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Please help me select restaurants for 6 meals in Montreal

financialdistrictresident Sep 3, 2009 08:25 AM

I will be going to Montreal for the first time 9/10-9/13. SO has been before and I will do a search of this Board shortly.

Appreciate all your help in the past: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/606244

Welcome any thoughts, suggestions or links to threads. If you could have lunch and dinner at only 6 restaurants (Montreal ONLY food experiences, any cuisine, 1 no red meat eater, all price ranges, good wine list unless it's a pub, within reasonable proximity of Sherbrooke Street West) where would you go?

Thanks,

FDR

PS I'm glad to return the favor if you need recs in NYC (Manhattan Board) or Saratoga Springs/Capital Region (TriState Board).

  1. financialdistrictresident Sep 14, 2009 01:34 PM

    Returned yesterday from Montreal. Thanks again for all the excellent suggestions. I cannot wait to return! Perhaps I should learn a little French first . . . We will finish the Ami du Chambertin from Yannick this evening . . .then start on the Fleur de re and Reine Claude.

    Highlights of our Montreal food adventure:

    THURSDAY

    *Dinner at DNA (and only $45!)

    FRIDAY

    *Breakfast at Patisserie Fous Desserts - this was a long walk from downtown . . .SO said the croissant rivaled ones in Paris. I had an almond croissant and tasted the chocolate croissant .
    *Mile End food tour (peaked into several places including Cocoa Locale - maybe a lemon cupcake next time . . .)
    *Late lunch at Montee
    *Dinner on the patio at Version (closing in about a week?). We could not get a table at Chez L'Epicier No. 311. This was our one, unplanned dinner in Old Montreal.

    SATURDAY

    *Breakfast at The Sparrow (a lovely, long walk from downtown). We arrived at just the right time before the waiting line started.
    *Late lunch on the terrace at Tam Tam d' Afrique until the bees got the best of us. Djoliba was already closed and Gracia Afrika was too far.
    *Dinner at Europea followed by port at Ferreira, a Portuguese bistro downtown

    I'll post a detailed trip report about the food later this week. Thanks again for all your help. It made my first visit to Montreal very special. PS I didn't get to try a Montreal bagel and we would have liked to eat at a bistro. Next time . . .

    1. financialdistrictresident Sep 5, 2009 10:58 AM

      The latest plan . . .

      THURSDAY

      Dinner tbd (maybe on Rue?? where SO wants to go)

      FRIDAY

      *Mile End Tour (note: Cheskies is closed Saturdays for the Sabbath)
      *African (Gracia Afrika? Tam Tam d'Afrique? Djoliba?) for lunch
      *Dinner tbd (will we even be hungry?). Possibilities:

      La Montee?
      Au Pied de Cochon?
      DNA in Old Montreal?
      Alep (or since we're having African save this for the next visit)?

      SATURDAY

      *Sparrow (note: breakfast is on weekends only)
      *Marche for lunch
      *Europea for dinner

      What about cheese?????

      34 Replies
      1. re: financialdistrictresident
        kpzoo Sep 5, 2009 11:01 AM

        > What about cheese?????

        Are you going to the Jean-Talon Market at some point? If so, that's where you could get your cheese!

        1. re: financialdistrictresident
          carswell Sep 5, 2009 11:05 AM

          Add a stop at Montreal's classiest (and in many ways best) cheese shop, Yannick, on your Mile End Tour. You'll be walking right past it.

          Yannick Fromagerie d'exception
          1218, rue Bernard, Outremont
          514 279-9376
          www.yannickfromagerie.ca

          1. re: carswell
            financialdistrictresident Sep 5, 2009 11:22 AM

            Thanks so much, everyone. I'm counting the days . . .

            1. re: carswell
              e
              Evilbanana11 Sep 6, 2009 07:03 AM

              I got a 50$ gift certificate from Yannick for my birthday, then lost it :(.

              1. re: Evilbanana11
                m
                moh Sep 6, 2009 07:16 AM

                Poor Evilbanana11! I would be horrified! $50, that's like one wheel of Epoisses, a hunk of Buerre D'echire, a Selles-sur-cher, well, maybe that's its.... STILL!!!!

                FDR: I would agree that if you are looking for wonderful cheese, you need to make sure you include Yannick on the bakery tour. The selection isn't huge, but every cheese in there is lovingly ripened to perfection, and coddled to bring out every morsel of deliciousness possible. They have marvelous artisanal raw milk cheeses of a quality that is hard to find. It is too early to get the incredibly rare Vacherin Mont D'or, sadly it won't be out until later in the fall, but ask what other special cheese they have on special. If you like aged gouda, they have a lovely one with all those yummy crunchy flavour crystals. Wonderful Conte and Ossau-Iraty, better than the mass-produced versions we so often find. And the butter: D'echire and D'isigny, all you need is a good baguette and that butter, and you are set for life. Not a cheap stop, but if you are a cheese fanatic, then so worth every penny.

                Right next door, they also have a very cute tea shop (Amour de the), another quick cute stop.

