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Jun 6, 2011 12:12 PM

Diverse Questions from Boston hound coming in July

My husband and I will be in Montreal for a few days in July. We are staying in a studio apartment and will cook in the evenings, but are hoping to make the most of lunches while we're in particular areas of town, and have a few questions following up on many very helpful posts here. We're eclectic: appreciate thoughtful creative contemporary cuisine but also love an interesting low-end joint.

For Vieux Montreal (-ish) we'd thought either Kitchen Galerie Poisson or Stash Cafe, or perhaps Le Grain de Sel a bit further afield.

For Plateau (-ish) area our current possibilities are Justine, Lawrence, or Aux Vivres.

Would reservations be necessary for lunch at any or all of these? How far in advance? Do any of them make you want to warn me that something has gone wrong there recently, etc?

Up in the Cote des Neiges area, we'll probably spend the AM at St-Joseph and then for some casual ethnic food nearby were looking at La Caverne or at Rotisserie Mavi. Has Rotisserie Mavi moved (one post here seemed to say it was going to transfer from 5192 Ave Gatineau to 5327)?

Two other questions:

The Jean-Talon market: should we arrive as early as we can to get a good selection, or is it fairly consistent throughout the day?

And finally, some night after supper we want to go out for a drink. Is Lab Comptoir à cocktails someplace a couple of middle-aged, middle-income, well-traveled but not-fashionable Americans might likely feel comfortable?

In advance, tous mes remerciements.

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  1. you are fortunate to take advantage of lunchtime menus during the week as are a real bargain, you might consider lunch at chasse et peche, they have it in terrace overlooking the oldstyle garden at museum Chateau Ramezay

    --click on english at bottom

    400 coups in same area has lunch on fridays

    I would skip stashes even though moderate price you would be better off taking advantage of the businessman lunches that take place in most restos across the city.

    I think the Plateau/mile end choices are good ones, you might want to head to Guillaume after eating at Lawrence for some artisan breads, pastries

    I wouldnt feel need to dress up as this is casual city and july peak tourist season, some montrealers dress up but if one chooses not to you will not be uncomfortable.

    I havent heard of those restaurants in cote des neiges, you might want to go further to Park Avenue where you have options such as Damas, Kaza Maza, Milos (they have a lunch special

    5 Replies
    1. re: wilmagrace

      "The Jean-Talon market: should we arrive as early as we can to get a good selection, or is it fairly consistent throughout the day?"

      I wouldn't worry too much, unless you are looking for something very specialty. For example sometimes Birri runs out of squash blossoms. So it really depends what you're looking to get a good selection of. ;-)

      You won't need reservations for Aux Vivres, I don't think - don't even know if they take them.

      Have a great trip!

      Aux Vivres
      4631 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R2, CA

      1. re: kpzoo

        I love squash blossoms, but I think I can live without them on vacation. :)

      2. re: wilmagrace

        Ah....Thanks for the suggestion of chasse et peche - I had seen it mentioned but didn't realize lunch was an option there! Perhaps we will rule out Stash, then.

        Please keep the comments coming - still wondering about lunch reservations being needed at some places, and the ambiance at Lab.

        1. re: fesenjan

          There's no ambiance at Le Lab. I'm not even joking. Wonderful drinks, but no ambiance whatsoever. You need to bring your own.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            I have been to Le Lab around 6-7 times, and no ambiance seems to fit the bill. There was one saturday evening when there was a nice vibe and more of a ambiance, but it's generally very low-key. Drinks are amazing though, bartenders give a hell of a show.

      3. Agreed about Le Lab. Great place for getting good cocktails, I wouldn't think anyone would feel out of place there.

        Was at Justine, Bistro a Vin, last week and my family had a great time. It''s small, casual, cute, and prices are really good. We had the cod, filet mignon, and ravioli, and everyone raved about their dishes. The smoked salmon starter was great too, and the sauce on the escargots was really flavourful. You can sit out on the patio if it's a nice day but the interior is quite cozy as well. Reservations may be a good idea but not necessary.

        1. Thanks for the answers about Le Lab and Justine. Both sound like good picks.

          Anybody know anything about those two CDN ethnic places, La Caverne and Mavi?

          2 Replies
          1. re: fesenjan

            I'm a huge fan of Mavi. When I lived in CDN, I was going every week. Their chicken sandwichs are incredible, and their grilled chicken is fantastic. In my book, it's even better then Romados, and they have incredibly tasty fries too. Service is pretty bad though, and wait can get long. I haven't been since they moved location further down the street, but I've been told it's still top notch.

            As for La Caverne, never went there, been told it's pretty good and service/ambiance is good.

            1. re: NickinMtl

              Thanks Nick - I was wondering about that move, good to know it happened. You may have just tipped the scales for Mavi.... :)