Montreal for a week Food Critique
Hi all, I am a NYer visiting for a week. I have read a few of the threads on the boards and came up with a list of places to go when I visit in 3 weeks. Any feedback, suggestions, or additional recommendations would be appreciated. My primary goal is to have food that I can't really get in NY, price, atmosphere, service is secondary.
Pied de Couchon (various fois gras, duck in a can)
Schwartz (smoked meats psyched about this since I am a big fan of Katz in NYC)
Main (open late, will try just to compare with Schwartz)
St Viatear and Fairmont bagels (bagels, there is an ice cream place Kem Coba next to Fairmont)
Coco Rico's-rotisserie chicken
Romados-Portugeese grilled chicken, tarts
Daou (there are not many Lebanese places I know of in NYC)
Boustan (another Lebanese place, chicken trio and shawarma)
La Carreta-pupusa (never really had or seen this in NYC)
La Banquise (24 hours, poutine, will be going here a lot since I am a night owl)
Jean Talon Market (Capitale, read they have good panninis, Maraches des Saveurs, read their cheese especially the Cheve Noir is excellent, and Haurve aux Glaces for gelatos and sorbets)
Kaza Maza (Syrian)
Cinquieme Peche-horse and seal meat
DNA (rare organ meats I can't get in NYC)
Espace Europa (french macarons)
Toque (seems to be the fine dining restaurant with the most positive feedback here)
Malewa or Ranks (African, I couldn't find a menu online, there are Ethopian restaurants I know in NYC but I don't know any African restaurants)
McKiernan, Joe Beef, Liverpool House (all near each other, I could not find menus online so I will go there and see which is most appealing to me out of the three)
Guillanne (buns aux pommes and pastries)
The following I will consider if I have more time, I've read good things about them here on chowhound but their menus seem to consist of things I can get in NYC. I will change my mind if you guys give me more input.
Buvette Chez Simone (will probably end up here one night though since they are open late)
Bombay Mahal (I see a lot of feedback on Indian food threads, I am a huge fan of Indian food, especially butter chicken. But I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY which does Indian food very well. So I'm afraid to try any in case I'll be disappointed)
Sorry for the long post. Hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for all your posts, they were and are extremely helpful.
2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA
I don't have any personal experience with African (non-Ethiopian and non-Marocan/Algerian/Tunisian African) restaurants but some places you may want to look into:
Jounieh for Egyptian
Chez Khady (near Bahn Lao Thai if you venture out there)
Gracia Afrika (Congolese)
La Khaima for Mauritanian
Le piton de la Fournaise (Iles de la Reunion)
Afrodiziac for Ghanaian
Keur fatou (Senegalese) Closed for good?
Tam Tam d'Afrique (overall African)
, Montreal, QC H2Y, CA
Daffy! I just got back from Montreal, I can help you! (check my board on Montreal Greasy Spoons, I wrapped up a lot of what I did and included pictures).
Go to schwartz's. I liked it better than katz's.
I wasn't that into PDC actually. while the food was excellent, it didn't feel as homey as I wanted it to. I much prefer M. Wells.
Maamm Buldoc is really cool. there are places funky similar in NYC, but not really to this level, and authentically.
Pay close attention to when places are closed. Much of the town is closed on Sunday and Monday, possibly more. - like Lawrence, which we tried to go on Tuesday, but it was closed. They were there though and recommended me Chez comme sois a few blocks down, which I freaking loved. The food wasn't as good as PDC, but I loved the energy of the place. Lots of places have this funky, DIY energy about them. Another place that seems really cool is Nouveau Palais - seems like M Wells(was rec by a friend of theirs to me)
Everyone told me Banquise is THE place for poutine. I had it at other places, will have to go there when I return in teh spring.
some things I noticed: There are no Chinese take-out places. Almost every diner serves pizza, in a pizza oven. And burgers are usually not pink inside.
Fairmount bagels > st. viateur. Most agree on this point. they are very similar, but Fairmount has the edge.
The porteugese bakeries are cool. We went to a reeaaaallly good one Baguette Doree Ltee (La) - i love the egg tarts there.
oh, also, if you can get your hands on Spruce beer and a steamed hot dog, they are something worth trying.
3743 Boul Levesque W, Laval, QC H7V1G4, CA
i was looking forward to it the most too. maybe you'll like it more than I did, there is a very real chance of that. The food was great, but I didn't get an edge that I wanted to.
I had tomato tart, Pied du cuchon, and this thing i forgot what it was, with foie gras http://www.flickr.com/photos/orlick/5...
