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Aug 22, 2010 08:17 AM

Picnic Basket in Montreal...

I'm going to be driving 2.5 hours into Waterbury tomorrow to meet my girlfriend for one last day before she leaves for school for 4 months. We're planning, among many things, to have a picnic lunch together around the scenic Notch mountain pass in Stowe.

I am looking to pick up a freshly and thoughtfully prepared lunch for the both of us int he city before I leave. I could essentially head out this afternoon to pick up meats, cheeses, etc. but it becomes too much of a hassle to lug dishes, cutlery, and all that food across the border, not to mention finding a picnic basket or cooler which I don't own. It would be so much easier and convenient to find something local that offers this in an epicurian and gourmet style with fresh ingredients, fine foods and preparation for a romantic picnic lunch for two that's already wrapped and packaged for me to pickup and go!

Does anyone have any suggestions of where I might look into?

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  1. most places need 24 hour notice and seem sort of sandwich based so you may have to collect the food yourself as too shortnotice but let us know if you find a solution

    since it is sunday a lot of places are closed, this place is located in the theatre outremont on bernard but doesnt open til 11am tomorrow, always lots of appetizing dishes in their window

    Recently, i read about upscale picnic meals delivery:

    patisserie gascogne or palymra can be used when short of time i just add some fresh fruits like watermelon, throw in some ice packs and you re ready to go. At palmyra the red pepper pizza with feta travels well as do their spinich feta pastries and is good cold, + they have a variety of packaged salads, all prepared on premises; not fancy but fast and healthy

    3 Replies
    1. re: wilmagrace

      Thanks very much... I guess it would make the most sense to pick everything up this evening if I plan to be on the road for 9am tomorrow.

      Antoinette & Bacchus looks interesting for a pick-up if they offer it. I wish they had an English option on their website. Can anyone attest to the food and preparation? I was thinking of doing Gascogne or just making the rounds at the Atwater Market as well, but it would be so much more convenient and interesting if there were a gourmet service offering special picnic lunches that would be a little more unique and memorable if just as fresh and organic as what I'd otherwise pick up from the Market...

      1. re: OliverB also seemed like an excellent choice but it's apparently closed on Sundays and opens at 11am Monday which doesn't work as I plan to be on the road by 8:30-9:00am. Darn!

      2. re: wilmagrace

        I know this is an old topic, but just wanted to add my 2 cents: I was looking into this recently and found two outstanding places which might have been overlooked:

        1) Antoinette & Bacchus

        They have some pretty high-end wine-and-organic hampers for small and medium groups. Not for a small trip on the road, but excellent for say a group of 10. They deliver the full kit, including wine glasses, ustensils, etc.

        2) Dinette Triple Crown

        A small restaurant in Mile X (behind Little Italy), you grab your hamper with everything you need and bring it back later. Southern cuisine, YMMV if you require only healthy options, but very strong barbecue options.

        Read what The Gazette had to say here:

      3. Well this has now been pushed back until Tuesday due to weather forecasts, so more options are open... Would Ian Perreault be my best bet in the city for high quality take-out lunch food to bring on a picnic?

        6 Replies
        1. re: OliverB

          Side note: there may be some legality issues with bringing certain meats, cheese and produce across the US border.

          In particular, I don't think you can bring in soft (uncured) cheeses, or any veggies/fruit grown outside of Canada. Meats are another story entirely. You'll need to choose carefully, and maybe even avoid prepared foods that don't show where the ingredients came from...(not 100% sure about this).

          Of course, the most important thing is to declare everything you're bringing in, and also, don't put up a fight if they confiscate things! (it won't help, trust me!) ;-)

          For more details here are 2 links that might be helpful - the first is from the U.S. border patrol, followed by its Canadian interpretation.

          Good luck and hope you manage to scrape together a kickass picnic in spite of all this bureaucracy! ;-)

          1. re: anachemia

            maybe there are regulations but we have never had problems packing lunches including fruits, salads to eat on way through new england

            1. re: wilmagrace

              If you're not mentioning these things at Customs, you're taking a big risk. They can fine you or flag you as a known smuggler, which stays on your file for years.

              I got nailed once for forgetting to mention an *apple* in my bag; it was a very big deal to them. And now I still get the "extra-special" search every time I enter the States, whether I have things to declare or not.


              1. re: anachemia

                that makes me remember that i had eaten an apple in airport on way to new zealand and australia this year and got stopped by a sniffing dog at luggage collection area, i was sure i was ok because no drugs but he was sniffing for fruit and the smell lingered in my bag, i was marked for a customs check but they decided to let me through as family passed so you are right you never know, it is a huge offence, big fines when you enter those countries and the signs warn you of that before you go through. It was sort of embarrassing as the dog had to be bribed with a doggy bite to get away from my bag and no one else got singled out. But as you say it could have been much worse!

                1. re: anachemia

                  I didn't know apples were a problem, but citrus fruits certainly are. Have you considered getting a picnic basket prepared in Vermont instead? You could check with a place like City Market in Burlington - if they don't do it, I'm sure they would know who would - or you could always drop by there and pick up everything you need yourself.

                  1. re: cherylmtl

                    Thanks, I normally would go this route but I just don't want to waste precious time in the day since we only have this last afternoon and evening to spend together and I'm driving straight into Stowe so I'd rather not have to stop in Burlington. We'll also probably be arriving around the time we'd normally eat lunch. I remember I stopped off at the Chu Chai take-out counter a few years ago and brought a picnic lunch up to VT without problem so I'm not too worried about it...