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In Montreal and reservationless...

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My fiance and I will be in Montreal this long weekend to eat and eat some more. However, life got in the way, and I was not able to make reservations at restaurants I found on Chowhound from all your wonderful suggestions. I was able to get a reservation at Le Club Chasse et Peche for Friday dinner, but Au Pied de Cochon and Joe Beef were fully booked, sadly, as they sound like such great dining experiences!

First, does anyone have a reservation for 2 that they'd like to offer up?? Haha I realize this is a strong request, and I'm not sure what I can do in return... maybe return the reservation favor for a restaurant in NYC?

If not, does anyone have suggestions for delicious places to eat for Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, lunch or dinner that I can book last minute? I think the hardest to find will be the dinners as I'm sure I'll be able to do poutine or smoked meat for lunch. In NYC restaurants reserve tables for walk-in customers, but it seems that this is not something done in Montreal (at least I got some confused answers when I asked!).

Just looking for a good food experience and taste of Montreal. We're in town from NYC and really didn't have any plans other than to eat through Montreal, hence the disappointment in myself for not having anything booked! We welcome your advice, and thanks in advance!

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  1. A couple of nice place that you could go without a reservation (or at least call in advance)

    Lawrence, Hotel Herman, La Salle à Manger, Chien Fumant, ... Lemeac, Laloux, 3 Petits Bouchons ...

    Mont-Royal St. is pedestrian only for the week-end, it will be fun, maybe not a lot of street-food, but lot of people watching ...
    Max.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      And we will definitely want to do some people watching while we digest our meals, so Mont-Royal it is!

      1. re: jen223

        Just a note that La Salle a Manger is on Mont-Royal-- perfect for people watching and a before or after dinner stroll. Call ahead though!

    2. While Montreal restaurants usually don't keep tables for walk-in customers, as they do in many US cities, if you show up at Pied de Cochon very early (or very late - closer to 11 pm) they can often accommodate you - especially if you're only 2 people. This being a long weekend, it may be a bit more difficult, though.

      Joe Beef is too small for that (although they may end up with last-minute cancellations, it never hurts to try and call the same day to see)

      9 Replies
      1. re: cherylmtl

        taking out APDC to the nearby Parc Lafontaine (one of montreal's largest parks) is not unheard of and it is acceptable to drink wine with your meal --- just a crazy idea in case you really don't want to miss out on the food. Apart from the collective experience of gluttony, the restaurant itself is only moderately pleasant.

        1. re: catroast

          Oh I didn't realize you can order takeout from APDC! That is great! Do they offer takeout for lunch and dinner? And is the whole menu available? I will have to do this if cherylmtl's suggestion to pop in early or late doesn't work. Thanks!

          I think we are staying at the Sheraton and hope they might be able to get us reservations. Not sure if hotels in Montreal do this.

          1. re: jen223

            APDC, like a majority of Montreal restaurants, is not open for lunch. This is one of the things I notice when in other major cities (i.e. NYC, stockholm, etc) - we're one of the rare places where a large number of restaurants can just serve lunch or dinner and still afford to stay in business. That said, I'd definitely recommend APDC take-out on a nice evening. Lafontaine is one of the nicest parks in the city, and as long as you bring cutlery (PDC often has none) and order picnic-appropriate dishes, it can work out great.

            I'm not as confident as Max about walk-ins or last-minute reservations at Chien Fumant, Lawrence, Salle a Manger, etc. Most of the places he has mentioned can still get booked up on weekends, especially holiday long weekends. If you tried now you could probably still get tables at each, but I wouldn't count on there being space the day of. Otherwise his recommendations are great. The latter 3 could be good Monday night options.

            1. re: Fintastic

              That's the other thing I didn't realize... that restaurants are closed Mondays. Working in the food business in Montreal must be great!

              1. re: jen223

                LOLOLOL we're chronically underpaid and understaffed, it's paradise!

                1. re: C70

                  Yeah, doing 18 hour shifts Tue-Sun is wonderful!

                  1. re: porker

                    Ahh, I thought it was more "I can work from Tue-Sun, 5pm-1am and live a good life!"

                    The long hours and being underpaid sound like NYC as well. Although how does tipping work in Montreal? Is it European style? In NYC I feel like a bad person if I tip anything less than 18-20%. (It helps that I have a sister who relies on tips for a living )

                    1. re: jen223

                      Getting a fair number of non-tipping european visitors to Montreal frustrates many servers. 10% is on the low side, 15% is a nice tip, 20% is a good tip.

                      1. re: porker

                        Most restos here in Montreal have their credit card machines programmed to prompt a tip of 15%. Since they calculate 15% on the total including tax, the effective tip is over 17%.

      2. Yo jen, so you don't have set plans for Sunday? Maybe check this out
        http://mtloysterfest.com/
        Yeah, its called "oysterfest" but its so much more than that: local restaurants get involved and put up stands. Its a charity event so the people are there to have fun and showcase their stuff. Making a profit on their sales is not the focus.
        I think its one of the best festivals in the city.
        However, they sell only 2000 tickets. Mrs Porker has been following Daniel Notkin, an organizer, on...I dunno Twitter? Facebook?. Anyway, as of yesterday, he was still selling tickets. Apparently you can get them on-line as well from a link on the site.
        Heres an article from last year
        http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/blog...

        jen, I only ask you keep this under wraps, thanks

        2 Replies
        1. re: porker

          This is great! Right down our alley. I just bought 2 tickets online. Thanks for the suggestion, and I'll definitely keep it under wraps.

          1. re: jen223

            I'll be the old, 46 year old guy wearing shorts, fidora, and sunglasses if'n you wanna say hi. Weather forecast looks great; 0% precipitation, 24C (74F).

        2. I see reservations at 9:30 this Saturday at Liverpool House. Had two great dinners there this past week. If you don't mind eating late, I think it's a great option.

          If you're doing a smoked meat sandwich and poutine for lunch, probably won't be hungry until then anyways.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bkeats

            If you don't mind eating late, there are many restaurants with after 9 or 10 dinner specials for $20-$30 prix fixe. You can search the board for the lists - generally you can get a same day reservation.