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What's new Montreal??

Hey everyone!

I've been on the West Coast for the past year (I've relocated to San Francisco) and I won't lie -- I don't really miss the food scene back home too much! ;)

But I am excited to be coming back into the city for a couple of weeks next month with my wife, to visit family and friends, and I'm wondering if there are any new restaurants on the scene that are worth checking out?

I'm also looking forward to eating some good simple french food and regional terroir again (we've actually got way better down here but it's a completely different experience at an entirely different price point!) and I'm wondering if the same few bistros are just as consistent and great... Les 3PB, Chez l'Épicier, A5P, Laloux, etc? Any new names in similar style?

What about Greek food? I've been going to Vegera ever since Orexi closed it's doors. Is there anything better for the typical Mtl family style Greek stuff?

Any new bakeries or patisseries worth trying?

I feel kind of spoiled after moving to SF and there's certain things I once held sacred that I don't even think I'd enjoy anymore (most ethnic-asian foods, seafood, ice cream, etc.) but the beauty of returning home for short visits is that I can focus on what really counts and what Quebec does right, so please update me on what's been happening food-wise in La Belle Province since I've been absent!

Merci amis!! :)

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  1. A side note on Vegera, one of my fav family-run greek estiatorios. It is no more, having shut down last fall. Mom and dad retired, son now runs Namos, same location with a focus on mezes. Have a look at the menu.

    http://namosrestaurant.com/en/#home

    Will be checking it out over the next couple of weeks and let fellow CHs know of the experience. Crossing my fingers!!!!

    1. Vegera closed now too?!

      That stinks!

      I almost took my fiancee there last spring but the place was dead when we passed by, so we went to Joe Beef instead. Wish I hadn't done that now.

      Is Namos in the same location and do they still have the patio out back?

      I don't like the douchey interior redesign they did at all. Totally killed whatever atmosphere Vegera had, which wasn't much to begin with, but...

      Any idea if the food is at the same level/quality or if the same chefs are in the kitchen. Why rename and rebrand if the kids took it over?

      Is there anywhere left in Montreal to enjoy Greek food similar to Orexi or Vegera with patio seating?

      5 Replies
      1. re: OliverB

        Yes, same location, and yes to the patio. Not opened yet, I read they aim to open it for Saturday. They also do lunch (with a short lunch menu), I don't know if Vegera did that.

        1. re: OliverB

          Can't go wrong with Faros. In my opinion, it is one of the top greek joints in the city. I like it much better than Milos.

          1. re: OliverB

            Went to Namos (ex-Vegera) a day earlier than planned, and overall, a pretty good clone of the old Vegera but all mezes. Had to share the main room with a loud and boisterous group of 15 or so, all intent on watching the Glorieux lose to les Senateurs. Would have been even noisier if the Habs had won but alas....

            Oh yeah, the food. As this was later evening noshing, did 5 dishes between the 2 of us. Greek salad (chunky tomatoes, not very ripe, but flavorful nevertheless), mixed fried zucchini and eggplant with tzatziki (pretty good portion and thick, cream, garlicky tzatziki, very good), Tunisian octopus with capers, onions (very nicely though a little underdone for my SO), Saganaki (loved the flaming Ouzo touch, and a large piece of cheese, very nice). A couple of glasses of Kouros and a couple of Mythos beer. All in for just under $100.

            Would I go back??? Yup, more reasonably priced than Vegera, more manageable portions, and still had the family-run feel to it. Gave my regards to Peter (new proprietor, and son of Vegera's mom-and-pop operation). Kitchen was hopping but did an admirable job of keeping up. Service was friendly, efficient and there when you needed it. A keeper in my books.

            1. re: JohnnyGe

              Thanks for the feedback. What Vegera did best was their grilled fish though. I wonder if it'll be as good. I'll pass by when I'm in town and maybe give it a shot...

              1. re: OliverB

                My only quip with Namos is that the waiter recommended my friend and I order 7 mezes for the two of us, but we ordered way too much food. We easily had enough for a third person. We ended up spending about $75 each, tax, tip, and half a bottle of wine for the two of us included.

          2. A few "newer" places for you to check out are Park, Icehouse, Pastaga, Venti, Maison Boulud, Dominion Square Tavern, Deville Dinerbar, BEVO, Grumman 78.

            1. Thanks 514eats,

              Dominion Square Tavern is not exactly new - it's one of the city's oldest running bars, no?

              I've been to Icehouse many times and it's pretty good for a casual latenight meal with a group, but nothing special imo. I think Grumman is terrible and coming from California, it's really the last thing I want.

              Both Park and Pastaga opened while I was still in town but I haven't been; are they worth trying? Both are French, right - or is Park the Japanese offshoot of Kaizen? I've heard mixed reviews if so and I probably won't bother with any Asian food while in town. I'm mostly interested in eating French (and "Jewish" haha) as that's all that really impresses me in Montreal.

