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Feb 28, 2012 08:00 AM

Foodies Boys Weekend in Montreal

I've browsed other conversation threads but want to make sure we're hitting all of the "72 Hours In Montreal" hot spots. We are a group of 8 carnivours from NY visitng in mid-March to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday and staying at a hotel Downtown. Please comment on our targeted restaurants/meals:

Breakfast/Brunch: Recommendations please (we're late-risers and prefer cocktails with our brunch)
Lunch: Schwartzs, Brasserie T? Joe Beef?
Dinner: Buonanotte (for the Supper Club experience), MBrgr/Gibbys or Moishes
Habs Game: Bar recommendations needed please!

How is KOKO at the Opus Hotel?

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. Group of 8 will make it difficult to get in the better brunch places (IMO)

    Call "Lawrence" or "Réservoir" if they can accomodate your group size (but they don't take reservations).

    Same thing for Schwartz, it is small with long line ups (maybe they don't even have tables for 8.
    I don't think Joe Beef does lunch.
    Brasserie T is good.

    Buonanotte, I would skip it (and any other restaurant on that small strip of St-Laurent blvd (unless you want to pay for the eye candy that are the waitresses).
    Being from NY, I'd skip MBrgr, Gibbys and Moishes (you probably have better steak house in NY).

    KOKO, (same comment that I made for buonanotte).

    I'd try getting in at Joe Beef for dinner, or maybe "La Salle A Manger".

    I would have suggested Garde Manger (it would have fit what you are looking for), but they don't do groups (4+).

    Bars around Centre Bell (habs home), have a look at "La Taverne Dominion"


    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      I second Lawrence - and they do take reservations for groups over 4 people AFAIK, unless they've changed their policy.

      Recent brunch menu with cocktail selection at bottom:

      1. re: kpzoo

        Lawrence is an excellent choice. They do take reservations for large groups - don't know if that changed recently - last time I was there was about a month ago (Fixed seatings for 10am, 12 and 2PM I believe). They have 2 larger communal tables. One suitable for a group of 10-12 or so and another suitable for a group of 6-8.

    2. Your dinners are wasted if you plan to spend them at MBrgr, Buennanote, Gibby's and Moishe's. Those place are all terrible. It sounds like an itinerary out of a ten year old enRoute magazine. Cross them all out. Joe Beef is only open for dinner, not lunch. I'd make reservations now since you're a prety large group. You can save yourself a long afternoon queue if you eat at Schwartz's before the Habs, instead of lunch. You can get drunk at Dieu Du Ciel beforehand, and then walk down to Cheval Blanc in the Latin Quarter for post-game beer. Lawrence is a bit overrated imo, but they do great (juicy and charred) lunchtime burgers and I've had some pretty good brunches there; it sounds like it'd suit you fine. Koko stinks. It was alright when it first opened as a rooftop lounge, but I'm pretty sure the head chef split soon after and even then, wasn't exactly foodie geared. Cross that one off too. While you've got plenty of izakayas in NYC, Kazu is a great Japanese bar... but 8 people will be a tight squeeze! Go to Au Pied de Cochon one night. It's not my personal tastes, but a group of carnivores from New York looking for a unique dinner would do very well. Sounds like you mighr enjoy the "scene" at Icehouse as well for ribs, tacos, booze, etc. It's not any better than Hill Country, but there's not really any contenders for Southern BBQ on the East Coast anyway. Would be a fun meatcentric option for 8 guys. That sounds totally gay. Eat lunch at Portugalia or Romados on Rachel. There's some decent ethnic options depending on what you like. Dinner at one of the better Greek restos like Vegera or even Milos if you want to spend that kind of money. Lamb, fish, etc. If you're looking for that clubby downtown atmosphere you can also try Ferreira. Le Chien Fumant would also make a good dinner option. For breakfasts there's plenty of options but nothing really standout in town. Depends on where you'll be... I like Au Pain Perdu, Cartet for Sunday Brunch, you'd probably enjoy L'Anecdote... worth stopping by Cosmo's for a heavy greasy start to your day.