I mean, yeah, it was really tasty. but...
I think you're right about PDC. It is now a decade old, and for much of that time it has been packed night-in and night-out with people who have the foresight to book well in advance. That's not to say that this is a bad thing (I'm often one of those people), but its probably not the definition you'd give for an edgy establishment. You also find M. Wells and Nouveau Palais more homey, and I think I'd have to agree. At night both are darker, smaller, quieter, and not packed quite so tightly with frightened tourists.
But in saying this, I think PDC really paved the way for an entire breed of restaurants (now the most common species), not just in Montreal but across Canada and maybe even flavoured the Brooklyn dining revolution, so perhaps its not surprising that its 10 year old interiors seem a little blasé in comparison to its younger relatives. I think, if I were heading to PDC for the first time (as is daffyduck), I wouldn't expect to be overwhelmed by its ingenuity or innovation. In many ways it is now a historical landmark of the foodie world... but fortunately it still maintains much of its former culinary greatness. Maximilien is right about the specials, and he is certainly not the first person I've heard suggest off-menu ordering, though I'll always have a place in my heart for the Plogue de Champlain (pictured in Jeff's photo), which changed my entire perspective on food.
At au Pied de Cochon, you can go for the classics and mostly be disappointed (IMO).
Get the day specials; they are usually better then the regular menu; especially the fish specials.
I'm one of the rare person who likes foie gras but never order it at restaurants; and the last 2 times I went to APdC, I only ate fish!
Note that Kaza Maza is raking up some pretty bad reviews lately. Although initially a board favourite, the chef moved to their other restaurant Damas (also on Parc, avenue, just a couple of blocks north). It seems those raving about Kaza Maza, have moved along to Damas as well (myself included).
A very good list might I say. Lawrence is really worth it especially because e.g. in the English breakfast the sausages, bacon and blood pudding are all homemade.
Alternative for Buvette Chez Simone is Comptoir. Buvette has a slightly more anglo hipster crowd, Comptoir more French and perhaps more upscale. Comptoir makes it own charcuterie though and is a little bit more inventive. But both places have a young boisterous vibe.
BTW: Boustan is a great midnight after-drinking snack/lunch, but would not go out of my way to eat there for dinner.
Thank you for the tip about Kaza Maza and Boustan. I will check out Lawrence since I have very little breakfest choices. I ran across Shahi Palace and BAHN LAO THAI both seem to have interesting dishes that I cannot get in NYC (we have Thai but I have never came across Laotian food).
Shahi Palace Restaurant
4773 Boul Des Sources, Pierrefonds, QC H8Y3C6, CA
I will surely have to make reservation for the following :
Pied de Cochon : YES. as soon as possible
Kaza Maza : YES, on the same day or the day before.
Cinquieme Peche : YES.
Toque : YES
Joe Beef : YES
Lemeac : YES if the weather will be nice and want to eat on the terrasse.
Lawerence: The don't take reservation.
Holder: YES, same day or the day before
Garde Manger: YES as soon as possible
For the bakery, it's GUILLAUME not, Guillanne (buns aux pommes and pastries)
2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA
That's a good list I think.
For Première Moisson, if you're curious to see what our biggest bakery chain looks like you could go yes. It's not bad, but if you want to sample the best bakeries in town, here's a short list : Guillaume (already on your list, but try the baguette tradition too), Mamie Clafoutis, Au Co'pains d'Abord, La bête à pain, Arhoma, Le Fromentier and of course Kouign-Amann for brittany specialities that I don't think is available in NY.
For palmier, there's only one place to go : Olive et Gourmando. They're absolutely amazing.
For poutine I strongly suggest Patati-Patata, but La Banquise is worth the try too.
Oh and for macarons, don't bother with Espace Europea. Nothing special there. You probably have the same kind of macarons in NY. If you want to try the "best" here, Point G has a lot of fans... I personally don't like them.
If you're interested in other kind of pastries, I'd recommend Pâtisserie Rhubarbe. Fine pastries ALMOST like the one you can find in Paris, without the pretension.
Olive et Gourmando
351 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest, Montreal, QC , CA
2029 Rte Du Carrefour Val Des, Val-Des-Monts, QC J0X, CA
1291 Avenue Van Horne, Outremont, QC , CA
Wow! Awesome list. Just want to point out that McKiernan is currently closed and they are supposedly turning it into something else but I don't think it's open yet. http://www.joebeef.ca/
And Liverpool House was just hit by a fire and not sure when they'll be open yet. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/L...