              Are the above suggestions the best of the "new breed" in town? I guess not much has changed...

              15 Replies
              1. re: OliverB

                not too many exciting places have opened recently
                check out maison publique, mezcla and project 67

                1. re: OliverB

                  Hotel Herman? I think it was not opened 1 year ago. Best thing to do is to look into the openings thread... I'm not sure you'll get a lot of replies with the way you're asking for it...

                  1. re: OliverB

                    Dominion Square Tavern was bought by the Baldwin Barmacie people and went through a complete reinvention. It now serves French brasserie food in an intimate yet trendy setting.

                    You're right about Icehouse and Grumman. I guess I wouldn't suggest them to someone from California. But for us Montrealers, they are great (especially Icehouse).

                    Park and Pastaga are excellent! Park is actually Japanese fusion and definitely worth your time. It serves the best fish out there.

                    Pastaga is French, and was featured in Air Canada's En Route's 10 best new restaurants in Canada for 2012.

                    Maison Boulud is definitely exciting news for Montreal, to have a superstar chef open up shop in town. Check out the duo de boeuf pic and chocolat coulant pics below (possibly the best dessert I've had in years).

                     
                     
                    1. re: 514eats

                      Dominion Square Tavern reopened in 2009.

                      1. re: 514eats

                        Wasn't Dominion Square renovated in 2009-2010? If OliverB has only be gone for a year it's not that new to him.

                        Although Park is good, I bet OliverB can find better in Cali.

                        My "not so new but new to me restaurant" is Osteria Venti. You cannot beat their lunch special at 18$ for two courses (23$ for three).

                        1. re: causeimhungry

                          Important to know though that Michele Forgione is not at Venti anymore... so I don't know how it is since he left?

                          1. re: Glaff

                            I went to Osteria Venti for lunch today (which is a very good deal an app and 1 plat for 18, or app, entree, dessert for 23). I had the charcutterie plate to start which was good but not great. My partner had the Chicory salad with capers
                            anchovies,asparagus & apple and said it was very good. For the main I wanted to have the Quebec lamb but they had just run out so I had Spaghetti with mussels & spicy sausage....the pasta was absolutely fantastic... usually i don't order pasta when I go out but I was very glad I had it. Most people in the restaurant were having Papperdelle with mushrooms & truffle paste which looked delicious I wish I had tried it.

                            The two downsides: The restaurant is very noisy due to the brick walls to the point you you had to practically yell across the table (a lot of the noise was from 10 drunk/hungover guys who kept yelling and banging the table) and the service was incredibly slow for lunch... it took just over half an hour to receive our apps... which didnt require any cooking.

                            Make sure to ask for bread.... it is phenomenal!

                            1. re: kpaxonite

                              I had pretty much the same experience 2-3 weeks ago.

                              Good food, good price but very noisy and rather slow.

                              I don't think they can do anything about the noise. There was no music, nor a table of drunks, and the restaurant was maybe 75% full but it was still very noisy.

                              Speed is definitely something they should improve though. I think we were there for a good hour and a half.

                        2. re: 514eats

                          "It now serves French brasserie food"

                          Unless things have changed very recently, the menu at Square Dominion is actually more British-inspired.

                          1. re: SnackHappy

                            My bad, you are absolutely right.

                          2. re: 514eats

                            Pastaga and park are my two least favorite restaurants in the city. I keep getting invited back, pastaga last week and park yesterday. Both meals were Terrible. I keep wanting to like them but I can't... I went to trois Petits bouchons last week and am still dreaming of the dates, octopus and mushroom tartine. I had lunch at brasserie T today and loved my confit salmon, fennel salad and a side of fries.

                          3. re: OliverB

                            interestingly enough, dominion square was one of the first gay bars in montreal in like the 70's and then became a dive / sports bar after that... so its current incarnation is only a few years old..

                            1. re: j_do

                              It's current incarnation restored much of the original room and bar to it's former glory. I remember it well as a divery sports bar because we used to sneak in as kids to score smokes from the cigarette machine. The new owners clearly put a lot of thought and good taste into the renovation. It's how the bar should have looked through the '70s-'90s.

                              1. re: OliverB

                                i have doubts the gay bar was done in a 1920's prohibition-chic decor....

                                1. re: j_do

                                  It was opened in 1927... not 1977.

                                  It was a prohibition-era gin mill long before it was a gay pickup joint.

                          4. Thanks!

                            I'll definitely check out Pastaga, is it the same chefs (Juneau?) behind La Montée de Lait that opened this place? I loved La Montée and was sad to see it close, so I will definitely give this new one a shot. It seems to serve brunch/lunch as well as dinner... is dinner the obvious way to go?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: OliverB

                              Yeah you're better off going for dinner. And yes, it's Juneau's latest venture.