                1. re: moh
                  souschef Sep 6, 2009 09:47 PM

                  moh, have you tried baking with that butter or using it in buttercream, and if so, can you tell the difference? Also, is it dyed yellow?

                  1. re: souschef
                    m
                    moh Sep 7, 2009 08:13 AM

                    I have not baked with these butters. They are not cheap, and we use a lot of butter in our household! It scares me how much butter we go through around here. If we used Beurre D'echire and D'isigny for everything, we'd be broke... So I save it for putting directly on baguette (in cheese-like-quantities), and when I'm feeling really decadent, I do the British "butter on the cream cracker followed by a hunk of good cheese on top" I treat it like good olive oil, I won't use good olive oil to saute vegetables, but use it as a finishing item so I can appreciate its flavour.

                    I have had products made with the various butters, and they have been wonderful. For example, the lovely people at Bouchees Gourmandes made a caramel Beurre D'isigny which was wonderful... But i haven't done a head to head with regular caramel.

                    Re: dye, I believe the yellow colour comes naturally from the butterfat in these products. I can't see anything about colour added. They are AOC products, so I think they might not be allowed to ad colouring agents.

            2. re: financialdistrictresident
              hungryann Sep 5, 2009 03:04 PM

              Just to clarify, Alep is middle eastern , actually Syrian IIRC.
              I think what you are referring to as Marche is the Jean Talon Market perhaps?

              1. re: hungryann
                carswell Sep 5, 2009 03:08 PM

                Actually, Alep is Armenian through a northern Syrian lens.

                1. re: carswell
                  financialdistrictresident Sep 5, 2009 04:18 PM

                  Thanks, we read Alep was Syrian. Appreciate all the clarifications.

                  No idea about Marche. My apologies if I called it something that's incorrect, I've never been to Montreal. SO has been to Montreal before and said we must go there.

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident
                    p
                    Plateaumaman Sep 5, 2009 05:00 PM

                    I used to do something like that Mile End tour when I lived in Outremont and had seasonal affective disorder which makes you crave carbs. Apparently a good cure is to go for a walk before 8am and I'd always arrive home with hot bagels, fresh croissants as everything was open very early .. not a great weight loss plan even if you are walking in -30C weather.

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident
                      kpzoo Sep 6, 2009 06:59 AM

                      re: the mysterious Marche - ask your SO, could it be La Petite Marche on St-Denis?

                      http://www.midnightpoutine.ca/food/20...

                      Looks like it has nice breakfasts.

                      1. re: kpzoo
                        financialdistrictresident Sep 6, 2009 07:04 AM

                        Thanks, kpzoo. Marche reminds me of the posts I read on the Manhattan Board where someone describes a restaurant and where they think it is and can't remember the name . . . :)

                        1. re: kpzoo
                          financialdistrictresident Sep 6, 2009 09:05 AM

                          kpzoo, the mystery continues . . .Showed SO the link and it's NOT Marche. He advised it might be called Marche, is cafeteria style with a tremendous assortment of food and it's underground (maybe in the METRO?). He is now googling to no avail.

                          Appreciate your kind assistance.

                          1. re: financialdistrictresident
                            carswell Sep 6, 2009 09:09 AM

                            SO may be thinking of the now-closed Marché Movenpick in Place Ville-Marie.

                            1. re: carswell
                              financialdistrictresident Sep 6, 2009 09:14 AM

                              Thanks so much, carswell.

                              Merci from SO :)

                              1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                kpzoo Sep 6, 2009 11:26 AM

                                The good news: now you have another slot available for lunch. ;-)

                                1. re: kpzoo
                                  financialdistrictresident Sep 6, 2009 02:14 PM

                                  kpzoo, love the way you think :)

                  2. re: financialdistrictresident
                    financialdistrictresident Sep 5, 2009 09:19 PM

                    A recent thread on the Sparrow and menus:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/650271

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident
                      financialdistrictresident Sep 6, 2009 07:20 AM

                      Links to more on African cuisine in Montreal:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/575533 (Djoliba

                      )

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/614460 (African Food?

                      )

                      http://www.montrealgazette.com/story_print.html?id=1519611&sponsor= (The Gazette's "Meet Mother Afrika"

                      )

                      http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/f...
                      (The Gazette's "The land of saka-saka and fufu, Tam Tam D'Afrique cherry-picks its dishes from across Africa, some with a Vietnamese influence"

                      )

                      .

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident
                        financialdistrictresident Sep 6, 2009 09:33 AM

                        The latest plan (5 meals, not 6 - not counting breakfast, possibly a Montreal bagel and eating our way through Mile End) . . .

                        THURSDAY

                        Dinner tbd (on Rue . . .???? Au Pied de Cochon? DNA in Old Montreal? someplace else? Note: DNA is on www.opentable.com

                        )

                        FRIDAY

                        *Mile End Tour (note: Cheskies is closed Saturdays for the Sabbath & Yannick for cheese)
                        *African (Gracia Afrika? Tam Tam d'Afrique? Nix Djoliba because they only have 2-3 choices and I don't eat red meat? ) for lunch
                        *Dinner tbd (on Rue . . .???? Au Pied de Cochon? DNA in Old Montreal? Someplace else?)

