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Jun 29, 2011 10:35 AM

New BYO Tandem

If anyone tries this restaurant, I'd be very interested to hear about their experience.

It's located on (and in) Villeray, just east of Tapeo. I saw a review in the Gazette, and some comments on, but that's it. Looks promising (especially the BYO part).

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  1. OK, have now been twice and love it so far. One great thing to start with is that it's easy to find parking nearby! Overall, excellent food, great value, lovely service. Offers a table d'hote that includes soup or salad, a starter, and a main. Some starters and mains cost a bit extra. Each week there seems to be one special main and starter, and possibly dessert, I guess based on what's in season. The gazpacho includes tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, peaches, basil and chili, and is amazing. Among the starters, we've tried a warm tomato-bocconcini-basil-balsamic thing (today's special), the grilled squid with chorizo and almond salsa, and the tartare of two salmons (fresh and smoked) - all delicious. Of the mains, we've had bison medallions and guinea fowl ravioli (both were specials), magret with orange sauce, and linguini with goat cheese, spinach and cherry tomatoes. The linguini was good but not as extraordinary as the meat dishes. The sides that come with everything were very nice, too - sweet potato puree, roast new potatoes, perfectly-cooked little vegetables like baby turnips. For dessert we've tried the trio of cremes brulee (rosemary, lemon and lime but this might vary) and the warm chocolate cake. Both were very good, if not particularly unique. Service seemed like it slowed a bit when the place got busy (and it was packed, both midweek and Saturday night) but was very warm and helpful. We'll be back for sure!

    19 Replies
    1. re: stak

      I'm so glad someone responded. Where exactly is this located? We will be in Old Montreal in a few weeks and would love to try it!

      1. re: shopgirl

        It's in the Villeray neighbourhood. Way off the beaten tourist track, if you're up for being adventurous.

        586, rue Villeray coin St-Gérard (Jarry metro)

        1. re: shopgirl

          If you are interested in good food you will have to be willing (for the most part) to leave Old Montreal for the plateau (10 mins by bus)

          1. re: kpaxonite

            this plateau experience is not for everybody, parking is crazy, the place looks shoddy and vintage, much seems crowded dilapidated and no break from endless cement on the mont royal stretch--there is good food to be found in other montreal neighbourhood restos and even old montreal. I would never suggest to friends coming to montreal to head to plateau to eat when there are so many other choices offering nicer ambiance and things to do after the meal. Just wanted to highlight that there is a diversity of opinion on plateau dining! As I said, my opinion.......

            1. re: wilmagrace

              Agreed, wilmagrace, but I would also say that being willing to venture outside Old Montreal will give tourists the best food experiences in the city, not to mention much better value.

              1. re: kpzoo

                good point, I feel powerless to watch the tourists checking out menus in old montreal as they would not know where to search out places like le local, chasse et peche let alone restos without signs in old montreal! I have even tried some of the restos in main square and nearby and was shocked by poor quality (how about cans of corn, beets and beans for advertised buffet) and value in the tourist traps which are so well located to catch these tourists let alone hostesses/hosts on streets to rope in those who might hesitate. I can understand why people want to eat in old montreal but they really need to research ahead of time a choice of restos On that basis alone they would discover some good meals in the plateau area and other areas if they did think to venture out of main core of city..

                1. re: wilmagrace

                  You have misunderstood me. We do NOT eat in Old Montreal, merely stay there. We eat exclusively in the plateau! So, where is the Villeray in relation to, say, DeLanaudiere or Rue Villeneuve?

                  I was hoping it was in the plateau. We enjoy that area very, very much. I know the parking is awful and often times we have to ask someone to read the "no parking during certain hours" signs for us. We've even received a pretty stiff parking ticket once while eating at Les Infideles, so we're not eager to repeat that!
                  Oh, wait! I have located a website!

                  1. re: shopgirl

                    Villeray is northeast of the Plateau. Much easier parking, too. ;-)

                    1. re: kpzoo

                      Thank you, kpzoo! And here is a better web addy, with a menu!

                      Alas, only in French. Can anyone offer a translation? The menu does not seem to be translatable, either on the website or in google translation. I am sure everything is delicious, but it would be wonderful to see the menu in English.

                      1. re: shopgirl

                        Without translating the whole thing, it's a fairly standard bistro menu. Foie gras, a couple of tartares, escargots, duck à l'orange, salmon, cod, rack of lamb, veal, venison etc.

                        This is likely to be more of a true neighbourhood place than you are used to. You might get served in English, but IMO you should not *assume* that you will. If it's really important to you, ask about it when calling to reserve.

                        1. re: Mr F

                          Last time we were seated next to a family from New Jersey who spoke no French. The staff don't seem to speak a lot of English but did their best and seemed to manage OK.

                        2. re: shopgirl

                          villeray is more subdued, more french, more ethnic but it looks plateauishy and definitely has the montreal feel. it is just on the other side of jean talon which doesn't really take you too far out of your way. you can also visit jarry park which is quite nice. the 55 which is one of the main north-south plateau buses goes right through villeray.

                          1. re: celfie

                            Thank you all! It is not necessary. We have eaten in some restaurants where none of the waitstaff speaks English and we had a fun time using hand gestures and such to understand each other. I have spent each visit with a Berlitz book, helping me to at least speak a few sentences..
                            The neighborhood places are indeed what we like. I never assume they speak English, which isn't a bad thing at all. We try our best to speak what we can in French and enjoy our time dining.
                            We do drive to Montreal, so we have access to a car. We never miss a visit to Marche Jean Talon and also Marche Atwater. And those strawberries! Yum!
                            I am making my reservation at Tandem right now! :-)

                        3. re: kpzoo

                          Villeray is practically due north of the Plateau - the neighbourhood directly in-between the two is La Petite Patrie (the westernmost part of the Rosemont - Petite Patrie borough, or arrondissement in French. Petite Italie is part of Petite-Patrie, and the Jean-Talon Market is located at its northern border. Villeray starts across the street, and includes such well-known chowhounder haunts as Le Petit Alep and Chez Apo.

                          Tapeo and Tandem aren't much of a walk northeast from JTM.

                          Rue Villeray is between Jean-Talon and Jarry métros, slightly closer to Jarry but not worth changing lines. The closest buses are the Saint-Denis 31 and the Saint-Denis / Saint-Hubert 30, and of course the Villeray bus 99, though that only passes once every 30 minutes.

                          I have no idea why there is anything inherently wrong with looking "vintage" - many like that cachet. I certainly remember when the Plateau was rundown 30 years ago but those times are long past.

                          As for the restaurant, I'd like to know the prices. I passed by there and the menu seemed rather pricy for the neighbourhood, but perhaps the quality merits the bill.

                          Jean-Talon Market
                          7075 Avenue Casgrain, Montreal, QC H2S, CA

                          1. re: lagatta

                            The prices are on the menu, at the link Shopgirl posted above. It does seem kind of pricey for a neighbourhood bistro, but I don't eat at a lot of these so maybe prices are higher than I think. (mains $27-42 with soup or salad)

                            1. re: kpzoo

                              not to mention the 27 dollar option is pasta...

                              1. re: kpzoo

                                Note that these prices include soup or salad, AND a starter, along with the main (some of the starters do have supplements).

                                1. re: stak

                                  Those prices are for a table d'hôte. They're not that bad for a BYO, and very much in line with Le Quartier Général, Les Infidèles, Les Héritiers, etc.

                              2. re: lagatta

                                plateau is still rundown - so many nightmare apartmments