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Jan 19, 2013 05:49 PM

Toronto foodie needs help in narrowing down choices - visiting Montreal


I have read the numerous threads on Montreal but I am still having a bit of trouble deciding where I would like to eat for dinner on my short 3.5 day visit to Montreal with my boyfriend. During the day I have cheaper eats selected (i.e. Schwartz's, Fairmount/St Viateur bagels, Kouign Armann, Boustan, Arahova on St. Viateur, La Banquise etc..)

- Wednesday : Garde Manger
- Thursday: Les 400 coups
- Friday: Au Pied de Cochon

There are a few other places I am not sure if I should opt in or take something else out:
- Le Club Chasse et Peche
- Lemeac
- Joe Beef

I am having a bit of difficulty deciding. I think there is good balance in the first 3 selected but I know the other 3 are quite popular as well. A friend insists that I go to Le Club which I know will have great food as many have posted but will be more of a "safe" choice .. or am I wrong in saying that? Also I was perhaps thinking doing an earlier dinner at APdC and perhaps going to Lemeac for the after 10pm dinner for some salmon tartare, pain perdu and duck confit.

Furthermore I was looking at APdC's menu and I am not interested in ordering the duck in a can but will likely order the pancakes with foie, and also the duck carpaccio. Any other stand outs?

Lastly, I got a recommendation that I should have the foie and fig tart from O'Thym but as a byob, i realize likely i cannot sit at the bar just to have this tart as they have seatings at dinner. Am I correct in assuming this?

We are staying in the Plateau Mont Royal area and in terms of nightlife we are planning to do
- Baldwin Barmacie
- Bily Kun
- La Distillerie

Lastly, a recommendation for an excellent brunch.

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  1. "Lastly, a recommendation for an excellent brunch."

    Lawrence is amazing -

    "Also I was perhaps thinking doing an earlier dinner at APdC and perhaps going to Lemeac for the after 10pm dinner for some salmon tartare, pain perdu and duck confit."

    Unless you have a bottomless stomach you may regret doing that, but of course YMMV. ;-)

    I'll let other chime in on the rest - have a great trip!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kpzoo

      Thanks kpzoo! I was thinking as I posted below just about having a couple items at APdC then Lemeac but perhaps I will just cancel it altogether (lemeac).

    2. You've made some good choices here. I'd push you to change your Wednesday dinner, perhaps to Chasse et Peche, though there are plenty of folks who like Garde more than me. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "safe" - the ingredients at CCeP might be slightly less outrageous than Joe Beef or APDC, but its definitely not boring food. However, its definitely slightly more expensive than any of your other choices. It would be my choice.

      As for APDC, I think you're right not to order the duck in a can when the plogue and many other dishes are far better. Maybe consider ordering one of the tongue appetizers. I normally don't like tongue, but it's delicious there. Also, the specials are usually exceptional. Kpzoo is definitely right to recommend that you not try to do another restaurant in the same night as PDC. I might not even have lunch... The pancake and carpaccio are definitely more reasonable portions, but none of their portions are even remotely responsible from a caloric perspective. You'd likely regret your decision to squeeze in Lemeac - just order an extra dish at APDC.

      I haven't had the tarte you speak of at O'Thym, so I can't comment on the dish, but I'm quite confident that they do not have a bar. I'm sure you could nab an early table if made it clear you'd only stay for 30 minutes.

      As for nightlife, you'll enjoy your choices. Maybe head for Distillerie early, as it usually has a substantial line from mid-evening until closing. Baldwin's is not one of my favourites; I really don't understand why so many recommend it. There are lots of places nearby that have better drinks and ambiance.. maybe consider Sparrow?

      And finally, when are you planning your trip? Trying to get a specific reservation time at 400 Coups and APDC might be difficult if your trip is coming up soon. Definitely book early if you want to keep a schedule.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Fintastic


        Thanks for your reply! I am really interested in going to Garde and Les 400 Coups. I already booked those for February (20-23), so I have lots of time. I emailed Le Pied de Cochon that the best way to get a reservation? Or shall I phone them? It is not quite at the 1 month mark yet.

        I am really wanting to go to Le Club Chasse et Peche but it would be in lieu of Au Pied de Cochon. I know they are so different but CCeP's menu interests me more but I don't think I should miss Au Pied de Cochon.

        1. re: kyra2224

          If you can't add a day and have it all, I'd agree with Fintastic and change up Garde for APDC. And I'd be spontaneous about ordering ... the specials are great and I love their foie gras on fruit (whatever may be in season). And if you wanted to go to Lemeac after an earlier meal, you could choose another of your evenings maybe?

          For the midday choices I'm not sure I'd bother with Arahova (so much like places on the Danforth), I might change up Schwartz for the Main, Kouign Amann yes, La Banquise yes, Boustan .. hmmm, might go to Trippe de Bouffe or Lallouz instead. Bagels, yes, it goes witohout saying. And I'd pack some digestive enzymes. Have fun!

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          1. I would second the recomendation to take out Garde manger. I think club chasse et peche is past its prime, and overpriced. Instead I would recommmend their newer restaurant, le filet (also closer to where you are staying). Other options would be bouillon bilk, la porte,or hotel herman (hot newish place, just tried it last weekend)

            lawrence is good for brunch, but its a bit too popular, often lineups. if your not interested in waiting in line (esp in the cold!) consider chien fumant, le comptoir, or pastaga

            4 Replies
            1. re: tdiddy23

              Thanks for the recommendations. Sorry for the confusion but I meant that I would swap CCeP vs. APdC. I am keeping my resos at Garde, Les 400 coups and (just yesterday) received my reso for APdC. I think those are the 3 I am going to go with for good variety. I know people are hot/cold about Garde but I really do want to check i out regardless.

              Also for La Distillerie, if I get there around 9pm will I be waiting for a long time? Fintastic mentioned that it would be busy from mid evening till late.

              I was thinking about the Main vs. Schwartz but perhaps I will squeeze in both (I believe the Main is open 24hrs).

              1. re: kyra2224

                alright, to each their own :) you won't have a bad time at garde to be honest

                sorry i didn't make myself clear, if its just a question remaining about CCep vs APdC, chose APdC. I am not typically a fan of gluttony, and really didn't like his sugar shack, but at APdC you can walk the line between overt gluttony and a unique, Quebecoise restaurant experience.

                1. re: tdiddy23


                  Thanks, that's exactly what i wanted to hear about APdC as I usually am not a fan of total gluttony (even though I do love foie) and I am looking for that Quebecoise experience, so that sounds awesome!

                  I am thinking of perhaps going to lemeac just to fit in that pain perdu, it looks amazing! Any thoughts on their duck confit and salmon tartare (friend recommendations). Perhaps I will go for lunch.

                  Furthermore have you been to Arepera du plateau or Amelio's pizza? I know they are close to my hotel and have good ratings, just looking for some good cheap eats in addition to the ones I have. Thanks!

                  1. re: kyra2224

                    Those arepas are very filling, good peasant food, which might not be too handy if you have large meals planned in the evening. If you want something lighter in the 'hood with more variety try Sabor Latina. Lots of tamales, tacos, pupusas, empanadas and other options. Amelio's is yummy.