Two Days in Montreal for a Quick Anniversary Celebration
My husband and I will be spending a Fri and Sat in Montreal for our anniversary at the end of this month. We'll be staying at Auberge du Vieux-Port in Old Montreal and will not have a car. We don't mind taking a taxi one night, but would like to walk to a dining venue the other night. I have read some of the threads, but not being too familiar with the city, I don't know which of the many wonderful-sounding places are near our inn. Please give me one or two dinner and lunch places that are CH faves. Also, I haven't seen anything recent written about Les Deux Singes de Montarvie, and the older posts are less than favorable. Has anything changed, or should I write this off? I was thinking of this as a cab-to destination.
Hi Pam - Nice of you to come celebrate with us.
Lunches nearby are plentiful. Definitely try lining up for Olive & Gourmando, Titanic, Cartet, or on Friday you could try Venti Osteria.
For nearby dinners you could try Club Chasse et Peche, Bremner (where I have not eaten, though some speak highly), or 400 coups. On Fridays 400 coups also does lunch, I believe.
Deux Singes is an interesting situation. It has all the makings of a very successful restaurant (perfect location, lovely interior, interesting menus), but it never seems to get much press or even business. The first time I ate there many years ago I was VERY impressed. I returned 3 or 4 times in the year that followed, and was less and less satisfied each time. Some of the dishes are maybe too subtle in taste. My final time going was with out-of-towners who speak almost no french, and I found our waitress unwilling to speak much English (though she was quite capable). This was not a significant problem - it seemed like she kept forgetting rather than any sort of animosity - but with so few tables being served, it indicated a lack of interest. I know this place was for sale a few years ago, so I'm not sure what happened after that. Generally I'd recommend that you try other places unless you have a particularly good reason for going. Maybe think about Trois petits bouchons instead?
Here are a few places within walking distance from where you are:
Bar & Boeuf: serving market fresh cuisine with focus on meat & fish (dinner)
Barroco: trendy joint serving market fresh cuisine too (dinner)
BEVO: new Italian / pizza joint with nice decor (probably open for lunch)
Bonaparte: romantic, charming traditional French cuisine (dinner)
Brit & Chips: fish n chips (dinner)
Chez l'Epicier: inventine, modern French cuisine (dinner)
Gandhi: great Indian food (dinner)
Gibby's: landmark steakhouse (dinner)
Osteria Venti: rustic authentic Italian food (dinner)
Verses: French cuisine, not THAT great of a place but open for lunch/brunch
Hope this helps.
I agree with Fintastic's suggestions, and having eaten there, I can assure you that Le Bremner is good. If you want to stay in Old Montreal, other options that are nearby (walkable) are Da Emma or Graziella for Italian, and Le Gros Jambon for brunch/lunch. Garde-Manger gets mixed reviews on this site, although my last meal there was quite good - but it's hard to get a reservation there, and given the choice I would pick Le Bremner over it (they are both Chuck Hughes restaurants).
For a casual dinner, Les Soeurs Grises Brasserie is pretty good. For a casual lunch, I liked Titanic. Both walkable in Old Montreal
Well, Bremner, Garde-Manger and 400 Coups are full except very early (5:30) and very late (9:30, which for us is late). Too bad because they all look great. Now, I'm getting a little anxious about not finding a Chow-worthy spot. What about Holder? It seems to be relatively close to Auberge du Vieux-Port, but looks a little bright and wide-open. I like the looks of Dominion Square. Is it too far away? And Julien?
Holder is fine, although there are better options, perhaps just not as close to your hotel. Julien has had its day - wouldn't waste the time. Dominion Square Tavern is good. It's walkable, about 20 minutes, or a short cab ride (most restaurants that you would want to try in Montreal are a short cab ride, so you may not want to limit yourself by proximity). Other options that aren't too far are Brasserie T! (better than Holder IMHO) or F Bar, both near Place des Arts. Club Chasse et Peche if you really want to splurge (or Le Filet, its more casual sibling, but a bit farther afield), or check recent threads - there are plenty of places to try.
Thanks to all five of you who responded to my posts. I have two dinner reservations, one for Fri at Dominion Square and the other for Sat at Club Chasse et Peche. I'll bring your lunch recs with me and we'll see what we're close to when it's time to stop pour le dejeuner. I'll report back when we return. ( I don't know what I'd do without Chowhound(s)).
Great choices. I think you'll be glad you didn't get a table at Garde (and maybe even Bremner). This isn't the first time I've mentioned it here, but one of the worst dining experiences of my life was at Garde (sans food-poisoning), and I think it had more to do with the policies of the restaurant than bad luck. Dominion is casual yet sophisticated, Chasse et Peche is unusual but elegant.