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From Toronto - 2 nights - where should we go?

m
millygirl Jan 3, 2012 07:58 AM

Stats - 2 couples in our mid to late 40's. Looking for good dinner recommendations. We're staying in Old Montreal but willing to travel. We've been many times and loved our meals at Toque, Europea, Epicier.

This time around we were thinking of Joe Beef and Garde Manger. Not fussy on the menu of Pied du Couchon.

Any other suggestions? Thanks Chowhounders!

  1. m
    McAttack Jan 11, 2012 02:23 PM

    Nice list of places you've been already.
    I'd say Joe Beef and Garde Manger are also good picks. Joe Beef has another restaurant right next to it called Liverpool House.
    Go across the street to Burgundy Lion for breakfast.
    Osteria Venti is the best rustic italian restaurant in the city. i'd compare it to Osteria Morini in NYC.
    Kazu if you can get in. Not a high end dinning location, but it is by far THE hottest spot. It's a japanese Izakaya with great grilled food. You'll have to stand outside for half an hour to get in. It's the place locals go crazy for that tourists don't know.
    Restaurant DNA would be good.

    10 Replies
    1. re: McAttack
      m
      millygirl Jan 12, 2012 06:21 PM

      Ok slight change in plans -
      Joe Beef, L'Express and Le Filet!!
      Can't wait.
      Better go and get started on the packing.

      Wish I had time for Beauty's Laloux, Osertia Venti, and Liverpool House. Next time for sure, although next time could be a whole different list. LOL

      Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. See you soon.

      1. re: millygirl
        y
        YVR flyboy Jan 12, 2012 07:26 PM

        L'Express is getting a little tired(although the atmosphere is unique). I'd try O'thym . Liverpool House is the same owners(& beside) as Joe Beef.

        1. re: YVR flyboy
          SnackHappy Jan 12, 2012 07:41 PM

          Has something magical happened at O'thym? My one time there, I found the cooking pretty pedestrian and echoes from people around me have mostly been of the same opinion.

          1. re: SnackHappy
            f
            Fintastic Jan 13, 2012 10:08 AM

            I agree. O'thyme is fine and a decent BYO value, but pedestrian is a good way to put it. i'm not a talented cook but i always feel like i could have prepared the dishes i've had there. That said, l'express is a typical parisian bistro with reasonable prices. Its nice but cinquieme peche or trois petit bouchons are more innovative if you can spend a little more.

        2. re: millygirl
          m
          Maximilien Jan 12, 2012 07:55 PM

          switch L'Express with 3 petits bouchon, unless you really want the "french" experience.

          1. re: Maximilien
            porker Jan 13, 2012 11:24 AM

            I think they'll be happy w/ l'Express.
            The first time I was there, I liked the atmosphere, the zinc bar, the potted palms, the vintage phone ring, the waitstaff, etc etc. A couple of aperitifs, squint a bit, and you can have yourself believing you're in the 7ieme Arrondissement. The food is *almost* secondary.
            I think its a good choice for a first timer with satisfactory food.

            1. re: porker
              m
              millygirl Jan 16, 2012 08:33 AM

              Can't thank FineFood55 and Fintastic enough for Le Filet recommendation!! We had an amazing dinner and loved the atmosphere. It was right up our alley. The wines were fabulous and each plate got better and better. We will return just for this meal. The tuna tartare was stellar. We all agreed it was the highlight of our weekend and could not stop talking about the dishes. Who knew beets could taste so good. And our server Entienne was wonderful!

              Le Express was like some suggested - a little ho hum but still glad we went. All the times we've been to your fine city and never tried it. One had a the lentil and octopus salad which was very nice and steak tartar was okay. The atmosphere was better than the food.

              On to Joe Beef - it was our first night and we had a great time. Very glad we ate there. The food was excellent. Vannia took such good care of us. What a sweatheart she is. Everything we had was good - sweetbreads, foie gras parfait, eel fritters. We worked our way through many items and just when we thought we couldn't eat another bite - the creamsicle appeared. The was fantastic and a perfect way to end a heavy meal. Thank you Vannia!!!

              But in the end, it was Le Filet that stole the show for us.

              Thank you fellow hounds for your guidance.

              1. re: millygirl
                prima Jan 20, 2012 10:58 AM

                So good to hear you enjoyed Le Filet. I've added it to my list for my next visit. ;-)
                http://www.lefilet.ca/index-en.html

                1. re: millygirl
                  f
                  Fintastic Jan 20, 2012 02:28 PM

                  I'm also glad you enjoyed the choices - I think you summarized my feelings about each of these restaurants perfectly. I love L'Express, but I usually enjoying being there more than I enjoy eating there - the food often fails to impress.

                  Did you make it the kitchen stores or markets (re: your other post)?

                  1. re: Fintastic
                    m
                    millygirl Jan 21, 2012 12:23 PM

                    Like Mr Millygirl says "On Friday we went to the circus and on Saturday we went to the symphony".

                    Fintastic - we did not get the chance to go to as many spots as I would have hoped. Just not enough time, and too darn cold. I did though manage a trip to Atwater Market and we also nipped in to Arthur Quentin after lunch at L'Express. This was a little disappointing though as they seemed to have the exact same stuff I saw 3 years ago.

                    I am still dreaming about my meal at Le Filet.

                    Footnote - we realized after getting home that hubby lost his scarf. I called the restaurant and sure enough it was there and they were kind enough to send it by courier to us the very next day - AT NO CHARGE. I thought this was a class act on their part. Very impressed!!

                    Can't wait to return. Thanks all.

