philinos (and seriously, it'd suck to get sick of Romados).

                                            Why? 'Cause I like those styles of food, and I've never had a bad meal at any of 'em.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Shattered

                                              hmmm... yeah, Philinos... yes it is possible I could eat there for a whole week and not go completely crazy. The portions are so huge, I could just order one thing each night and top it off with bread and be very full. They also have a nice range of meats, fish, seafood, salads, enough variety to make it ok. And enough of the food is simple and relatively healthy, it wouldn't overload me like some of the fancier restos might. But by the end of the week I'd be craving Asian noodles like crazy!!!

                                            2. After a lunch at McKiernan's last week, I have determined that I could happily have dinner at Joe Beef every night for a week - no problem...it would definitely be more relaxed than CC+P (but still, I could definitely live with CC+P for a week, too).

                                              1. L'Eau à la Bouche...

                                                'nuff said.

                                                1. I would have eaten at Les Chevres every night for a month.