4 days in Montreal- please comment on my choices and suggest how to fill some gaps!
My husband and I will be in Montreal for an academic conference in mid March and I am trying to choose the meals in advance. We live in Brooklyn, so hoping to do the Montreal-French thing, but also maybe find a couple of non-meat places so we come back alive for the daughter we'll leave behind. This is what I have so far for dinner:
day 1- having dinner with a couple of vegetarian friends (also fromout of town) so I was thinking 5ePeche?
day 2- group dinner with work people at lemeac. i didn't choose it, but if you think it's horrendous, please let me know and I'll lobby to have it changed
day 3- DATE! Au Pied de Cochon
day 4- TRYING To decide. Options so far are Les 3 Petite Bouchons, Kitchennette, Kitchen Galerie, Laloux. Which one would you choose? Given we are (hoping) to go to APDC the day before, maybe some place with good fish selections? Also, maybe more moderately priced would be nice. Maybe Le Local?
The conference we'll be going to is in the Le Centre Sheraton (co-headquarters) and the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth (co-headquarters). Any recommendations for lunch and/or breakfast around there? Also, we'll be moving over the weekend to another hotel Le Relais Lyonnais in Rue St Denis, so a suggestion for brunch around there would also be great. (I assume we'll be making it to Schwartz, probably more than once!)
Finally, we'll be sans toddler so we want to take advantage and go out to drinks - can you recommend some good cocktail bars or nice places to have a drink?
740 rue William, Montréal, QC H3C 1P1, CA
60 Rue Jean-Talon E, Montreal, QC H2R1S5, CA
day 1 : good place, should be ok for a veg.
day 2 : solid place for french brasserie/bistro.
day 3: OK, classic, but it's a lot of food. (don't forget to ask for the day's specials and skip on the foie gras poutine )
day 4: I think Kitchen Gallery opened a "fish" restaurant named "Kitchen Gallery Poisson".
For brunch, couple of places at walking distance (or 2, 3 stops of subway) are "Reservoir" Lawrence, or get a couple of bagels, smoked salmon and cream cheese from either Fairmount or St-Viateur bagel places.
I meant it as your choice is ok as in you decided wisely.
As for the food, APdC offer somewhat large and generous portions; and in general, the day's specials are better IMO than what the regular menu offer; but if you want the classic APdC fare, order from the menu (duck in a can, ... )
Personally, when I go alone, I always ordered from the day's specials; and when in a group, we order more from the menu and share.
I never order poutine or foie gras but enjoyed the first and only time of eating this combo at PDC but you could share it as too much especially if want to try other dishes. Lemeac is good choice.
Dominion Tavern is close to both your hotels downtown and not expensive, have daily specials for $20, Monday is veal steak (I enjoyed that dish), Tuesday is fish etc, and atmosphere is pleasant.
Ferreira is another good place for fish and they have late night specials starting 10pm every day, price was $24 table d'hote when i went.
http://www.ferreiracafe.com/home/ They have a sister resto in Place des Festivals but after a couple of tries decided I much prefer the brasserie T (sister bistro of restaurant Toque) in that area. The reputed Toque resto now serves lunch which makes the price more reasonable, here is the noon menu but it is only available in French (tues-Fri 11:30-2pm
Not much in lower st denis foodwise (although higher up some good choices) so i would head to old montreal for brunch, l 'Arrivage in archeology museum is a favourite of ours because of location and food generally is good-you would need reservations though, would suggest you ask for table near windows to see the view overlooking old Port. In good weather you can eat out on balcony but March is still cold.
We went to kitchen gallerie poisson in Old Montreal last Monday but it was closed, so if you plan to dine out on Mondays check first as many restos close that day.
for day 4
I find Kitchenette's menu kind of US-influenced (which might sound a bit strange given how diverse the US is, but have a look at the menu, hopefully you will see what I mean) so that might not be your best choice for a "different" dinner
I would recommend Pop! for pre-dinner drinks. They have small but good cocktail list (they can make classics, but they only have three listed cocktails) I am trying to confirm this online, but their website doesn't seem to list the drinks anymore (the cocktail I had was Brazilian Bubble Tea or something like that and was delicious) You must order something to eat though (I don't think they have a complete bar license) - they have olives, bread and pate etc which fits the bill.
You could then follow up with dinner next door at LaLoux, which is right next door, or even go over the L'Express which is a short walk away. (A lot of Montreal chowhounds think L'Express is tired, compared to other French style bistros around town, but there is something about it that I love)
I recently had an *amazing* brunch at La Fabrique, which is on St Denis, a short walk (though uphill for parts of it) away from your later hotel. I think they only serve brunch on Sunday though. The brunch was completely decadent and completely delicious though, highly recommend!
3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA
For cocktails, I'd suggest Café Griffintown, but it's a bit further than comforable walking distance. You might want to take a cab. They also have live jazz Thurs-Fri-Sat. It's cozy and their cocktails list, written up on big blackboards, reveals there's a serious cocktail enthusiast behind the bar.
Also, their brunches are delish!
1378 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Montréal, QC H3C 1K8
A friend of mine who is a big fan of Cafe Griffintown has been really disappointed in their brunches lately - she said that when she complained, she was told there was a new breakfast chef. I am not sure if the problems have been resolved (as she hasn't been back in the past couple of weeks)
If you want a place for good fish selections or just awesome food, I highly recommend Garde Manger. It is also a really cool place to hang out late and have drinks.
It is in a really cool old building in Old Montreal. It is not cheap but not really expensive either.
I consider it a must go while in Montreal