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May 16, 2012 08:10 PM

Good "French Canadian/Quebecois" food

I have some friends coming next week and they requested I find a good 'french canadian/quebecoise' restaurant for supper that isn't greasy, ie. good quality traditional cuisine on the menu as well as other things. They don;'t much like heavy sauces, either. I am thinking of something in the range of 30-40 dollars per person for a meal, without wine.

Any suggestions most appreciated.

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  1. Most/All "French Canadian/Québecois" food is french based,

    "5ème péché" should fit the bill (maybe borderline of the price);
    "Van Horne" might be good.

    You could try a BYOW, "Monsieur B", "Smoking Vallée", "French Connection".


    3 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Max, the restaurants you listed are not traditional Quebecois and offer no traditional dishes. I'm not even certain I would call the current bistro/market cuisine offered at these places modern Quebecois. It's mostly French food with some local ingredients. Traditional Quebecois is not based on this type of French cuisine.

      I don't think we even have a traditional Quebecois restaurant in Montreal that's open for dinner.

      1. re: SnackHappy

        I know, I was not sure about my answers either.

        appart from La Binerie and APdC , there's not "québécois" cuisine anymore, even the old tavern food is more or less "british" oriented food.

        I just looked at "Chez Roger" and "Le Plaza", I hoped for a more québécois menu, but it's french/québécois bistro cuisine

        1. re: Maximilien

          Depending on your preferences Fourquet Fourchette, Le Cabaret du Roy and Les Filles du Roy would fit the bill, although they are all places where the staff wear costumes and are generally geared towards groups looking for an "authentic" Quebecois experience. I have never eaten at any of them, so I can't comment on the quality of their food.

          Then if you want a high quality product many bakeries and butcher shops sell tourtière and other "traditional" foods that you can heat and eat at home (or anyplace that has access to a kitchen). Some that I would suggest are Froment et de Sève and Maison du Roti.

          Then finally there are two separate types of restaurants that do Terroir Quebecois-style. Higher end places like DNA, Au Cinquieme Peche, Bouillion Bilk, and Club Chasse et Peche that while not serving "traditional" or "authentic" food will be serving food based on and referencing "traditional" and/or "authentic" Quebecois food, if only because they, for the most part only use local products and produce. I've eaten at most of them and they are all very very good.

          Which then leaves the lower end places like Le Resto du Village, Chez Claudette, the aforementioned Binerie and other casse-croutes (read lower end, greasy spoon type restaurants) who also would qualify, mostly because they have existed since the dawn of time and have not changed anything but the prices on their menus. These too, are also for the most part very good, but other people don't agree with me as much.

          There also should be a very large caveat, most "traditional" and "authentic" Quebecois dishes tend to be very heavy, hearty dishes more suited for the sub-zero weather we experience during the winter. So a lot of places that vary their menus might not have a tourtière or ragout on the menu now, instead opting to serve fresh produce since it is only available for the blink of an eye.

    2. Make sure the place serves a good Sugar Pie!

      1. La Cantine on Mount-Royal. From their website:

        "Le soir à LA CANTINE, on vous propose un voyage à travers notre cuisine populaire québécoise… la bonne popote de nos « matantes » mise au goût du jour."

        1. I would suggest a generic working man's tavern, but even these are becoming a rare breed. Not only that, but fewer still are serving traditional Quebecois tavern food. I'm thinking of ragout de patte de cochon (a roux based pork stew) or pate chinois (shepherds pie) or the grandaddy, patte de cochon (pigs knuckle) all for cheap (pea soup on Fridays).
          These joints, however, might not be the kind of place you celebrate with out of town friends - it depends on what they are expecting and their attitude on "dining out".
          I used to like Magnans before they became gentrified and yuppified

          I like Brasserie Capri just 2 blocks away from Magnans on St. Patrick, but I'm worried they are beginning to gentrify and yuppify. Anthony Bourdain stopped in with his Montreal buddies to eat pigs knuckles here on an episode of The Layover

          Since it aired, Capri has knocked down a couple of walls, hung new gyproc, and installed fancy-shmansy lighting. Coincidence? I think they are doing great business because of the episode, but hopefully they won't kill what makes them great...

          1 Reply
          1. re: porker

            You can also get Pig's Knuckles at Brisket's on Beaver Hall.

          2. Make sure your friends eat some Quebec cheese -- possibly on a cheese-plate for dessert. Or serve some at home home, before, or after, with wine or Quebec beer or cider.