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Oct 21, 2012 10:48 PM

(Yet another) 42 Hours in Montreal... What would you choose?

Ok, so I've done my homework (I think). I've read "5 days...", "5 jours....", "2 People.." and pretty much every thread I could find about helping make the best decisions from the great options there are available in a limited timeframe.

In three weeks my wife and I will be staying in Old Montreal for less than two days. We'll have 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 1 lunch (thus 42 hours ;) ). I've got a tentative plan, based mainly on reviews I first found here, but am hoping to have this very fun board review and offer suggestions.

We're coming up from NYC and eaten at pretty good places but know firsthand that some of our best meals were at restaurants not listed in Zagats. The background: My wife doesn't eat fish, Italian is made at home, and we have pretty good access to ethnic food. That being said, we're trying to focus on what Montreal does best. So with limited slots we think we should try to do a Bistro and/or French Inspired and/or Farm to table/local. Throw in some tartare, charcuterie, stiff drinks and a lobe of fois gras for good measure and we'll fly home fat and happy. We're late 30s, don't mind traveling around the city and otherwise good and adventurous. Here we go:

Friday Night
DINNER: Le P'Tit Plateau (haven't called yet)
DRINKS: ? (probably the hotel)

BREAK: Olivier Potier (croissants)
LUNCH: Olive + Gourmando
Jean-Talon and Caffe Italia
PRE-Dinner drinks: Dominion Sq. Tav
DINNER: APdC (9pm)

BREAK: Kouign Amann


So if you had just two days, would this make sense? If I don't get P'Tit Plateau, there's like 5 other competing options that I can't decide on and that really encouraged me to post: Laloux, Lawrence, Le Chien Fumant, Lemeac, Chasse et Peche....maybe even Marche 27 for tartare early and then Lemeac for their 10pm 2 course menu.....sigh so many choices.

Any thoughts appreciated!


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  1. Is le P'tit Plateau open on Monday? and it's a BYOB (just warning you about that).

    Maybe you could do an early Charcuterie plate at "Le Comptoir Charcuterie et vins" and finish that up with a 10pm Lemeac reservation.

    Or do drinks at Pop! (sister of Laloux) and walk up St-Laurent blvd to Lawrence.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      To echo Stax's comment below, I much preferred the charcuterie plate at Le Chien Fumant compared to Le Comptoir and would recommend a visit there, followed by a late night dinner reservation

      1. re: Maximilien

        Don't know why asked about Monday night... maybe not enough coffee.

      2. I just wanted to throw in a vote for Le Chien Fumant. I would probably choose to go there over P'Tit Plateau. Its a bit more pricey, but the food and service is top notch.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Stax88

          Thanks to all three so far! I'm taking notes but think I already see a shift coming... it's great b/c you can research all you like, read the menus and look at photos, but nothing beat personal feedback.

          Would you keep APdC?

          1. re: Stax88

            And if you like tartare, Le Chien Fumant's is very good. Chasse et Peche is one of my favourite restaurants in town, and Joe Beef/Liverpool House are always worth a visit.

          2. Drinks at Pullman are always nice and it's conveniently located.
            I would suggest Les 400 Coups for Friday night if Le P'tit Plateau doesn't work for you. Or Joe Beef, but that place is booked for the next 27 years.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Spiff79

              Thanks Spiff, we're on the same page, I'd looked at them both–400C looks especially up my alley–but no availability.

              1. re: ParkingChicken

                Les 400 Coups has a special for restaurant week, which is likely why they're completely booked up.

            2. There are a lot of options like the P'tit Plateau in the plateau (frenchy bistro vibe). Among all you list I'd go to Chasse & Peche without looking back. Its not a bistro tough. Its a bit more expensive but its so so good.

              Pied de Cochon is an experience in its own... I'd keep it

              On a friday night you have lots of options for drinks. Which one do you prefer? Pubs? Clubs? Cocktails? Beer? Wine bar? Where is your hotel?

