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That time of year...looking for something new/different in the Plateau area

o
oddcouple1 Jun 1, 2012 05:19 PM

This will be our 8th trip to Montreal for the Grand Prix. We rent an apartment in the Plateau, our favorite area. We are looking for some new/different dining experiences in the area. Budget is not an issue; we don't care about the cost as long as the food is fantastic. Our apartment this year is on Henri Julien near Rachel and Duluth, so within reasonable walking distance of that area, say 10 minutes walking.

I would love to find some more nearby Quebecois or French "comfort food" options- one of my missions in life is to taste as many versions of cassoulet as possible, and I would love to have some authentic tourtiere. Other than that, we are adventurous and open to just about anything. Seafood is not a must, as we live on the NH seacoast and have plenty here.

Places we have been, most more than once:

APDC (every year... the last couple years, we have been disappointed with the service)
L'Petit Plateau
L'Express
Khyber Pass
Casa Tapas
Chez Doval
Biere et Compagnie
La Banquise
Schwartz's
Wakamono

Thank you in advance!

  1. porker Jun 3, 2012 02:23 PM

    Maybe check out la buvette chez simone
    http://buvettechezsimone.com/

    4 Replies
    1. re: porker
      o
      oddcouple1 Jun 11, 2012 07:09 PM

      Thanks all... we are back and had a few fantastic meals! Because it was Grand Prix weekend, some places were hard or impossible to get into but we were happy with our choices for the most part, after long hot days at the circuit.

      Night 1- Tried Le Jardin Panos and were pleasantly surprised- Mr. OC had the lamb shish kebab and I had shrimp and sea scallop brochettes. Much to my delight, the seafood was cooked perfectly and tasted great. We started with some dolmas grape leaves stuffed with lamb and rice), which were excellent and tender, and served hot.

      Night 2 - Le P'tit Plateau- we just can't miss this one. It is Mr. OC's new favorite (it used to be APDC) in town. Had their amazing escargot and house smoked salmon; Mr. chose the magret stuffed with foie gras and I opted for the cassoulet (yay!), which was out of this world, sooo rich and yummy. We shared a dessert of dark chocolate mousse on a praline crust. Heaven.

      Night 3 - Au Cinquieme Peche - in the words of Mr. OC, "Why haven't we been here before??" Amazing. Wonderful service. We started with the seal merguez "poutine", followed by the Onglet de boeuf, escargots, asperges et huile d'argan (hangar steak with snails and asparagus) for me and Ris de veau crousti-fondant, champignons et têtes de violon (calf sweetbreads with muchrooms and fiddleheads)for him. Both dishes were beautiful, food p0rn worthy, and tasted as good as they looked. I asked for medium rare, and it was more rare but it was just fine that way. Dessert for Mr. was Iced nougat, pistachio and apricot and cheese plate for me. I am a sucker for the cheese plate. We will definitely return.

      Night 4- Lombardi on Duluth - it was Mr. OC's night to pick dinner. He is not on these boards and pretty much trusts my judgment and research. I thought we were going to wind up at Casa Tapas, but we ended up at Lombardi. It was ok, I have had better Italian, but it was fine. They had a special Table d'hote with pasta dishes related to Grand Prix drivers/brands, which was pretty hokey but whatever, they are obviously a tourist magnet! My dish was a large, somewhat dry boneless chicken breast in a cream sauce of shrimp, sundried tomatoes and tarragon. The side of penne arribiata was good. He had cannelloni, said it was "fine" and ate every bit.

      Night 5- Biere et Compagnie - Mr's second pick. Going on a Sunday night is nice, laid back, and unlimited mussels if you are in the mood! They must have 45 variations of mussels. I chose them with a sauce of white wine, cream, goat cheese, garlic, shallots, celery and port. Heavenly. He had the tandoori spice mussels. They come with fries and it is a reasonable price for some fantastic fresh mussels.

      Along the way, we managed a stop at La Binerie for lunch one day. The tourtiere was soooo good. I did not care for their version of chomeur but Mr. OC did. Something about the texture didn't sit well with me. The pea soup was very good also. We hit Premeiere Maison each morning for croissants and sandwiches to put in our cooler and take to the track. SOMEday I will sit down and eat some of their amazing pastries!

