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Aug 29, 2011 05:38 PM

West Island Seafood

I'm looking for suggestions for decent seafood restos on the West Island as some friends are planning to treat me on my birthday. I'm sensitive in that I don't want to name a place that is exorbitantly expensive (but I'm open to all suggestions), and I'm also looking for one that serves some good, somewhat exotic dishes with ingredients like octopus or shellfish like crab (and not the friggin' king crab legs - oy vey - does anybody eat any other part of that crustacean?) or the ubiquitous shrimp.

I know I'm limiting myself with the West Island, but at the moment I have no desire to head downtown and fight the traffic cones and play the parking nightmare game.

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  1. Eeeesh that's a tough one. Panama is the only thing that comes to mind for decent octupus and grilled whole fish.

    1. I might have suggested Peche Peche where you can get octopus or shellfish like crab, but I'm disappointed everytime I go there. You look at the place and it looks nice, the menu is interesting, the service is attentive, but the food is always meh. Seems just the opposite when they were small and in the mall.
      I might suggest Terramare, but they wouldn't have octopus or shellfish like crab. They're old school to the point of being unfashionable, but I had a few good meals there.

      Alas I feel your pain on the crab issue, but the sad truth is Montreal ain't big on crab. There was a place on Parc called La Crabe a Folie (current Philinos location) a few years back. That guy did crab - all u can eat whole spider crab or blues or vancouver. He also had giant Australian crab (30 pounders which would feed a table of 20), sometimes swimming shrimp, etc etc.
      Was he appreciated? well yeah..., by me and about 3 dozen others in the Montreal area - closed after a year or so. I was broken hearted and it still aches to think about it....sniff.

      Philinos Restaurant Bar
      4806 Av Du Parc, Montreal, QC H2V4E6, CA

      6 Replies
      1. re: porker

        I'm thinking I may have to lower my expectations when it comes to the variety of seafood, if only to find a decent place to eat. I was wondering if anybody has been to, or knows anything about Sequoia? It's a lebanese/mediterranean resto that's in an old quebecoise-style farmhouse on Blvd. St. Jean. From their website, they have seafood on the menu, plus a good variety of offerings for others who aren't into that sort of cuisine. My only hesitation is that I checked them out on another board and read reviews that said they have a DJ, which, for me, is a turn off since I want to have dinner and conversation, and not get blasted by music.

        1. re: Haggisboy

          I have driven by Sequoia and ate there in its previous iteration as a breakfast place (there's a reason why it's now the previous iteration).

          Seemed to have quite a lot of traffic when it first opened with aromas of the grill wafting across the boulevard, but there appears to be fewer clients and promo banners now show up. Perhaps visit just to see what they're like before making that commitment?

          Failing that, you could always drive to St-Laurent and take the Metro to Old Montreal to try the revived Delmo.

          1. re: wattacetti

            Does La Mer still operate a restaurant, or are they now strictly a fish monger?

            1. re: Haggisboy

              Website says "The Restaurant is close for renovations for undetermined time."

              There are some Greek places for the whole grilled fish thing.

        2. re: porker

          I drove by Sequoia last night (Tuesday around 8 p.m.) and their parking lot was packed. I'm trying to decide between them and Panama, but know very little about the latter. How are Panama's portions? Are they into this nouveau cuisine stuff where you get a mini-wheat sized piece of fish and an asparagus spear, or are their plate sizes decent? And what about their prices?

          1. re: Haggisboy

            I have never been to Sequoia to compare but Panama always serves solid Greek fare. There is definitely no "nouveau cuisine" going on at Panama and their serving sizes are more than acceptable. For their prices, here's the menu, ignore the "takeout" reference in the URL, this is their dining room menu. Remember that it's not a fish/seafood resto per se.


        3. Elounda in VSL might be what you're looking for; not in WI but parking isn't an issue there.

          1818 Blvd Cote Vertu, Montreal, QC H2Y, CA

          6 Replies
          1. re: hungryann

            Isn't Saint Laurent is part of the West Island?

            1. re: MikeyMadness

              "Isn't Saint Laurent is part of the West Island?"

              According to some maps, yes. But I lived there for 23 years and no one - including me - ever referred to or thought of it as part of the West Island, so I guess it depends who's doing the classifying. ;-)

              1. re: MikeyMadness

                St-Laurent is the boundary between WI and Downtown for most WestIslanders

                1. re: westaust

                  If it's past Ikea, it's not west-island.

                  To be honest, anything much past sources I don't consider "west island".

                  1. re: Zalbar

                    West-islanders don't consider VSL as one of the club.
                    The rest of montreal says VSL isn't part of Montreal, but part of West Island.

                    I've got to tell you, my feelings aren't hurt but it makes it really hard to search for restaurants on this board.

                    1. re: SourberryLily

                      Too bad VSL is excluded from West Island. There are some very good ones in VSL, in particular one on St. Croix to which the name escapes me at the moment. I do not understand why such a fuss about boundaries unless it is travel related.

            2. How about Vivaldi? bring your own wine...
              Don't think they have 'exotic', but their fried squid, for example, is excellent. I've had their mixed seafood with linguini, good, but the tomato sauce was quite dark/rich for the more subtle seafood. Maybe try another preparation. I see they serve fish as well. I've had the veal marsala and pasta with different sauces and everything has been very, very good. I don't know if you've been there already, but the strip mall that it's in doesn't look like much - inside the restaurant is quite a different story. It's large, nicely decorated, open kitchen concept (well ventilated, you don't end up smelling of food afterwards or anything), and the service is amazingly good.

              Just a note about Panama. I was there for the first time last night and maybe I hit a bad night, but the food was not good. The calamari were inedible because they were almost dripping with oil and other problems with the rest of the food. Service was great though. My opinion fyi.

              2 Replies
              1. re: morebubbles

                You are a genius. I actually live one block away from Vivaldi. I dined there a few times many years ago when the place was much smaller and I'd just moved into the neighborhood. The food was consistently excellent. As time went on, I sort of forgot about the resto for no particular reason (well, I generally don't dine out much anyway so that's part of it). I've also been looking for a place that serves octopus as more than an appetizer, and lo and behold they have it as a main course. It blows me away that a place so close could have something I've been looking so far afield for. I thank you again for reminding me about Vivaldi.

                1. re: Haggisboy

                  No problem, Haggisboy, glad that bit of info helped. Food is still excellent there. Make sure to make a reservation though as it fills up esp. late in the week and weekends. Also, let us know how the octopus is and whatever other dishes you try.

              2. If you ever find a crab house anywhere in Quebec, please let me know. However, you can still have that finger-licking, shell sucking experience if you order the GINGER LOBSTER at Kam Shing Chinese Restaurant: Montréal, QC | Restaurant ...- 6730 Ch De La Cote-Des-Neiges, Montréal, QC H3S 2T6

                1 Reply
                1. re: levanty

                  Many restaurants in Chinatown regurlarly had blue crab. Even this seems to be dwindling. I don't think its for lack of product (the market always has them), but I would assume simple supply & demand.