                        SATURDAY

                        *Sparrow (note: breakfast is on weekends only)
                        *tbd for lunch (I believe Montee only serves lunch Monday-Friday, maybe African today and Montee on Friday?)
                        *Europea for dinner

                        We are very excited about all the African cuisine choices. Something we can't get in NYC or the Capital Region (Saratoga, Albany, Troy, Schenectady).

                        1. re: financialdistrictresident
                          w
                          wilmagrace Sep 11, 2009 12:20 PM

                          moh is right the lemon cupcake at cocoa locale is divine, went by myself today which was better than going with family as I could take more time looking at her intriguing assortment of cakes and pies so attractive with flower petals and also enjoyed looking at all the things on her walls, such cute decor in the the tiniest of spaces and rare to have such a nice smile and interest in montreal! Will be back for my daughters birthday but what a challenge it will be to choose a cake they all look delicious. I think it is important to support this kind of creative cake boutique and everyone should put it on their list on way to bagel stop!

                          1. re: wilmagrace
                            mainsqueeze Sep 11, 2009 12:34 PM

                            Wow, that's quite the 180 from your previous post about it.

                            1. re: mainsqueeze
                              w
                              wilmagrace Sep 11, 2009 12:59 PM

                              yes, i think it was the lemon icing that made me rethink my first impressions and having more time to take it all in. She even had candles in a bowl "for emergencies" she said in case somebody forgot, so cute......

                          2. re: financialdistrictresident
                            mainsqueeze Sep 11, 2009 12:33 PM

                            What do you mean by "on Rue"?

                            1. re: mainsqueeze
                              financialdistrictresident Sep 14, 2009 01:09 PM

                              mainsqueeze, it's a street or part of a street SO mentioned. Apologies for being so unclear.

                              1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                kpzoo Sep 14, 2009 01:12 PM

                                Hee. Rue means "street" in French.

                            2. re: financialdistrictresident
                              financialdistrictresident Feb 1, 2011 03:45 AM

                              Sadly, The Sparrow is now closed . . .and La Montee on Bishop . . .

                              1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                u
                                unlaced Feb 1, 2011 04:36 AM

                                The people who ran the brunch at the Sparrow have opened another restaurant, nearby, called Lawrence, that serves a very similar brunch. It is not gone so much as reincarnated.....

                                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                  kpzoo Feb 1, 2011 04:45 AM

                                  Sparrow is not closed. They still serve lunch and evening snacks. They no longer serve brunch on weekends.

                                  http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid...

                                  p.s. this thread is from 2009.

                                  1. re: kpzoo
                                    u
                                    unlaced Feb 1, 2011 05:33 AM

                                    yes, the OP is the one who revived the thread :) He is coming back for more!

                                    1. re: unlaced
                                      kpzoo Feb 1, 2011 06:30 AM

                                      > yes, the OP is the one who revived the thread :) He is coming back for more!

                                      Oh, ha. Didn't notice. ;-)

                                      > (She) can't wait to return to Montreal . . .and started a NEW thread :)

                                      Good idea. :-D

                                  2. re: financialdistrictresident
                                    SnackHappy Feb 1, 2011 05:20 AM

                                    La Montée has moved as well, and changed it's name back to La Montée de lait. Since the concept is different than what they did on Bishop and since they've recently lost their chef to Newtown, I wouldn't expect anything like the meal you had on your previous trip.

                                    http://www.lamonteedelait.com/

                                    1. re: SnackHappy
                                      financialdistrictresident Feb 1, 2011 05:42 AM

                                      My apologies Montreal hounds . . .thanks so much for the correction.

                                      (She) can't wait to return to Montreal . . .and started a NEW thread :)

                            3. financialdistrictresident Sep 4, 2009 04:39 AM

                              The plan so far:

                              Thursday - Marche for lunch, dinner tbd
                              Friday - Mile End Tour, African for lunch?, dinner tbd
                              Saturday - lunch tbd, Europea for dinner

                              moh, is the Mile End Tour better on a weekday or weekend?

                              What should we do for breakfasts? Sparrow? Delicious French pastries (I'll read the thread on best bakeries)?

                              PS Regarding breakfast, I am probably the only person on the Manhattan Board that thinks Clinton Street Bakery is overrated. Went once, no plans to return. Now, Shopsin's is a different story, unusual and different. Love their slutty pancakes (note to self: you must get back there soon, it has been too long). Please note we will NOT wait in long lines for overhyped pancakes, cupcakes, etc. We'll help you avoid the same when you come to Manhattan or the Capital Region. So kindly keep this in mind when making suggestions :)

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                p
                                Plateaumaman Sep 4, 2009 05:15 AM

                                You can always try the bagels for breakfast at the St-Viateur Café on Mont-Royal. I also like L'Express for breakfast as it always feels very Parisian. We don't have a lot of overhyped pancakes around here but you should be able to find some nice crepes.

