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Montreal questions

1. What is the best foie gras dish at APdC? What's the best non foie dish? How far in advance can one make reservation?

2. Where can one get the best sea urchin pasta? I don't care if it comes with crab meat or caviar or plain.

3. Where can one get the best seafood platter? Looking for a variety of seafood at a decent price. Don't want just a plateful of shrimp or oysters.

We'll be staying at the Marriott Chateu Champlain, prefer places within walking or short cabbing distnce. Will be dining early as we have a toddler with us. Definitely won't be wearing coat or tie.

Merci.

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  1. 1- I don't care for "pan fried" foie gras, so I'd go with the terrine; the best non-foie gras dishes are the daily specials (fish) , reserve as soon as possible, but not too far in advance and confirm at least twice if you reserve a long time in advance.

    2- don't know about that. (I personally never seen it on a menu, or did not care about it)

    3- It's not the season yet (starts in may) ; the best, IMO, is at Au Pied de Cochon; I think it's the only place where I've seen it advertised.

    There are a few good places around there, but your best bet would be to walk towards mcGill street and in Old-Montreal where you will find more choices.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      We'll be in Montreal in July - don't know how far in advance they will accept our reservation. Given that APdC also has the best fruits de mer, would it be absurd to eat there twice? We'll be in Montreal for 3 nights and it'll be my wife's first visit and my last visit was in 1997.

      1. re: Worldwide Diner

        You should start thinking about it; july is the peak tourist season with festivals and all that.

        M.

    2. Best foie gras dish APdC duck in a can. It is just plain wrong to order anything without foie gras at APdC. Montreal does not do seafood anymore a long long time ago when Waldman's was Waldmans, Montreal was a centre for sea food in North America but you can get better seafood even in Chicago. The are a number of places where you can get decent to good local fresh water fish but fish is like corn it starts to deteriorate immediately. If you are visiting Montreal save your seafood passions for the coast and enjoy the foods that Montreal and Quebec do better than anywhere such as the veggies from Ste Clothilde and the local meat and cheeses. You might want to explore Stanstead rabbit and some local goat cheeses but I think you will disappointed with seafood in Montreal even though there is excellent fish available. The local duck, chicken and quail are local and exceptional. The root vegetables are better than anywhere in North America and the berries outstanding and some of the local honeys are just magnificent.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Moedelestrie

        "It is just plain wrong to order anything without foie gras at APdC."

        I beg to differ. There are plenty of fine choices that don't have it, and many of those that do are over-the-top.

        As for the duck in a can in particular, is it OK not to like it? After all, it contains a huge slab of soft, slimy foie gras, which is not my idea of a good time. The overall flavours are very nice, but IMO that dish is perilously close to being a tourist trap in a can.

        I'll take my foie au torchon, thanks.

        1. re: Mr F

          Those of us who don't live in Montreal trust there are numerous other dishes worth considering on the menu. The food at APdC is wonderful. All I was wishing to convey as a visitor to Montreal for me to order anything but the foie gras would go against my very being. I must admit that I am way over the age of being able to indulge my passions for APdC on a regular basis and must content myself with a visit every three or four years lest I be chastised by my cardiologist in language unfit for those under 18..

          1. re: Moedelestrie

            Fair enough. It's just that personally, I don't get the widespread love for Duck in a Can. I've had it, and while it was good, it wasn't really memorable for the right reasons, and on the whole it smacks of gimmickry more than playfulness. If I had to recommend a dish with foie, I'd make it the Plogue à Champlain. (Not that I've tried them all.)

        2. re: Moedelestrie

          a number of montreal restaurants source seafood themselves - APDC is one
          there is plenty of great seafood in montreal

        3. 1. I have had numerous foie gras dishes at APdC, but my favorite has to be the foie gras poutine. I know it may be somewhat dated and old-hat, but good fries done in duck fat with a foie gras thickened gravy and chunks of the liver is about as guilty a pleasure there is. A close second is the actual au pied de cochon which comes with or wothout foie gras.
          Reservations can be tricky. We have had some issues in the past reserving too far in advance. They lost our names but luckily they had a cancellation. I had a long thread on this board concerning this very issue and got some great feedback.
          We found the solution to this is to have your hotel concierge make the resos, and confirm them as your date approaches.

          2. I have never seen sea urchin on any menu in Montreal. The only resto I can think that may have it would be Milos. Very pricey

          3. Seafood platter, I agree with Max. APdC. Not cheap. Again, possibly Milos.

          And, no it's not be absurd to eat at APdC twice in three nights, just be ready to chow!

          Good luck. We will also be in town for the jazzfest, so who knows, we may sitting at the next table. Bon Appetit!

          -----
          Bon Appetit
          740 Blvd De La Cote Vertu, Montreal, QC H4L5C8, CA

          9 Replies
          1. re: teflontom

            I just got a call back to confirm our reservation for July 3rd. If I were to reconfirm our reservation, when's a good time? Just call them to see if my name is still on their books?

            1. re: Worldwide Diner

              I would call periodically between now and then. And again, I would involve the hotel concierge. I 've had success using that avenue. If you have time you may want to read my previous posting on this issue. The info is useful.
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/619336

              1. re: teflontom

                IMO, the duck in a can is more fun for the experience, rather than the actual quality of the dish. If it's your first time at APDC, it's worth the novelty factor.

                In case you wanted a second option for a seafood platter, Garde-Manger might be a good option. I've personally never had it but if you're a fan of Chuck Hughes, might be worth it to check it out, rather than eating twice at APDC.

