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Aug 17, 2010 11:14 AM

Buvette Chez Simone

Has anyone tried la Buvette? What did you drink, eat? Anyone tried the roast chicken? How was the atmosphere? Expensive?

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  1. I go there about once 1 month (or more)

    When not wanting to eat charcuterie (and cheese) I eat mostly what they have in special, I've had good fish (except the ceviche a year ago, not bad but just ordinary).

    I've had the chicken twice, once it was on the dry side, the other time it was not, I ordered a 1/4 piece, maybe if you go in group and order a full chicken it will be more consistent (?). but I liked it anyway, tasted good, nice skin and nice roasted veggies with it.

    Drinks : wine, wine and wine, they have a small but good list of fun wines from private importers; they also have a full bar and some beers on tap, but they do not make fancy cocktails, only mixed drinks.

    Atmosphere, it's a buvette, it's a bar, it will get noisy and noisier as the evening advances, the feminine crowd is _very_ nice (IMO).

    Prices : yes and no, depending on the amount of alcohol (and quality) you drink; like in all wine bars, if you go in groups, it's cheaper to order a full bottle instead of glasses.

    1. I go there every week with a group and we often order the full chicken and was never disappointed. It was always moist, it comes with lots of potatoes and a very good garlicky sauce. I also enjoy the accras de morue but I think they are 3$ each if not more which is quite expensive. They come with a really tasty curry aioli. It's not always on the menu but if they have the cheese "bouton de culotte", it's a must. It's a goat cheese marinated in balsamic vinegar. To give you an idea of the price, last time I was there, we had 2 bottles of wine, the chicken, duck liver pate, chorizo, 2 types of cheese, 6 accras and the bill came up to 160$. As far as atmosphere goes, it is usually very crowded and noisy, if you go early, (5pm) you can probably grab a table on the patio.

      1. It's a fun place - definitely worth going to. Cool atmosphere, nice scenery.

        That said, it's not really a wine bar - their wine selection tends to be inexpensive and unremarkable - the same stuff you look for when you're buying a bunch of bottles at the SAQ and trying to keep your average price under $15, and it's not really a restaurant - they only have one choice of main course.

        But don't let that stop you - definitely go and make up your own mind.

        I often take out-of-town business guests to show them what life in Montreal is like...

        1 Reply
        1. re: mtlalex

          About the wines, I tend to disagree.

          The list is mostly made of private import, natural and bio wines; not really what you can find at the SAQ.

          remember it's not a wine bar, it's a "buvette" .

        2. I have to disagree with the previous posters. I've been there a few times, as I live close by. The happy hispter crowd is loud and obnoxious, and the service is disastrous by the pretentious waiters. The food is decent but way overpriced. 40 $ for a chicken, 8 $ for a slab of paté, thanks but no thanks.

          1. I've been four or five times and really enjoyed it. It's snack-y food that lends itself to sharing and conversation: tasty rillettes, charcuterie (I remember a lovely duck carpaccio), olives, some great Quebec cheeses, a bit of smoked fish and ceviche - that sort of thing. I have not tried the roast chicken because I make a mean one at home. Your selection comes composed on a wooden board with a few nuts, some membrillo, or juicy apricots or something. Lots of interesting wines by the glass, and they'll help you find something that complements your food if you're a bit of a wine-dunce, like me.
            Staff are helpful and friendly. The eponymous Simone is usually behind the bar. I have not experienced the pretension that the pp has.
            I can't remember menu prices, and it depends on how much you order of course, but I do recall our table of four getting out of there perfectly satisfied for less than $75 one evening - that was a good deal, perhaps one of us wasn't drinking that night.
            Yes, it does get loud later in the evening. The music volume goes up and then you have to talk louder to be heard. The crowd is pretty young (younger than me anyway!) - probably late-20s, early-30s. If you want to have a meaningful conversation it's best to go earlier in the evening, but if you're happy to let loose in a louder, more buzzy room then by all means stay late!

            2 Replies
            1. re: GreyPoupon

              Isn't Simone the new incarnation of the former notorious dive La Skala? I remember that place, friends loved it once upon a time. It always made me nervous.

              1. re: lagatta

                It appears so!
                I think the address is the only link between the two, though.
                Skala predates me by a little bit. It certainly sounds interesting, if a little scary!