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Tasting menu at La Porte?

Any recent feedback?

My birthday is coming up and I'd like to do either Europea or La Porte next week (short notice for res!) but haven't been to either in some time. I've never done the 8-course tasting menu at La Porte and wonder if anyone here can offer some feedback? At $90 a head, it seems to be in roughly the same category as Europea's 10-course degustation. I'll be dining with one fish-friendly veg, and another with a restrictive no gluten diet. Any recent discussion of either restaurants?

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  1. Sorry I don't have first hand experience at La Porte but my wife and her parents went 3 weeks ago and enjoyed it. Her parents are from Paris and are pretty used to this type of cuisine so they weren't necessarily blown away but they liked everything they had. Sorry I can't provide a detailed description. They met the chef and his wife who works the front of the house. Very nice people from Brittany that have had to work very hard to establish themselves on a St. Laurent street that has taken a different turn in recent years from trendy and popular to something significantly different. I was thinking of going as well this weekend.

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    La Porte Restaurant
    3627 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2X2V5, CA

    8 Replies
    1. re: nextguy

      Thanks for the feedback... I'm also considering Le Mitoyen in Verdun.

      I'd like to do something a bit more special than the usual french bistros and looking more towards the higher end fine dining restos. I've never been to Le Mit; I like the room at Porte very much but would like to know if the degustation menu is unique and inventive enough in a step above the other local bistro raves of this forum. I'm looking for a really exceptional dinner, and want to go the multi-course tasting menu route... did your wife and inlaws order a la carte?

      1. re: OliverB

        In Verdun? Are you sure you are not talking about Le Mitoyen in Laval, which happens to be my favorite French restaurant in the Montreal area?

        At La Porte they did order a la carte, although I believe many of the items they had were on the tasting menu.

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        La Porte Restaurant
        3627 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2X2V5, CA

        1. re: nextguy

          Thanks and yes I did mean in Laval (not Verdun!) ... have never been to Le Mitoyen before. What do you love about it and why is it your favorite in the city? Would it fall under the special/exceptional/out of the ordinary criteria to merit inclusion in this dinner standoff for next Wednesday night? I've read really great things... I have a feeling my family (who are not crazy about French food) would enjoy it more than the other options.

          Any idea (ballpark) how much the degustation with foie gras and wine service would set one back?

          1. re: OliverB

            How special? Le Mitoyen is where my wife and I have gone to for our last two Valentine's days!

            Ok so what do I like about it... first the restaurant is in an old house at the Place Publique in Ste. Dorothee. It is a very relaxing setting with ample parking. The dining rooms are all very cozy, maybe a bit dated, but better that than a lot of needless flash.

            Service is also very good and genuine. I have been served by a different server the 5 times I have been and all are very competent, friendly, and knowledgeable about the food and wine.

            Food, the main attraction. Richard Bastien is a very very good chef. His vegetable preparations in particular are some of the better ones I have had and do not serve only as window dressing to the main protein. Regarding proteins, all have been very well prepared with his seared foie gras among my favorite foie gras ever.

            What don't I like, or particularly believe to the restaurant's strong points? Again, the room decorations are dated, which some people may like. The bread service is nothing special, though where in Montreal can you have an exceptional one?

            Finally, the restaurant offers one of the best price/quality ratios in the region, probably because it is not downtown. If I had to pick one restaurant in the region that surpasses Le Mitoyen, it would be Manoir Hovey but I suspect that you would not want to travel that distance for a single night. So is Le Mitoyen exceptional? Unfortunately I would say no given where I have dined. But for Montreal it is easily top two.

            If I recall correctly the degustation is somewhere around 70 or 80$, with a supplement for the foie. Unfortunately I do not remember how much the supplement costs.

            1. re: nextguy

              Thanks so much; that's all really helpful and I am now considering this over Europea for dinner next week.

              Last couple of questions for you to get a better perspective on things: would you rank value or preparation/innovation higher with Mitoyen? In other words, would it still be amongst your top local picks if the quality of food remained consistent, yet the prices were readjusted and inflated? I'm just trying to get a better idea since I really don't want to take cost into account for this particular ocassion.

              Also, you mention that it is among your top two picks in the city... what would your other selection be, out of curiosity?

              Thanks so much for the help, and if I do end up at Le Mitoyen next Wed. I will be sure to report back with my thoughts!

              1. re: OliverB

                Just to have another opinion: I've been to Le Mitoyen recently, and believe me - I'd love to have a fine dining option closer to where I live (on the north shore), but Le Mitoyen isn't it. You've been over the decor already, which I can confirm is typical suburban-naff, in small overcrowded rooms. But I don't mind decor that much. The food is basically all right, traditional french. A decent value for the money, but nothing more. Overall not a bad resto, but really, if what you're looking for is an exceptional dining experience, I would choose Europea, or Toqué, or any number of other Montreal or Laval restos, over Le Mitoyen.

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                Europea
                1227, rue de la Montagne, Montreal, QC H3G1Z2, CA

                1. re: johnnyboy

                  Believe me I understand your opinion. For sure Europea and Toqué offer a more innovative experience in a setting that is more exciting. Like I mentioned, I don't think Le Mitoyen is exceptional but I also don't feel that way about Europea and Toqué. But at the end of the day, I would still pick Le Mitoyen over the other two for every other reason I mentionned.

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                  Europea
                  1227, rue de la Montagne, Montreal, QC H3G1Z2, CA

                2. re: OliverB

                  For sure preparation/innovation is my basis for ranking Mitoyen so highly. I sometimes plan whole vacations around what I will eat so cost is not such a consideration for me as long as I feel like I am not being fleeced. Unfortunately I find Montreal restaurants charge prices totally out of proportion to other cities given the quality of ingredients, service, and the price of rent. That is the only reason that I really consider the price/quality ratio when dining here. How much would I pay to eat at Mitoyen is a good way to look at it. For the base degustation price you get a good meal but no luxuries like foie gras, except perhaps as part of a farcie, or the occasionally available wagyu. If you take those supplments you are looking at a meal that costs around as much as La Porte or Europea. I have not eaten at La Porte yet but between Europea and Le Mitoyen I would easily choose Le Mitoyen.

                  Regarding my other top pick, I was referring to Manoir Hovey which is far from the city. If it were closer I could see myself eating there every possible opportunity.

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                  La Porte Restaurant
                  3627 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2X2V5, CA

                  Europea
                  1227, rue de la Montagne, Montreal, QC H3G1Z2, CA

      2. What's the decor and ambiance at Mitoyen like?

        The photos online seem a bit Mariott conference room to me. Does the dining room have any character, and is it possible to eat dinner on the porch or is that lunch service only?

        1 Reply
        1. re: OliverB

          Haha read my reply above. I can tell you that the dining rooms could not be further from a Mariott conference room feel. The rooms are very rustic and cozy with more than enough character. I prefer a bit more modern but everything kind of fits here. As for the porch, I do not know.