                1. re: CookEatSleep

                  I've only been to APDC once, as a tourist, and while the duck in a can can be amusing, I have to say I didn't love it. Not because of flavor, because It is TASTY, but because of texture. The boiling of the duck results in a big fat piece of fatty duck sking which competed in unpleasantness with the smily foie gras. And dont get me wrong: i LOVE duck and foir, but i think texture/crip is very important for both of those ingredients. I ended up just eating around the sking and the foie, and the meat and veggies were very tasty, and the foie sort of infuses everything with a nice taste. But I do regret not having gotten something else- maybe some pork.

                  1. re: adamandeve

                    its been sometime but i use to get the mixed seafood plate (under specialities)at philinos for 25$ but it seemed to me much bigger than one currently on menu, philinos is not that far from milos or downtown but less expensive

                    http://www.philinos.com/section/menu....

                    i used to also get a seafood platter at maestro but as havent been recently cant vouch for present quality

                    http://www.maestrosvp.com/en/index.html

                    milos is expensive unless you take advantage of lunch or sunday, late night deals, milos brings in fish regularly but montreal is too far to have guarantee of fresh fish, not the city to search out special meals of seafood. If I wanted to be sure of a good fish meal I would go to milos.

                    http://milos.ca/en/montreal/menu/inde...

                    Casual attire is the norm in montreal restaurants; I have gone on the spur of the moment after shopping or meeting friends to higher end restos and it was never a problem even wearing jeans.

                    1. re: wilmagrace

                      The seafood platter at APDC is impressive, but the whole works is served cold. Some will argue (like the waiter) that its the best way to serve any and all seafood, me, not so much. The only item they'd consider serving hot is lobster.
                      I was let down the last time I had the maestroSVP seafood platter.

                        1. re: SnackHappy

                          most of the better greek restaurants and rib n reef have sea food platters with grilled items

                          1. re: SnackHappy

                            Perhaps true, but quite a few restaurants offer (however incorrect) a hot seafood platter. I'm somewhat let down if a restaurant features live crab, razor clams, swimming shrimp, etc but refuses the option of serving them hot.

                            OK, don't call it a seafood platter, but if someone wants, say a few fresh scallops, roe and all, maybe lightly steamed with a butter/caper sauce, whattya gonna say? "No we only serve them cold..."

            2. What's open on Mondays? APdC and Garde Manger are both closed on Mondays. So what's open that I should try?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                Have a look at these threads:

                Need Good Food on a Monday. Help.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/771298

                Where to go for dinner on Monday night in Montreal?
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/709395

              2. 1. Without any hesitation I have to recommend the Plogue a Champlain (unless it is once again removed from the menu). Tasting it for the first time was one of the defining moments in my (modest) culinary upbringing, and it remains easily one of my favourite dishes anywhere. Its also one of the most manageable dishes in terms of portion size, so might even permit you to try some of your partner's dishes. Seriously, get this dish - even if you all have to share it as an appetizer!!

                2. I dont know about sea urchin pasta, and can't imagine that Montreal would be the place to eat it... the only urchins I've had here have been mediocre (even at APdC).

                3. In July, PdC is a great choice for a seafood platter... maybe the best, and likely the biggest. Other great seafood places incude Joe Beef, Kitchenette, and Milos, though I don't know if any have a platter that approaches what's offered at PdC.

                For monday dining, its really worth considering Kazu. Its definitely not upscale, and I'd aim to get there before they open (5:30) if you don't want to wait in line, but it really is something special. Otherwise some good choices are Lemeac and Laloux. Mondays are a really tough day for eating in Montreal..

                -----
                Joe Beef
                2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

                Kazu
                1862 Sainte-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H3H 1M1, CA

                1. Just wanted to note that I usually order the foie gras aux fruits and each time the fruit was different, both times delicious. Once it came seared on top of a tarte tatin, the second it was with raspberries. It doesn't seem to be the most popular Chowhound APDC foie gras choice, but the blend of salt and sweet (and fat) is very good. I have also really enjoyed the lobster there in the summer, so perhaps you could have both in the same meal.

                  There seems to be a sea urchin appetizer at Restaurant Toqué that looks pretty fabulous, otherwise Jun-I is recommended for uni if you like sushi. Uni pasta seems hard to come by around here.

                  1. PDC used to be one of my favourites. My wife and I used to order 6 cromesquis each as we used to really love them, and we once had an amazing whole rabbit for two stuffed with foie gras. However, the last two times we were there we were so disappointed that we vowed never to return.

                    The first time I could not understand the fuss about their seafood platter as it all had a rubbery texture, and was horrible.

                    The second time we had the cromesquis, which were much bigger than usual, and doughy, and the duck in a can (which I used to like) was slimy and had some tough bits in it.

                    For fish and seafood I would go to Milos, but be prepared for a hefty bill (I don't go often for that reason). If you do go, don't miss the tuna sashimi, the grilled octopus, and the crabcake. Avoid the halibut.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: souschef

                      I dont know when it was that you used to get the cromesquis - they downsized them back a year or so ago and started serving them in pairs instead of individually, but I think they had a lot of troubles with the small format as they often seemed to break apart or to not be fully cooked. On one occasion they had to try 3 times to get us warm cromesquis and on the final attempt we finally lied and told them the temperature was fine (it was not but they were really trying). Perhaps they have gone back to the original large size again to avoid the problems?

                      Generally I agree that PDC has declined dramatically in recent years. I certainly haven't vowed to not return, but I find myself not craving their food as I used to. That being said, their cold seafood is about as fresh as it gets in Montreal, and the Plogue is still one of the best dishes in the city.

                      1. re: Fintastic

                        It was at least a year ago, and now that you mention it, the cromesquis were not warm enough the last time.