5 days in Montreal
Hi all! I live in Florida. I spent a month in Montreal in 1999, doing summer study @ McGill. I don't remember all the places where I ate in 1999, and I'm sure places have come and gone. But I remember eating amazing Mexican food, amazing Chinese food, and loving the french fries with gravy!
My husband and I are going back for 5 days in September for our 10th anniversary. Here is what I have so far, from searching the board, including the Quintessential and Best Of threads:
* Rent bicycles and eat at a terasse on St. Denis
What else would be fun, delicious, and/or essential? We will want one distinctly French meal, any price range, as long as it is excellent food. We also enjoy Indian, fish/seafood, sushi, and pretty much anything else, except I don't eat spicy.
We will want one nice celebration dinner. I have read mixed about Europea, and I would like to know what else to consider. We are staying at the Omni.
1227, rue de la Montagne, Montreal, QC H3G1Z2, CA
Not that it needs to be seconded, but I'll second Au Pied de Cochon anyway. It's a memorable meal. I don't think we would have gone if they didn't have their seafood menu (we were there in July; not sure about September) because my s/o doesn't eat meat. Turned out great for everyone.
A fun place to eat:
Chowhound thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/695351
Japanese. It's a fun & enjoyable place. Really small, so go there at a time before you usually eat because there might be a small lineup outside. They have a really interesting menu and the focus isn't on sushi!!! (yes they do have some).
It is currently my favorite place at the moment, and judging from the number of people who wait outside when I ate there, others as well :)
My favourite restos for fancy are DNA (actually modern Italian-inspired cuisine, but soooo good), Au Cinquieme Peche (for smaller, more neighbourhood feel, but still top notch), and Laloux or Lemeac for classic larger French bistro. For a real Quebecois special meal, Au Pied du Cochon is an absolute must, but go very VERY hungry!
Poutine should be had at La Banquise. And for the real atmosphere, go late at night when it's busy. (it's open 24 hrs). Alternately, if you want to go during the day, you can get your poutine to go and eat it in the nearby Parc La Fontaine. My favourite place for fabulous sushi is Tri Express. Happy eating!!
Also, you might have more fun using BIXI than renting bicycles, depending on what type of cycling you plan to do.
Au Cinquieme Peche
4475 St-Denis, Montreal, QC H2J 2K8, CA
1650 Av Laurier E, Montreal, QC H2J1J2, CA
For poutine I would highly recommend Paul Patate in Point St. Charles over La Banquise who's poutine is, I think, rather lame. They never use enough gravy or curds. If you're planning on checking out the Lachine Canal near Atwater Market it would just be a short walk or bike ride away. And not only is their poutine among the best anywhere but they make their own spruce beer, definitely a rarity. You can't do better than this place for a real Montreal experience. And if you do have poutine at La Banquise just remember that there is much, much better stuff around. And or god's sake stay away from the bizarre toppings (pickled hot peppers??!! under gravy??!!).
2606 Rue De Coleraine, Montreal, QC H3K1S7, CA
re: Tiny Iota
La Banquise is (deservedly) popular, although everyone has their own pet favourites. My second place after La Banquise is Patati Patata. Here is a useful review site by someone who's eaten a lot of different poutines: http://montrealpoutine.com/reviews.html.
I've never experienced a dearth of gravy at La Banquise. In fact, I can only imagine that more gravy would not be to my taste as it would make it too soupy and soggy. The cheese curds I find sufficiently plentiful as well, though maybe less of them when you've got other toppings mixed in. If you want lots of cheese, go for the classic.
The fancy toppings are admittedly utterly subjective. My personal favourites are the classic (just poutine sauce and cheese curds), the vege (mushrooms, onions, green pepper added), and the duletton (onions and ground beef added). I find the ones with sausage or bacon not so good as said meats are too cheap and not that tasty to me. But there is no "best" poutine, only the poutine that you like most.
4177 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, QC , CA
We were in Montreal for the first time last week. My contributions:
The lines for the sit-down restaurant at Schwartz's were ridiculous, but right next door they have a take-out counter with seating in the back. We took the take-out option (two out of the three days we were there!) It was delicious, and I don't regret missing the restaurant experience.
If you end up around the Atwater Market for breakfast (it's right on the waterfront bike path) try the pastry/bakery shop at the south end of the building called Premiere Moisson (it's a local chain; you can also find other locations around the city). Great stuff. We got our breakfast pastries/baguettes there three mornings in a row. Web site is www.premieremoisson.com
Also, at the recommendation of a previous poster on the board, we went twice to a crepe stand at the center of the Jean-Talon market. Our son loved that, too.
Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen
3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC , CA
3025 Rue Saint-Ambroise, Montreal, QC H3J, CA
Thank you so much for all the recs! I have one more question. When I was in Montreal in 1999, I recall having the best ice cream I have ever had in my life. It was some kind of amazing chocolate, with some kind of crispy things in it (like very tiny rice krispies). It was at an ice cream kiosk in one of the underground malls. Can anyone tell me if this is a common flavor of ice cream that other places might have?
Would that be the Godiva stand?
The internets say it's called Via Vivoli and gives two other locations.
I don't know who makes their ice cream, but I'm certain it's industrial and can probably be found elsewhere.
Unless, of course, starbucksbrew meant Laura Secord.
705 Rue Sainte-Catherine W, Montreal, QC H3B4G5, CA