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Jun 12, 2012 01:22 PM

First time in Montreal - Looking for dining advice...

My wife and I are going to be in Montreal for 4th of July weekend for 5 days/4 nights. Its our first time in Montreal, and are also going to be able to enjoy the Jazz Festival that week.

I have my dinners picked out, and wanted your thoughts if I’m missing anything. I tried going through all of the other recommendations, but again, having never been there, I’m sure there’s something I left out.

I have dinner reservations for:

Les 400 Coups

Liverpool House

Garde Manger

Le Bremner

Some obvious ones missing from other posts are Joe Beef (I was unable to get a reservation, so I thought that Liverpool House would be a good alternative) and Au Pied de Cochon (haven’t tried making reservations yet, just not sure where I would fit it in). And I know I have two Chuck Hughes restaurants on my list, but I have to go to Garde Manger and the reviews sounds so positive for Le Bremner, I figured why not.

So anyway, are there any places I’m missing or changes you think I should make. Also, are there any uniquely Montreal dining things I should try? I’ve been told to go to La Banquise at least once, but not sure what other specialties to check out.

Thanks in advance for any help…

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  1. You've made some good choices here, but in my opinion Garde, APDC, Joe Beef and Liverpool House are all rather similar. Each has its merits, but these restaurants, perhaps more than any others in Montreal, have defined the "dont give a f**k" trend that has dominated our dining scene for the past 5 or so years. I like the trend, and maybe you do too, so I'm pointing it out only in case you weren't aware. If you'd prefer to do something a little different, I might swap Bremner for Le Filet or Garde for Club Chasse et Peche. Filet and CCeP are also sister restaurants, with fish and meat specializations, respectively (just like the Hughes restos). They are less casual but I actually prefer the food.

    You won't be disappointed with Liverpool House in place of Joe Beef, as the latter only has the benefit of some outdoor seating (although this is actually my primary reason for frequenting the place).

    Not only are the styles similar, but all of these places are on the South side of Montreal. Keep in mind that there's lots of good eating further from Old Montreal (Banquise included - it's best at about 4am).

    4 Replies
    1. re: Fintastic

      Thanks for the advice. In looking at the Le Filet menu, based on the pricing it seems they are all appetizer sized portions. Is that the case there (which I love, so that would be a good thing)? CCeP seems to be more the traditional app and entree design.

      If you were to pick one of the two, which would you prefer?

      1. re: Corporate_40

        Yes, they mostly do small plates.

        Le Filet is more hip.

        And more fun to walk down st-laurent blvd. after diner; than strolling around Old-Montreal.

        1. re: Corporate_40

          Yes, the idea is to have the table share everything, which I found actually worked better here than at many other restaurants with a similar approach. I've honestly only eaten at each once, but I think I was more surprised by Filet. It is significantly cheaper, but I found the service and the food to be at least on par. Some of the best fish in Montreal.
          During the summer both places have terrasses and CCeP offers lunch. If you'd rather not sacrifice a dinner you could maybe aim to try it at noon?

          1. re: Fintastic

            Great. I'm leaning towards replacing Le Bremner with Le Filet, as I love the small plates and sharing.

            Thanks for the advice, and if you think of anything else I must try, please let me know (Schwartz's Deli is now on my list to check out for lunch).

      2. I know you asked more specifically for dining advice, but I would suggest not to miss fresh, warm bagels from Fairmount or St-Viateur. They're a nice option for breakfast or perhaps a snack.

        As for the restaurants you will try, there aren't many differences between Joe Beef and Liverpool House. The same dishes show up on both menus and even the staff moves between the neighbouring restaurants. I've personally preferred my experiences at Liverpool House, finding the service friendlier. The patio at Joe Beef would have been pleasant to get away from the (irritatingly loud and bad IMHO) music at both places. The food was good though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Anniecake

          Thanks for that. I think I'm pretty happy with my restaurant selections.

          And yes, time willing we will definitely stop in for a bagel. Also going to get some smoked meat, as well as maybe stop at Romados for lunch one day.