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Eating at the Bar - Dinner Rec for Aug. 3, 2011

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my husband and i will be in montreal in early august to celebrate our first anniversary. we are from chicago, in our thirties, and adventurous but not pretentious eaters, preferring quality, local food. our first night in every new city we try to eat at a restaurant with delicious food, a great bar and a cool, inviting atmosphere. we've had good luck sitting at the bar and chatting up the other diners and bartenders for other recommendations.

on the recommendation of a friend, i had booked joe beef but they called to let me know they are closed august 1-15. we have reservations at au pied de cochon and le club chasse et peche the following nights.

thanks!

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club chasse et peche
Montreal, Montreal, QC , CA

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  1. IMO, The ultimate bar eating is at "Au Pied de Cochon"; it's an open kitchen and you get to chat with the cooks.

    Other suggestion is the small bar at "Au Chien Fumant" (another open kitchen)
    Other suggestion is "le comptoir charcuteries et vins" , again another open kitchen.
    Other suggestion is "La Salle A Manger" , the kitchen is open, but at the back.

    Max.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Thank you very much. I took a look at those choices and think we will go with Chien Fumant.

      Another question -- do you think le club chasse et peche is a better option than au cinquieme peche (assuming it has reopened) for the last night?

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      club chasse et peche
      Montreal, Montreal, QC , CA

      1. re: thunderpants

        I have not tried Cinquieme Péche yet ( i intend to try it soon).
        I've not been to Club chasse et pêche for a while, but I remember that it was very good and "cozy", the restaurant is "dark" and if the weather is nice and warm I'd feel better eating in a more light (as in illumination) place.

        1. re: thunderpants

          There's a Joe Beef connection to Chien Fumant - one of their former staff IIRC. You should like it.
          I haven't been to Cinquieme Peche since they reopened, but it has always been good. Club Chasse et Peche, though, is even better (although neither should disappoint) - a wee bit more formal, whereas A5P is more of a bistro.

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

      2. I ate at the bar at Garde-Manger two weeks ago and it was fab as always... I'd recommend.

        1. I might also suggest Le Bremner, the new restaurant from Chuck Hughes (of Garde Manger). The space is attractive in a maritime subterranean way, the bartender is very talented and experimental, and the seafood on offer is quite spectacular. However, if you're looking for a bustling bar experience, my vote would be 1) APDC then 2) Garde Manger. I haven't been to Chien Fumant so I can't compare and comment.

          To your other question, my meals at Club Chasse et Peche have always been memorable, standout, but pricey. Au Cinquieme Peche is also very good, but a small step down from CCeP (however their vegetarian options are perhaps the best in town).

          4 Replies
          1. re: vidkid

            All great suggestions so far. I would also add Lawrence to the list of restaurants to try at the bar. High quality ingredients, friendly staff and a pretty laid back vibe.

            1. re: waziboy

              fantastic recs. thank you so much for your insight.

              looking at Chien Fumant, Garde Manger, Le Bremner, or Lawrence in terms of the neighborhoods they are in, which are best to make an afternoon/evening out of it? i.e., galleries, shopping, music venues, other bars? we tend to like more artistic/independent/alternative type establishments.

              also, do you think would we need to make a reservation at any or all of these restaurants to secure a spot at the bar on a wednesday evening?

              1. re: thunderpants

                Well, from Lawrence you are walking distance to Casa del Popolo and Le Divan Orange which are 2 of my favourite spots to catch live music.

                Garde Manger and Bremner you're in the old port, which is definitely a plus on a nice evening ; galleries, a couple of nice bars (philemon, santos)

                Chien Fumant you are right next to Mount Royal (the original hotspot for "artistes"). You'll find it a nice street to walk through, with a few bars as well.

                And yes, you should make reservations for all of these places!

                Hope this helps.

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                Casa del Popolo
                4871 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R6, CA

                1. re: waziboy

                  Of the three, nightlife in Old Montreal is the worst...especially if you're throwing around words like "independent" and "alternative." Going out in Old Montreal is not very casual and certainly has a richer, fancier clientele then elsewhere in the city. It is pretty to walk around but at night it can be quiet or filled with tourists. Boulevard St-Laurent south of Lawrence and Ave Mont-Royal right around Le Chien Fumant are the best walking and bar hopping streets in the city (live music on St-Laurent). If you're a beer fan, Lawrence is very close to Dieu du Ciel brewpub, which hands-down makes some of the best beer in the country.

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                  Le Chien Fumant
                  4710 Rue de Lanaudière, Montreal, QC H2J 3P7, CA

          2. Go to Kazu's line at 5pm to be seated first when they open 30 minutes later. Save me a spot to give you recommendations!

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: marblebag

              Although Kazu's food is really nice (not to mention the bonus of it being a 5 minutes walk from my place), I'm not sure it's as good a location as the other neighbourhoods mentioned for drinks/live music . Also, the wait time for Kazu doesn't often exceed 30 minutes so I'm not sure you'd be saving much time by going so early.

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