                                For foie gras I like the two foie gras tapas they serve at Pintxo, or the foie gras torchon appetizer at Le P'tit Plateau. I also think Chez Levecque is a good choice for a nice French bistro. I had a good African meal near Atwater market awhile ago, very casual and homey, nice food, inexpensive .. Gracia Afrika, 3506 Rue Notre Dame Est.

                                Where is Marche (your lunch choice)?

                                1. re: Plateaumaman
                                  financialdistrictresident Sep 5, 2009 10:27 AM

                                  Thanks, Plateaumaman. SO said Marche is the touristy area. Also, just learned we may get to Montreal after lunch on Thursday, so now the dining choices become only 5. Even more challenging since Montreal has such good food :)

                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                    mainsqueeze Sep 11, 2009 12:30 PM

                                    Do you mean Marché Jean Talon?

                                    1. re: mainsqueeze
                                      financialdistrictresident Sep 14, 2009 01:12 PM

                                      mainsqueeze, carswell advised in a post below that SO was thinking of now closed Marché Movenpick in Place Ville-Marie.

                                2. re: financialdistrictresident
                                  kpzoo Sep 4, 2009 05:24 AM

                                  Sparrow only does breakfast on weekends, I think, so keep that in mind in your scheduling.

                                  http://www.montrealmirror.com/2009/050709/resto.html

                                  re: bakery tour - I'd definitely do it on Friday so you can include Cheskies, which is a kosher bakery that'll be closed on Saturday.

                                  For breakfast, consider Byblos on Laurier if you'd like something different and delicious. I recommend one of the breakfast combos - my fave is the "oriental omelette" and my hubby likes the feta omelette. They are more like Persian scrambled eggs than traditional omelettes, and they come with a basket of bread and a selection of homemade jams.

                                  http://www.geocities.com/cafebyblos/

                                  Enjoy your trip.

                                  p.s. you won't get smoked duck or turkey without ordering one in advance at Schwartz's. Their non red meat options are: the combo (half a spice-studded smoked chicken and smoked-meat platter), or a "meh" turkey roll sandwich.

                                  1. re: kpzoo
                                    financialdistrictresident Sep 5, 2009 10:31 AM

                                    Thanks, kpzoo. I'll keep the Mile End Tour on Friday and make sure we get to Cheskies before sundown. Sparrow may be our Saturday breakfast. We may have to save Schwartz' for the next trip.

                                  2. re: financialdistrictresident
                                    m
                                    moh Sep 4, 2009 11:07 AM

                                    Yup, Friday for the Mile End Tour. Cocoa Locale won't sell out of wares as quickly (this place is so cute, so Mile end, you have to go. Yummy cakes and cupcakes. She opens at noon, best selection will be when she opens.)

                                    1. re: moh
                                      w
                                      wilmagrace Sep 4, 2009 12:18 PM

                                      Having visited cocoa locale twice i dont think it is for everyone, it is cake but to my personal taste I prefer the variety of pastries and cakes in the french Patisseries, also cupcakes are a trendy thing found in most large cities nowadays nothing special to Montreal although of course quality varies and I have been disappointed in others such as on MontRoyal. Yes her cakes are fresh, rich, original but to me are not the only recommendation for sweets in Montreal, in fact I had two guests with me each time and they didnt seem to think this place stood out, as a place to return to, albeit cute in concept, appearance. Maybe my lack of enthusiasm is coming from an era when cupcakes where made at home from scratch and also not a quebecer of origin am more attracted to the elaborate and range of items found in the patisseries. Perhaps it does come down to individual preferences. Is the Mile end tour listed somewhere on this site...?
                                      This is another great listing of places and menus to try for all of us. Very helpful (:

                                      1. re: wilmagrace
                                        m
                                        moh Sep 4, 2009 01:09 PM

                                        As you say, cocoa locale isn't for everyone. If you look at the Mile end bakery tour, there is a mix of French patisseries/jewish bakeries and cocoa locale for a change. It may not appeal to you, but it does appeal to quite a few people, and Reema is such a sweetie, she makes a product that is touched with love, and the shop is so quirky and cute, I find the whole experience to be a very refreshing one.

                                        I would certainly comment, that you may be right, the concept is not special to Montreal. But it is very different in product and in atmosphere to many of the commercial touristy bakeries I've seen in other places such as NYC. For the 5 minutes it would take to go in and have a cupcake and interact with the delightful Reema, I think it is worth a visit. Ahh! The lemon cupcake. A thing of joy.

                                        1. re: moh
                                          w
                                          wilmagrace Sep 5, 2009 10:20 AM

                                          this map is useful for grazing in that area and they have maps of other foodie areas in montreal, although not sure how up to date, anjou quebec having moved to old montreal...

                                          http://www.quartiersgourmands.com/marchands/outremont/

                                          select neighbourhood for other areas interested in
                                          http://www.quartiersgourmands.com/mar...