      1. Some places you might want to consider that aren't on the beaten path.

        Le Capri for pig's knuckles. DNA for insane food and their lounge is better than Buonanotte. Icehouse for Texican Tacos and spiked lemonade.

        For places to drink - Le Boudoir, something like 20 different Montreal beers on tap along with about 80 different scotches. Dieu du Ciel, best micro-brewery in town. Brutopia, 2nd best micro-brewery in town and 2 blocks from the Bell Centre. Le Sinclair (early) and Sparrow (late) for cocktails.

        3 Replies
        1. re: EaterBob

          No way Brutopia is the second best anything in town!

          Convenient and great for game night drinking, but it ends there.

          1. re: OliverB

            Then what would you say is the 2nd best micro-brewery in town?

          1. You should go to les trois petits bouchons or Icehouse! There is a new fun micro-brasserie call Les soeurs grises. I never been there but the reviews are good!

            9 Replies
            1. re: emportepiece

              these suggestions are so metro

              these are manly guys looking for chunks of meat. i doubt they are looking for precious food.

              you guys will do alright at moishes'. they don't reinvent the wheel and it isn't peter luger's but you'll get a solid manly meal and you will be waited on by waiters in vests.

              for breakfast, it may be hard to get all seated right away, but I recommend Le Gros Jambon ...

              If you do decide to up the ante and be a bit more adventurous, definitely check out Joe Beef.

              For lunch, Schwartz's is a tight fit for 8, but you can make it work --- they're used to weird requests and groups. Leave it to them ,they're old school.

              1. re: BarackHObama

                New Yorkers coming to Montreal for a faux New York steakhouse experience? They can get a better cut of meat at Keen's or anywhere else for half the price. It's a waste of time. What's so manly about Moishe's exactly?

                1. re: BarackHObama

                  Icehouse you think it's metro? ...not. And Restaurant La Main, is way better than Schwartz's + you can have a beer...

                  1. re: emportepiece

                    Yeah Icehouse is definately not "metro". Same with Les soeurs grises and Les 3 petits bouchons.

                    The OP is a foodie and is seeking recommendation on a foodie forum, so I don't think he's just looking for big classic macho steakhouse place (Brasserie T. and Joe Beef were on his list so...)

                    Let's just try to help him... Cause now with everyone fighting he's probably more confused than anything!

                  2. re: BarackHObama

                    Le Gros Jambon has an interesting breakfast menu but frankly I dont see 8 people eating there,-- its like eating in a closet, where you get in the way of the server(s), you wont be looking at each other as no tables,two long counters, one overlooking diner kitchen and other counter facing wall, not easy for conversation. After one visit I decided its terrrific to catch a bite when in Old Montreal but I would not be taking visitors there from outof town as prefer to have more chitchat atmosphere.

                    From some of the discussion above and if you want something right downtown, you cant go wrong with Ferreira (upscale portuguese) for lunch or dinner, also Dominion Tavern (not really tavern atmosphere though, more sedate-has bar section and also tables) both close to Bell Centre and across the park from each other. Sounds though like you want something more like Garde Manger? Holder? Brasserie T is good if on tight budget but terrace not yet open so
                    might be too crowded for group of 8.

                    As for Milos, well they have expanded into New York, Las Vegas so would skip that fish experience. I have always enjoyed it but kind of quiet place, not what you are looking for.

                    1. re: BarackHObama

                      Well, if they want "chunk of meat" I would suggest they go to places like Au Pied de Cochon or Joe Beef, or even "La Salle A Manger" (I think they have "big" chunk if you order in advance), I would think that "Le Chien Fumant" also can prepare chunk of meat for them.

                      All of the above will be better than the steak houses in Montreal, and probably more fun.

                    2. re: emportepiece

                      I'll +1 the Icehouse recommendation. Great place for a group of guys to OD on meat and the like.

                      1. re: chefjeannine

                        It might be a tight fit @ icehouse, it is quite small.

                        1. re: Maximilien

                          This is definitely true. In the winter it's almost impossible to fit a group of 8 in there unless one manages to nab both tables in front of the bar. Even then it could be tight with 8 bigger guys.