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New BYO Tandem

sweettoothMTL Jun 29, 2011 10:35 AM

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 restomontreal.com, but that's it. Looks promising (especially the BYO part).

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    stak RE: sweettoothMTL Jul 16, 2011 05:28 PM

    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
      shopgirl RE: stak Jul 16, 2011 07:12 PM

      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
        kpzoo RE: shopgirl Jul 16, 2011 07:17 PM

        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
          kpaxonite RE: shopgirl Jul 16, 2011 07:22 PM

          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
            wilmagrace RE: kpaxonite Jul 17, 2011 08:45 AM

            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
              kpzoo RE: wilmagrace Jul 17, 2011 08:53 AM

              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
                wilmagrace RE: kpzoo Jul 17, 2011 09:22 AM

                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
                  shopgirl RE: wilmagrace Jul 17, 2011 10:04 AM

                  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
                    kpzoo RE: shopgirl Jul 17, 2011 10:08 AM

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

                    1. re: kpzoo
                      shopgirl RE: kpzoo Jul 17, 2011 10:10 AM

                      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
                        Mr F RE: shopgirl Jul 17, 2011 10:42 AM

                        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
                          stak RE: Mr F Jul 18, 2011 07:14 PM

                          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
                          celfie RE: shopgirl Jul 17, 2011 10:47 AM

                          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
                            shopgirl RE: celfie Jul 17, 2011 10:54 AM

                            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
                          lagatta RE: kpzoo Jul 18, 2011 12:27 PM

                          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
                            kpzoo RE: lagatta Jul 18, 2011 12:57 PM

                            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
                              kpaxonite RE: kpzoo Jul 18, 2011 01:30 PM

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

                              1. re: kpzoo
                                stak RE: kpzoo Jul 18, 2011 07:11 PM

                                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
                                  SnackHappy RE: stak Jul 19, 2011 04:39 AM

                                  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
                                celfie RE: lagatta Jul 18, 2011 01:22 PM

                                plateau is still rundown - so many nightmare apartmments

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