                                          1. re: moh
                                            financialdistrictresident Sep 5, 2009 10:40 AM

                                            . . .and if the lemon cupcake does not appeal to us perhaps we can take a quick look around and grab an espresso or coffee :)

                                          2. re: wilmagrace
                                            financialdistrictresident Sep 5, 2009 10:35 AM

                                            wilmagrace, moh's Mile End tour is in one of the links early in this thread. I've also posted it below:

                                            I have also recently outlined a Bakery/espresso Mile End tour (Mile End is a very fun neighbourhood near downtown Montreal), so if you like that sort of thing, this is a great way to spend an afternoon:

                                            The Park bus (number 80) runs very frequently, and can be caught just outside the Place Des Arts Metro. It will take you to the beginning of the Mile End Boulangerie/espresso tour.

                                            In hommage to RGR's LES tour, here is a Mile End Boulangerie/espresso tour that would fit your bill:

                                            Take the 80 bus to Villeneuve. Stop here at about noon on Wednesdays through Sundays, and go to Cocoa Locale. You need to get here by noon when she opens to get the best selection. Pick out one of her delectable cupcakes, best in the city. Or if you are feeding a crowd, pick up a cake.

                                            Walk north on Park. If you want a bite to eat, you can turn right on Laurier and head to Toi Moi et Cafe for excellent coffee and breakfasts/lunches on the terrace. Across the street from Toi Moi et cafe is Patisserie Gascogne, go in and ogle at their magnificent display of decorated cakes, chocolate sculptures, and French pastry. They have very good croissants and chocolatines, but I would hold out til further on to try these. But I would consider buying one of their mini-quiches or sausage rolls, they do excellent quiche. The quiche is small (about 2 inches in diameter) and doesn't take a lot of stomach space.

                                            Backtrack back to Parc. Continue north about 1 and a half long blocks. On the east side of the street is Caffe in Gamba, one of the newer coffee shops in town. They do really great espresso and fabulous latte, one of the better places in the city. They also sell the beans, which are really great. I love the Paladino beans.

                                            Continue to head north on Parc until you get to St. Viateur. Turn right. Immediately, you will see St. Viateur Bagels to your left. Go in and buy a hot sesame bagel, consume it warm. If you want, buy some cream cheese, lox, various spreads, etc. But when they are warm, they are delicious alone, and a real Montreal experience.

                                            If you are needing more caffeine, continue down St. Viateur and hit Club Social and Cafe Olympico for straight espresso shots with the locals.

                                            Turn around, head back to Parc. Continue north to Bernard. Turn left. On the north side of the street, you will see Cheskies. Go. Buy the Challah. You must. Best to buy it whole, and I prefer the sweet challah that is braided. Cheskies also has good rugelah, although I find that these are not as decadent as some I've bought in NYC. Chocolate is my favorite. Note that Cheskies is closed on Fridays after sundown until Sunday am.

                                            Continue West on Bernard, and you will come to Premiere Moisson, one of the better "chain" artisanal bread shops in the city. They have a fabulous selection of loaves, all delicious, and I love their lardon/fromage (ie. Cheese and chunks of bacon) fougasse (or they have olive fougasse if you don't like bacon). They have good croissant as well, but again, I would hold off here and wait for later (or try it for taste comparisons!) Also nearby is Bilboquet, which sells lovely ice cream and sorbets. I think the sorbets are the better choice, the mango sorbet is extremely flavourful, and the lychee sorbet is also a major winner. If you like cheese, go to Yannick, probably the best cheese shop in Montreal. Here you can get perfectly ripened raw milk cheeses from France and other places. This is in my opinion the only place you should buy your Epoisses. But warning, Yannick isn't cheap. But it is worth every penny.

                                            Ok: Now the croissant. The rest of the trip is not so bad. You could walk from the first stop Cocoa Locale to Premiere Moisson in about 20 minutes, 30 minutes at a leisurely pace, without the stops. And there are mulitple opportunities on this trip to get very good croissant. But if you want what I consider the best croissant, you have to add on this extra leg. You will be wanting exercise at this point anyways.

                                            Backtrack back to Parc. Turn south (right), backtrack back to Laurier. Turn left on Laurier. Walk all the way to Fous Desserts, which is a couple of blocks past the Laurier metro. This walk will take you about 30 minutes from the Premiere Moisson. But at the end awaits the crispiest butteriest croissant you'll ever have. Also worth tasting: the chocolate pear croissant. The almond croissant is apparently also good. And if you see them, buy the caramel au fleur de sel tart with nuts. Insanely good. This is the only part of the tour that is not in Miles End, it is in the PLateau. If you are really tired, you can take a quick cab to Fous Desserts, wouldn't cost more than $7-8. Note that Fous Desserts is closed Sundays and MOndays I believe.