              1. If you're staying in Old Montreal it might be a pain to trek over to Olivier Potier for breakfast and head back to Old Montreal for lunch. Could switch them around or head to Olivier Potier for a pastry mid-afternoon or have lunch and a pastry there? And I think going to Jean-Talon, Dominion Sq. Tavern and APDC in one afternoon would be too hectic for me. I'd try to find a nice place for a drink closer to APDC. Oh, perhaps you could try out the new Maison Publique tavern that the DNA chefs and Jamie Oliver just opened. That's not too far from APDC either, with a nice walk through Parc Lafontaine in between.

                What kind of tartare do you like? Marche 27 has a nice variety, or else the steak tartare is good at Chez Leveque (across from Lemeac and also with a late special) or L'Exptress.

                Kouign Amann for breakfast is perfect and there's a new Lebanese bakery across the street called Trippe de Bouffe that has a lot of great savoury snacks that can be handy to take on the road.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Plateaumaman

                  Capt, Plateaumaman - both solid advice. I think switching up the breakfasts (or moving OP altogether) is going to happen. Maybe Gros Jambon Sat morning instead? Keep it more local in the morning.

                  If I'm feeling purist and going for a steak tartare, I could take the advice re: Leveque.

                  @CC - For drinks, we'd be into something with a lot of character - we'll be doing mixed drinks or wine. More the place, less the scene, if that makes sense.

                  1. re: ParkingChicken

                    I think Gros Jambon opens at 10am saturday, so doing that + Olive for lunch could be heavy. Olive opens at 8am so it could work for breakfast. Even if you'll miss their absolutely delicious sandwiches, it could be interesting too. You could grab a few things to go on your way out (a little bit of everything if I were you).

                    Marché Jean-Talon could be great for lunch, you will probably want to eat a few things there or around the market.

                    1. re: Glaff

                      Yeah... lunch at Marché Jean-Talon could be nice. Its a nice market with nice produce so it lends itself well at freestyling it. Especially since you'll be going heavy with dinner at APDC.

                      I know a few places that specializes in mixed drinks. The problem is that you are not alone in liking it so they tend to be always full.

                      La Drinkerie is near Joe Beef:

                      La Distillerie is in the latin quarter, not *too* far (2 metro stations off) from the plateau.

                      There is another on Mont-Royal in the plateau but I never went there:

                      Le lab has a good reputation but I never went there so I can't vouch for it:

                      L'assomoir Notre-Dame has a good mixed drink selection in the old montreal.

                      For breakfast, I'd consider Le Cartet in the old montreal. They have great plates and are definitely a favorite wherever I am in the Old Montreal.

                      1. re: CaptCrunch

                        actually le cartet is probably a better choice than gros jambon, nicer atmosphere; the brunch dishes are big so could just skip lunch

                        1. re: mangoannie

                          thanks again Capt - I've got some decision making to do ;)

                          annie - part of my problem is that I want SMALLER meals so I can eat at more places. LOL.

                          1. re: ParkingChicken

                            Quick hint: try to look for an area where you can be walking distance from Plan A, B, C, D, E if the bars are full. Fortunately for you, Montreal is very walkable when the weather is nice.

                            1. re: ParkingChicken

                              portions are much smaller in Canada but then you might prefer gros jambon, but its a closet of a diner, more interesting place to sit is of course facing grill not the wall! I have a feeling this thread is going to be a long one, everyone has their faves so good to be specific re preferences.

                              1. re: mangoannie

                                ah, but please don't mistake me for one of those New Yorkers that doesn't welcome opinions ;)

                    2. re: Plateaumaman

                      For tartare, I would go with Chien Fumant or Salle a Manger. Next option would be l'Express. But that's just my preference...
                      Although APdC makes a mighty yummy tartare - and they offer it in appetizer portions.

                      1. re: cherylmtl

                        Chien Fumant is getting a lot of love here. This is what I was afraid of, it's getting a bit more difficult. :)

                        1. re: ParkingChicken

                          I think a lot has to do with expectations - my expectations for my visit to Chien Fuman were moderate, so I was really surprised and impressed by my experience there, whilst I had very high expectations for my visit to Le Comptoir (based on feedback on this board and hype elsewhere) and it failed to meet those expectations on nearly all accounts (the desserts were the saving grace! But then, I had no expectation of Le Comptoir having delicious desserts!)