(not another) review my list- 5 jours en Montreal!
Dear Montrealers & Lovers of Montreal,
My partner and I will be visiting this week, from Sunday-Thursday.
I've searched all the CH Montreal boards. Read most of the reviews. Sorted the montreal reviewers from the rest. I'm really looking to refine what I've gained as impressions from the posts and make some decisions!
We're staying in the Vieux Port, and have a car, so can travel.
Budget is no holds barred, but what I like about Montreal is the ability to eat well for a good price.
Need some help balancing the "fancy" classics/well known places with the warm, cosy neighbourhood places which might not garner as much press.
Please help narrow down to:
Would like to focus more on Montreal bistro cuisine, with its signature whimsical touches, solid execution, and warmth. And possibly a killer steak tartare, salmon tartare, and a good cold foie gras au torchon.
-would like to find more seafood, or places that have items like tuna crudo, crab cakes, or a killer fish soup.
-not interested in Asian recs as we live in Toronto
Have secured a 10:30 pm (!) APDC reservation. Although at this point, I'm thinking I may not wish to indulge on so much duck fat/pig so late at night. Don't get me wrong---I love this stuff, and cook with duck fat regularly-but will have driven 7 hours from Ontario and a quieter AVV/BYOW might be in order.
Monsieur B, casual and relaxed AVV
Club Chasse et Peche. Hopefully a good seat on the terasse
Tuesday lunch: ? Something that's a change from Monday's heavyweight meals?
Tuesday dinner: Le Taverne Dominion
Will go to Olive & Gourmando for breakfasts as it is near where we're staying. But not open Sunday or Monday---so need a lunch rec for these days.
I think this list is too heavily weighted towards classic and fancy. This is not my intention, its just that these names emerge over and over!
Any advice? THANKS!!!
If you do not want to eat late sunday (because cannot get early res. at APdC), and still want foie gras au torchon, you could go to La Salle à Manger (mont-royal ave.).
They should still have it on the menu.
I'd skip Milos; it is not particularly "Montreal", except if you go for the post 22h 22$specials, but it will not be that specials.
I went to "Le Filet", which is the small brother of "Club Chasse et Peche" last week, and they have a lot of what you are looking for, crudo, tartare, ... and it is a very fish oriented restaurant.
One thing to consider, which I forgot fairly often, is that the "well known places" that get a lot of discussion on chowhound are not necessarily well known by the general public and can still be cozy, neighbourhood spots. This is one of the things that makes chowhound great, and even more so in Quebec where it seems like this resource is under-used (perhaps a consequence of it being an English-only site).
Anyway, I digress.. I think you have a very solid lineup scheduled so far. I understand that APDC may be overwhelming after a long trip, but one thing that it does well is keep one awake. I'd say keep your reservation, as it's tough to get a last-minute spot that's not after 10, and order some lighter options (relatively speaking). If you're set on not going then maybe move your Dominion reservation to Sunday (as it's a tougher night to find open restos), and you could do something like 3 Petits Bouchons, Cinquieme Peche, or Filet on Tuesday. Alternatively, a classic like Laloux.
For fish and seafood, it's basically impossible to beat le Filet, as mentioned by Max. It's different enough from CC&P that it won't feel like you're dining at a sister restaurant.
Definitely don't miss out on Lawrence. It's one of those hyped-on-chowhound but cozy-in-real-life places that I mentioned above (at least during dinner service).
The best tartare I've had recently was of the horse-y variety at Chien Fumant. Runner up was Joe Beef. However, all of the classic bistros like Lemeac, Laloux, and L'Express (and even APDC) do a great streak tartare.
Max is dead on about the torchon. I'm really not a fan of foie gras in this form, but it seemed particularly well execute at Salle a Manger on my last visits. Of course, if you'd rather not make a special trip, this is also readily available at APDC.
Milos I enjoy most at lunch, especially since it's such a great value. Maybe do that for Tuesday lunch?
Good luck and enjoy!
Thank you for your replies-one thing is that I've been absolutely DYING to try Le Filet. Things which attract me are the "little sister" qualities, as well as the fact that they have a Japanese chef de cuisine (I'm biased).
Is Salle A Manger a reservations-only place? Would we have success walking in on election day? :P
The thing is---I don't yet know if have a dinner free Tuesday-Thursday, as the Taverne is a work function, and I may have others. These Mardi-Samedi places really tempt me!
Merci a tous! Keep your opinions coming!
And, does anyone have experience with the Club Chasse et Peche menu midi? Apparently, this place is open Mondays for lunch, so we are going to try to eat here for lunch with Milos for supper. Unfortunately, I wish we could switch, but Club C&P are not open Mondays for dinner service!
The yummiest cold foie gras torchon I've had is at Le P'tit Plateau, although it was a few years ago but it was memorable. That's definitely a neighbourhood place and well known for being a great byow. Friends and I have researched steak tartare pretty closely and you might want to add Marché 27 to your list as they are a tartare bar with a lot of great choices plus some killer martinis. Otherwise I'd recommend L'Express for steak tartare and bone marrow. They have a classic fish soup there as well. APDC will be fine at night if you snack earlier in the evening. It's only 6 hours by car if you are coming from Toronto usually, sometimes even only 5 1/2 if you are lucky. I've heard Le Filet is very good. Well done reading all the posts on these boards. It's getting dense here for information!
I really appreciate the comments, especially Fintastic's description of food enclaves.
Plateaumaman, Au P'tit plateau is a memory of a grad school trip-the perfect little spot, if cramped. I have a husband who prefers lighter fare, now, so we'll see where we end up!
Au Pied Du Cochon-confirmed, 22h, Sunday
What is open Mondays in Montreal? For lunch, I'd like anything nearer to the Vieux Port that doesn't suck? (Want to stay nearish to here as I need to be back by 2pm)
Club Chasse et Peche-confirmed, lunch Tuesday (it was closed Mondays).
Dominion-confirmed, Wednesday dinner
Still calling around, still deciding! Thank you for your great feedback! Merci a tous!