                                            I hate to say, I haven't even put all the places I could have on the list. Mile End is a treasure trove of great places. I haven't included gourmet food shops, a bunch of great restos of all types, etc. I have really only included the bakery and coffee shops. But I should add a chocolate stop or two:

                                            Genevieve Grandbois is a shop that makes handmade chocolates. They are beautiful, delicious but pricey, it is worth buying a few pieces to try. My personal favorites are the balsamic vinegar chocolate, the piment d'Espelette chocolate and a butter crunch caramel with sea salt that is dipped in a thin coat of dark chocolate. This place is on St. Viateur, past the bagel shop on the opposite side of the the street.

                                            Others wold also recommend Juliette et Chocolate, a cafe/chocolate shop on Laurier, west of Parc. Dedicated to all things chocolate, they have light meals (non-chocolate crepes), hot chocolate, cold chocolate, brownies which are very delicious and rich, chocolate decadence. I like it very much, but have a few personal favorites that are not in Mile End.

                                            Have fun!

                                            Permalink | Report | Reply
                                            moh Jun 13, 2008 09:49AM

                                      2. m
                                        moh Sep 3, 2009 03:35 PM

                                        Hey FDR - I enjoy your posts on the Manhattan board! Glad you are getting a chance to visit our city.

                                        Here would be my suggestions for unique Montreal only places:

                                        Lunch:
                                        1. Schwartz's smoked meat. A classic Montreal joint. It is in the same family of food as pastrami, but it is a bit different. You need to try it just to see how it is different. I always get a side of fries and big deli pickle.
                                        2. La Montee: I would normally have put this down for a dinner option, but since the three places I list for dinner don't offer lunch (well, Au Cinqiueme Peche does, but only on Fridays and I feel you need to go for the dinner to get the full experience), I put this place for lunch. I love their lunch menu. It is elegant, original, delicious. French inspired, but market driven. If you like offal, and they have their calf liver, go for it, it is great. And the dessert for $3 is a complete steal. Great wine list, the sommeliers are very helpful, and they offer a nice selection of wines by the glass.
                                        3. Bagels at Fairmount or St. Viateur. You may as well compare them to the NYC version and then enter into the debate!

                                        Dinner:
                                        1. Alep: Montreal does Middle Eastern well, and Alep is the crown jewel. Get the degustation menu, and make sure it has the kibbeh nayah (seasoned raw beef, like steak tartare only much, much better). This place is unique and wonderful. Great quirky fairly-priced wine list, and the sommelier is quite passionate about wine and can discuss how the wine will go with the menu. There will be enough choices for the non-red meat eater too. Alep is a little far away from your hotel, but you can get there by metro easily, and a cab ride wouldn't cost you more than $15-20. By car, it would be about 20 minutes.
                                        2. Au Pied du Cochon: what can I say, it is a Montreal institution. It really is a one-of-a-kind resto, I've never seen another place quite like it in North America. Apparently, they are number one in the world for the amount of fois gras sold in a restaurant. A shrine to fat, flavour and full-on decadence, there will still be enough non-red-meat stuff to appeal to your friend. Not a light meal though, go hungry and with a hole in your stomach.
                                        3. Au Cinqiueme Peche: Wonderful french/belgium menu, exquisite food preparations, excellent wine list, intimate atmosphere. A gem. So very Montreal. And if you are feeling adventurous, and they are offering it, the seal meat appetizer is unique and delicious. I can assure you this is not a common offering, I daresay very few restaurants offer seal meat. But they don't always have it.

                                        Anyhow, those would be my suggestions. All of these places and topics have been extensively discussed on our board, and so if you do a search, you can find a lot of input from other posters as well. I hope you have a great trip!

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: moh
                                          m
                                          moh Sep 3, 2009 04:45 PM

                                          I see from the other thread you are also possibly interested in Europea. Well, that woudl be an excellent choice as well. If so, you can go to Au Cinquieme peche for lunch on Fridays I believe, you would have to check to confirm.

                                          I also see Sparrow is on your list, I really love Sparrow too, very excellent Gastro-pub (but no alcohol yet..)

                                          1. re: moh
                                            financialdistrictresident Sep 3, 2009 05:08 PM

                                            Thanks for all the suggestions. Please keep them coming. I'm still reviewing threads and researching.

                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                              superbossmom Sep 3, 2009 06:31 PM

                                              I personally would keep la Montée in the running for dinner, it's that good.
                                              Location and food and service.

                                              1. re: superbossmom
                                                m
                                                moh Sep 3, 2009 06:45 PM

                                                A very fair point superbossmom! The only reason I shunted it to lunch is because I find the experience at lunch is so great, it is close to the dinner experience for me.

                                                1. re: moh
                                                  financialdistrictresident Sep 3, 2009 07:43 PM

                                                  I have read the threads and have questions. Thank you again for your kind assistance.

                                                  Moh, can't thank you enough for the Mile End Tour! Carswell's recent thread on mid-range to high-end restos was also very helpful.

                                                  My SO has been to Montreal before so that will be a big help. I made a reservation on opentable.com for Europea. SO really enjoyed his meal there earlier this year (thanks, hungryann). Do you suggest the discovery menu, tasting menu or a la carte? The discovery menu looked the most flexible for me (not a red meat eater). Do "fine dining" restaurants in Montreal have the same policy as in NYC - everyone at the table must get the tasting menu?