                    Millyfille

        3. y
          YVR flyboy Jan 11, 2012 04:46 AM

          O'thym, 1112 de Maisonneuve E(corner of Amherst)- French restaurant with local ingredients only, BYOW but a big selection of still and sparkling mineral waters (tap carafe water is also available without any sneer). The food can include sweetbreads in puff pastries, local bison, Quebec foie gras. Their after appetizer palate cleanser called a "trou normand" is a sorbet laced with vodka. The menu is a chalkboard menu & changes according to the market & chef's whim. The website is www.othym.com . The metro stops are either Berri-UQAM(Place Dupuis/St Andre exit) or an easier métro(because there's only 1 exit) is Beaudry. The staff at O'thym are friendly, knowledgeable & have patience to explain every dish. At lunch time, they cater to the nearby CBC/Radio-Canada crowd as well as French media TVA.. It's bright & when full-noisy.

          1. f
            finefoodie55 Jan 4, 2012 09:29 AM

            Le Filet on Mount Royal St W is one of Montreal's best dining experiences right now. Great fish dishes, extensive wine collection with great pairings. They serve "Tapas" style so with a few friends sharing each dish you can have one great feast. Don't forget to try the Mussel/Fois Gras Soup.

            6 Replies
            1. re: finefoodie55
              f
              Fintastic Jan 5, 2012 08:59 AM

              I'll second this recommendation. Filet is not really my style in terms of crowd or ambiance (both are far too beautiful for me to retain any self esteem at all), but my one meal there was maybe the best I had in 2011. Especially (and surprisingly) the desserts!

              1. re: Fintastic
                m
                millygirl Jan 5, 2012 04:55 PM

                Oh crap, that looks really good too!!!

                We only have 2 nights...what to do, what to do??? Laur

                We are booked for Joe Beef and Garde Manger.

                Help!! I suppose we'll just have to make a return visit very soon because Laloux and Filet are very appealing to me.

                1. re: millygirl
                  m
                  mangoannie Jan 5, 2012 05:34 PM

                  lucky you to get reservations at those two restos, enjoy your stay and dining!

                  1. re: millygirl
                    f
                    Fintastic Jan 7, 2012 02:55 PM

                    You'll be happy at those, although I consider both to be rather similar in many ways. I'd replace Garde with Laloux or Filet if there's space... though neither has the same street cred.

                  2. re: Fintastic
                    porker Jan 20, 2012 03:32 PM

                    I checked out Le Filet's on-line menu. Is it current? Does it change?
                    TY

                    1. re: porker
                      m
                      millygirl Jan 23, 2012 03:23 AM

                      We were told it does change. The menu online is slightly different. Maybe they leave some signature dishes and change the rest?

                2. m
                  mangoannie Jan 3, 2012 04:33 PM

                  depends on what kind of food, you prefer . Le Bremner is in Old Montreal and we liked it, you get small dishes to share and speciality is fish--the parent resto is garde manger. Au cinquieme peche is typically french bistro with good food. Van Horne is kind of out of your way and is very tiny place with small choice menu so it would not be on my list for a two night visit.. I was not impressed with my lunch meal at 400 coups nor did I like what they did with decor, service was inattentive but I seem to be in minority with this viewpoint .

                  1. prima Jan 3, 2012 09:42 AM

                    I really like Laloux and La Montee de Lait, millygirl ;-)

                    I haven't been to Joe Beef, but some posters would consider JB to be quite similar to APDC. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7872...

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

                    Restaurant Laloux
                    250 Av Des Pins E, Montreal, QC H2W1P3, CA

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: prima
                      m
                      Maximilien Jan 3, 2012 11:03 AM

                      La montée de lait closed a few months ago.

                      1. re: Maximilien
                        prima Jan 3, 2012 11:10 AM

                        oh, too bad.

                        1. re: prima
                          m
                          millygirl Jan 3, 2012 12:04 PM

                          Thanks Prima. Laloux looks very nice indeed!

                          I will check out some of these other suggestions.

                          One place that I loved but closed (I think) was Brunoise. Loved that spot!!!

                          1. re: millygirl
                            prima Jan 3, 2012 12:19 PM

                            You might have already read this, but another poster suggested Mas a while back, for those who miss Brunoise http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/787273#6640312

                            http://www.mascuisine.com/

                            http://www.mascuisine.com/menu.html

                            Hope you have a great time!

                            -----
                            Mas Cuisine
                            3779 Rue Wellington, Verdun, QC H4G, CA

                            1. re: prima
                              m
                              millygirl Jan 3, 2012 12:44 PM

                              Damn, your good prima! Thanks, I'm not familiar with Mas and will check it out.

                    2. m
                      Maximilien Jan 3, 2012 09:39 AM

                      I'd suggest looking at this other "toronto coming to MTL " thread : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/824241

                      I suggest to look at the year's end "best of" thread : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825356

                      Max.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Maximilien
                        m
                        millygirl Jan 3, 2012 10:25 AM

                        Thanks Maximilien. The first thread was posted by students on a budget - which neither apply to us and I did read the 2nd thread. It had many different reviews with varying opinions at all levels which is why I gave some background info on what we were looking for.

                        1. re: millygirl
                          m
                          Maximilien Jan 3, 2012 11:09 AM

                          (yep, sorry about the first one, but there are nice suggestion in there!)

                          A couple of ideas :
                          - Bouillon Bilk : (hip and wildly popular lunch place, need reservation)
                          - Van-Horne : (One that I mean to try soon)
                          - Le Chien Fumant. (closely related to style and spirit to Joe Beef and Garde Manger)
                          - 3 Petits Bouchons.
                          - Laloux (as someone else suggested).
                          - La Salle A Manger (closely related to style and spirit to Joe Beef and Garde Manger)
                          - Les 400 coups (I have to go back there again after a really meal, but it was a fixed menu for a special occasion), needs a reservation.

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