(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:
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
I would skip Olive + Gourmando never really impressed me other than not much of its kind in Old Mtl area, kind of cute place but in my view not a mustsee.. I would keep Olivier Potier and go early as have gone a couple of times in afternoon and not much left and part of the fun is looking at the different pastries. Does seem to be a lot of running around for your meals.
Dont overlook sharing some dishes at PDC, as really rich and poutine foie gras too big for me.