                                                  Since Europea is downtown I want to make sure I get to experience old Montreal. Is old Montreal better for breakfast, lunch or dinner? I see La Montee is also downtown. La Montee is a strong possibility for lunch or dinner.

                                                  Am also interested in Djoliba or Tam Tam d'Afrique. Since Elyssa Dido (North African, LES) closed we have not had North African food. We loved their chicken charmoula, etc. We've been settling for harissa and bread at home. Maybe Alep? Need to look at the menus. Something ethnic so we don't eat all French food for 3 days. Probably not sushi, Chinese, or Greek we can get that in NYC.

                                                  Bagels . . .IMHO these are an ONLY in NYC food. Maybe my mind will expand before my body gets to Montreal and I will check out the bagels at Fairmount or St. Viateur :)

                                                  Thinking about Schwartz' (smoked meat). Maybe for a grab and go lunch? Smoked duck or chicken sounds good to me. If I've had D'Artagnan or Oscar's smoked meats and SO has been to Katz' why should we try Schwartz'?

                                                  I adore foie gras. Where should I eat it in Montreal? Au Pied du Cochon?

                                                  Is there a restaurant with amazing desserts? I find many of NYC's fine dining restaurants to be sadly lacking in dessert selections. Only exception is Falai.

                                                  So far: Marche (lunch) and Europea (dinner).

                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                    KzenCass Sep 3, 2009 09:04 PM

                                                    One restaurant that was left off here and if you like really fun foods is DNA.... i've had 2 really great meals there in the past 3 months and would recommend it highly..... it's ranged from some of the best offal i've ever had to great charcuterie made in house.... great attention to detail with a canadian/market twist..... also great seafood at times....

                                                    I also love Liverpool House (as well as Joe Beef) and eat at the bar weekly. for seafood, gnochi, meat and poultry.....

                                                    Au pied du Cochon for excess. it's awesome. a must try.

                                                    L'Orignal on St.Alexis in the old port for Oysters and the best shucker in town.

                                                    Mas Cuisine in Verdun for a great lunch.

                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                      m
                                                      moh Sep 4, 2009 03:33 AM

                                                      FDR, if you adore fois gras, then Au Pied du Cochon is a must-try. Most selection of preparations by far. I love the Plogue au Champlain, pancakes, apple, bacon, fois gras, and maple syrup - so yummy, so Quebecois, a great way to eat fois, and extremely original. You just won't see fois gras like this in many other places, and if you do see it, is is a rip-off of Martin Picard's version. They also have amazing desserts (but you have to make sure you save space. I almost never can).

                                                      Alep would be a great change from all the French based dining we have here. I cannot encourage you enough to go. It is great. The terbialy sauced shrimp are to die for. The fattouche salad is the only one I have ever really loved. The fish in olive sauce is savoury and delicious. Chicken in pita and pomegranate sauce - yum! really, everything on the degustation menu was delicious, And for about $35 for the grand degustation per person, well, it is a steal. Everything is served family style.

                                                      Europea - you'll have to get input from others, as I (sadly) have not yet been!! But it gets a lot of love on this board.

                                                      re African food: We have a fairly healthy immigrant population here, and so it is a pretty good place to get African food. If you are planning to try some of the Mile End Bakery tour, it would be very easy to to add on either Djoliba is right on Parc Avenue, a few blocks south of Cocoa Locale on the corner on Mont Royal. And Tam-tam D'afrique is on Mont Royal fairly near that corner too. I haven't yet tried Tam Tam, but a very good palate that is Emerilcantcook has tried it, and she said it was great. I suspect there is more choice at Tam tam than at Djoliba. I adore the food at Djoliba, but you really have to eat whatever they have that day. It usually comes down to about 2-3 choices. It is authentically African in this way.

                                                      My head is reeling a bit at the thought of doing African food for lunch (not light cuisine), followed by the bakery tour, followed by a big gourmet dinner. All I can say is "pace pace pace". Walk a lot. share all portions. Go lightly on starches (heh heh heh, good luck in the bakeries).

                                                      Re Scwartz's yes you can grab and go. If you like smoked meats a lot, then yes you need to try. Get the medium or regular, don't get the lean. Smoked duck and turkey are very yummy. But if smoked meats are not a major thing, then sure skip it. I added it because it really is a Montreal classic. But only go if smoked meat and Jewish deli is your thing.

                                                      1. re: moh
                                                        financialdistrictresident Feb 1, 2011 03:34 AM

                                                        Just read Djoliba is closed . . .

                                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                          kpzoo Feb 1, 2011 04:47 AM

                                                          Djoliba closed quite a while ago and morphed into Tourtiere Australienne.
                                                          4520 Parc - http://www.tourtiereaustralienne.ca

                                                      2. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                        m
                                                        moh Sep 4, 2009 03:36 AM

                                                        P.S. Bring on the bagel debate!!! Make sure you get a fresh hot one, preferably sesame. This is the classic. Eat it while hot. It needs nothing on it , but if you must, schmear on some Liberty Cream cheese - not low fat. But when they are warm, they are heavenly even without anything on it.

