Montreal Restaurants--post-Christmas, pre-New Year's
I will be arriving in Montreal via Amtrak on 12/26 and departing 12/30. I had grand plans to eat at some of the city's best restaurants (Joe Beef, Au Pied de Cochon, Toque!), only to find out that they're closed during this time. I've been trying to determine what the general dining scene is like during this period but am not having a lot of luck. Does the city tend to be quieter? Do a lot of restaurants--not just fine dining, but more casual spots--close for the holidays?
You've inferred the unfortunate situation in Montreal over the holidays, and even throughout January in general. Most of the best restaurants (few of which are anything close to fine dining) will be closed, and many stay that way for several weeks. When I've had family come to visit during the holidays in previous years, I've had good luck at Laloux, Lemeac, L'Express, Quartier General, Tuck Shop, Pintxo, etc., though I don't know if these will be open this year. I remember in previous years I had to call 8 or 10 places to get just 3 reservations. On OpenTable I see that several of my favourites will be open at least a few nights during this period: Au Cinquieme Peche, Dominion Square Taverne, Chien Fumant, and 400 Coups. You could also try Bremner, Hangar, and Kitchenette, or for more upscale Maison Boulud and La Chronique.
If you were really set on trying a place like Pied de Cochon or Joe Beef, then I'd aim for Chien Fumant. One of the owners used to work at Joe Beef, and it has the same type of cooking and aesthetic. If you were looking for fine dining like Toque, then I'd maybe try the more quaint Chronique.
These are the discussions from previous years about what's open and closed
For what it is worth, last year Club Chasse & Pêche, Decca 77, Laloux, Laurie Raphaël, Milos, and Renoir were open in between Christmas and New Year's eve.
Then finally, I would presume that Le Montreal, the new fancy high end restaurant in the Casino would be open as well. However I haven't read anything about their food.
Just received an email from La Chronique advertising a special foie menu during that period
Menu Foie Gras
Jeudi 27 décembre
Vendredi 28 décembre
Samedi 29 décembre
Dimanche 30 décembre
Menu découverte de cinq services.
Chaque plat ets accompagné d'un verre de vin
129$ par personne
I know what you mean, essny. I had no idea things closed for the holidays like this even in the tourist populated place like Old Montreal. I just checked and Olive and Gourmando is closed from 23rd to Jan 07. I am arriving with my family on Christmas day and leaving on the 28th. Sigh...I hoped that things will all be open from the 26th...
While you're here I think you'll see why these restaurants close. I think for most it really is costly to try to stay open during this particularly slow week that's in an already dismal dining season.
However, I think the places that are talked about above should be more than sufficient to carry you through your visit. Maybe not the ones you'd planned to try, but some are excellent none-the-less.