      1. re: oddcouple1
        s
        Shattered Jun 11, 2012 11:08 PM

        Thanks for the report! Do you remember how much the all-you-can-eat mussels were? Their website doesn't have prices.

        1. re: Shattered
          o
          oddcouple1 Jun 12, 2012 03:31 AM

          The different preparations range from $19.95-$22.95. AYCE is just Sun-Thurs I believe.

        2. re: oddcouple1
          p
          Plateaumaman Jun 12, 2012 06:22 AM

          Thanks for the report! I like Jardin de Panos, especially their large terrace which is very comfortable. You've confirmed my suspicions about Lombardi. I walk past the place very often and haven't been tempted to try it yet. The meal at Au Cinquieme Peche sounds outstanding.

      2. cherylmtl Jun 2, 2012 01:03 AM

        You're very close to Laloux. Chefs just changed (again...) but it got a fairly good review recently, so it might be worth trying.
        Au Petit Extra sometimes has cassoulet on their menu, but P'tit Plateau's is better (and it tends to be more of a winter dish, so any place with seasonal menus likely won't be featuring it in June, unfortunately).
        Le Chien Fumant might also be an option - a bit of a walk, or a short cab ride. And I would pick Lemeac over Chez Leveque (across the street from each other on Laurier).
        There's Les 3 Petits Bouchons on St. Denis. And Romados or Portugalia for chicken (better as take out places, but close by and quite good - just reserve your chicken at least an hour in advance).

        4 Replies
        1. re: cherylmtl
          s
          Shattered Jun 5, 2012 07:32 AM

          Romados doesn't have the ridiculous order-in-advance policy, that's Portugalia's. Jano, Chez Doval and Le Roi du Plateau are all good sit-down Portuguese places.

          There's a fairly new Korean place on Prince Arthur. I haven't heard from anyone who's eaten there, but it's full of Asians when I go by, so that must be a good sign.

          1. re: Shattered
            m
            maj54us Jun 5, 2012 08:58 AM

            @ Shaterred: Roi du plateau on the corner of st-laurent and clarck is no more. They closed a few weeks ago because of their charcoal system and it would have cost them to much $$ to upgrade.

            As for Portugalia they are also know as the "Chicken Nazi" place with their welcoming manners.

            1. re: Shattered
              cherylmtl Jun 5, 2012 07:14 PM

              While Romados doesn't have the order in advance policy, if you call at least 30 minutes ahead, you can wait in the "call ahead" line, which is much, much shorter - so you only have a few minutes' wait for your chicken, instead of 30 minutes or longer when it's busy. And if you're getting your chicken close to their closing time, often if you haven't called ahead to reserve, there won't be any available for walk-in orders.

              1. re: cherylmtl
                s
                Shattered Jun 5, 2012 08:58 PM

                @maj54us: Damn, that's shame about Le Roi. I guess Jano or their sister resto Barcelos is now my go-to for sit-down Portuguese (the lamb + chicken meal for $18 is a steal!). Oh, I know all about Portugalia's fascist policy. It was even worse a few years ago when it was strictly a take-out counter and you had to order before noon for the evening, or the day ahead for lunch! A friend swore it was worth it - tried it once and its wasn't, not by a long shot.

                @cheryl: Shhhh!

          2. p
            Plateaumaman Jun 1, 2012 05:44 PM

            Well, if you don't want to stray too far from the 'hood you can head to Pinxto (Basque tapas), Lallouz Kebaberie (especially at lunch time), Reservoir at lunch, Bistro Justine, La Binerie (for the Quebecois comfort food), various bakeries for tourtieres - my kids particularly love the meat pies at Co'pain d'Abord. Others might have suggestions for good cassoulet places. Chez Levecque is a nice classic French bistro, on par with L'Express although a bit more of a walk up to Laurier. We ordered in a nice inexpensive Tunisian couscous dinner recently from La Goulette on the recommendation of our French neighbours and that was delicious, huge portions.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Plateaumaman
              l
              looosia Jun 3, 2012 02:55 PM

              Bistro Justine on St. Denis is no more, now replaced by a resto called La Ficelle (sp?).

              Also on St. Denis is Au Cinquieme Peche, definitely a restaurant serving Quebecois fare. I've always enjoyed that place and I don't know if they're currently serving cassoulet but it's worth checking out.

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