                                                        1. re: moh
                                                          financialdistrictresident Sep 4, 2009 04:27 AM

                                                          moh and other Montreal hounds, words cannot express my appreciation for all your suggestions and help . . . I am counting the days to visit your fine city for the first time (and before it gets too cold).

                                                          Looks like African might be another lunch . . .like the idea of eating at a place that cooks specialties of the day.

                                                          PS My mind is slowly opening re: Montreal bagels . . . :)

                                                        2. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                          hungryann Sep 4, 2009 08:59 AM

                                                          Re: Europea, I had the discovery menu and my SO had the tasting menu so no problems ordering different set menus. They even included some freebies for my DH in order to offset the different timings of our courses; for eg, they gave him the foie gras cromesqui that was part of my meal but not his. The discovery menu is great and if you're willing to sit at a table for 4 hours go for it. I admit I got a little antsy after 3 hours and wanted to leave but I am glad I hung around for the 4 course dessert. If you want to be done in max 2 hours then you won't go wrong with the tasting menu.

                                              2. financialdistrictresident Sep 3, 2009 09:03 AM

                                                Just found this great thread. Will review and get back with questions.

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/649538

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                  w
                                                  wilmagrace Sep 3, 2009 02:39 PM

                                                  I had a wonderful lunch at Chez Leveque today, they have a terrace/patio (best for tourists as nice street and shops)on the road (blocked off) but i chose a table inside although both areas were full but as lunchtime there was turnover. The lunch menu includes several items on the regular menu but appetizer and dessert included, my meal of rabbit, le mijoté du jour (lapin a la milanaise, included terrific sauce which was later put on accompanying pasta, the veggies were bokchoy, and pureed sweet potato/yam put on porcelain soup spoon on plate so as not to mix with sauce) cost 18$. Other people besides me ordered boudin , salad with cold salmon, frog legs and there were other items like veal, tilapea etc on chalkboards. For appetizer i chose a gazpacho, fullbodied and delicious and from the choices of tempting desserts I chose a sugar pie so wonderful that i asked if it was made inhouse, it was the best sugar pie I have ever had (all desserts made inhouse) because i wanted to know who made it! This is very convenient location on Laurier near Parc avenue, close to downtown, and the restaurant is very French in ambience, menu choices and presentation so this is why I would recommend it to outoftowners but frankly I will go back again for the lunch specials --they also have a late night deal (21$ à 21h) where you choose one of dessert or appetizer whereas lunch both included. I did not look at wine list but would have a good selection, most diners were enjoying wines. The service was fantastic and waiters perfectly bilingual. Bread and coffee refills offered--both very good. I highly recommend it to tourists as you will be more in a French atmosphere with excellent food and yet very close to downtown. You can see some photos and an idea of menu choices but menu did seem different today, http://www.chezleveque.ca/index.html
                                                  I parked for free on backstreet but there is metered parking on street. They have been in business 35 years which says they are doing something right!

                                                2. financialdistrictresident Sep 3, 2009 08:52 AM

                                                  Just reviewed the "Restaurant Openings - 2009" thread:

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/584457

                                                  Any thoughts on the following (MUST try, skip, lunch or dinner place?). I'll also check out their websites:

                                                  *Resident (Feb. 2009, gorgeous space, upscale diner
                                                  )*The Sparrow (Feb. 2009) - named after the book?
                                                  *Le St.-Urbain (Mar. 2009)
                                                  *L'Art a Tatouille (Mar. 2009)
                                                  *Tam Tam d'Afrique (Apr. 2009)
                                                  *Cafe 92 - coffees, etc.

                                                  Generally don't care to eat at new restaurants for at least 6 months but have been breaking that "rule" a lot these days. Are these newbies ready for prime time?

                                                  Also we can get really good Greek food in NYC so probably should skip that as a cuisine possibility.

                                                  1. mainsqueeze Sep 3, 2009 08:29 AM

                                                    Do you mean three lunches and three dinners or six lunches and six dinners?

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: mainsqueeze
                                                      financialdistrictresident Sep 3, 2009 08:33 AM

                                                      Thanks, mainsqueeze. Apologies if I was unclear. Three lunches and three dinners.

                                                      May also consider a "special" breakfast place, otherwise we will be saving our appetites for lunch and dinner :)

                                                      1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                        mainsqueeze Sep 3, 2009 08:40 AM

                                                        Also, Sherbrooke St. West is several kilometers long and spans numerous neighbourhoods. It would be helpful if you gave an address or cross street. Cheers.

                                                        1. re: mainsqueeze
                                                          financialdistrictresident Sep 3, 2009 08:45 AM

                                                          Thanks, mainsqueeze. Avenue Du Parc is a cross street. We're flexible on location. Just don't want to drive an hour for dinner!

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