                            2. if you're looking for brunch in the east, there's regine cafe at the limit of st-edouard. from there, you could go further east to froment et de seve (close to iberville) for some pastries

                              1. Short answer: very little.

                                Long answer: I'd say the only newcomers in the last year that are worth a special trip are Hotel Herman and Maison Publique. I expect Tripes et Caviar (which I posted in the openings thread yesterday) could also be worth trying though I haven't made it there yet. Pastaga is also good though it seems older than a year for some reason.

                                New places that I like but maybe aren't exceptional: EVOO, Smoking Vallee, Blackstrap BBQ, Le Bureau, all in the south west, Furco for drinks and snacks downtown, Mais for Mexican in mile end. Slim pickings for anyone visiting from Cali.

                                1. Thanks for the input Fintastic,

                                  Are the usual bistros still a safe bet? I've given up on Lemeac before I left after 2 bad to mediocre experiences, but I'd just like to know if places like Laloux, 3 P.B., C.l'Epicier, Cinquieme Peche, etc. are still consistent. I'll mostly be sticking to these places, Greek food, delis and maybe crepes up north. Nothing else sounds all that interesting. I'm sure places like Boulud might have been a nice treat while living in Montreal, but with La Folie, Atelier Crenn and so many countless others here in the Bay Area, I really don't feel compelled to go for that sort of experience in Mtl.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: OliverB

                                    not new, but I've never been disappointed by Mas Cuisine

                                    1. re: yellowcake

                                      Thanks, I like Mas Cuisine as well and ate there often when I lived in St-Henri.

                                      Cheers

                                      1. re: OliverB

                                        Lesley Chesterman just said on Twitter that Mas is serving last meal May 18. Sob.

                                        1. re: chilipepper

                                          That's a shame!

                                          I wonder if they plan to reopen in a more central location or bigger space...

                                    2. re: OliverB

                                      Sadly I've not been to most of these old standards in the past year. I can't even keep up with the new places. I was at 5ieme Peche in the Fall and the menu was maybe a bit less exciting but still just as endearing. The service and preparations were exceptional as always, though I still miss the old space on Mont Royal. I dined at Laloux that same week and it was less satisfying. This was during TasteMTL and I think the staff was overburdened. But I love sitting in Laloux so much they could serve me gruel from a trough and I would still go back. Basically the same story as Dominon Square.

                                      I've never had a bad mouthful at 3PB so I can't imagine it's changed dramatically. I agree with your intimations on Lemeac; its basically my last choice among these bistros.

                                      The best meals I had in the last year were mostly due to ideal circumstances and none were from the newest batch of restos: 400 Coups, amazing house wine and snacks on the terrasse at Buvette Chez Simone last week (though it could have been the weather..), Quartier General, appetizers at Chien Fumant, two dinners on the Joe Beef terrasse in late May, Lawrence (oh man the apple+pork belly tart!!), Galanga, and Kazu. Maison Publique was better than I expected but probably not in my top 10 of this year. With the exception of Lawrence and 400 Coups these are all restaurants that haven't always consistently impressed me, but seemed much better on my last visits. Maybe you'll find the same while you're back. Have a good time!

                                      1. re: Fintastic

                                        Thanks Fintastic!

                                        I feel the same way about Laloux (I love Pop! too) and Dominion Square! 400 Coups is my favorite in the city so I'll definitely get a reservation in for this trip. I like Chien Fumant for brunch but otherwise it's been a mixed bag from my experience. I'm really looking forward to trying Maison Publique though, it looks like a great addition!

                                        Thanks for all the feedback!!

                                    3. I've eaten at Dominion Square before. It's got a definite slant towards UK gastro-pubfare like bangers & mash, cod, beef and potatoes, bone marrow, scotch egg, pudding, etc. It's okay/pretty good, but nothing special. I love the atmosphere though. The mixed drinks are terrible but that's pretty much the standard for all Montreal bars. Stick to the bourbon and single-malts. The space itself is amongst my favorite in the city, though I wish they stayed open later. I wouldn't consider Dominion Square Tavern a destination restaurant or even a recommended meal to any out of town visitors. It's more of a place that you find yourself at if you happen to be in the area, or want to soak up a plate of heavy comfort food that's a notch above standard with a few glasses of High West or Templeton whatever after work... or maybe as a nightcap for a plate of fried clams and latenight shot of Bulleit before closing. I guess places like this and Lawrence seem tp be a big deal in Montreal, but that really says more about the lack of diversity in our food scene than anything else. They're decent neighborhood spots that come dime a dozen in most major cities. Dominion has got atmosphere to spare though, and that's why I like it.

                                      17 Replies
                                      1. re: OliverB

                                        Sounds like you're better off eating in while you're here, seeing how crappy the restaurant scene is in Montreal, according to you.

                                        1. re: 514eats

                                          Hehe... that's what I was thinking too... weird way to ask for recommendations...

                                          1. re: Glaff

                                            I wasn't asking for recommendations... I'm a native Montrealer and have lived in the city for 30 years, so I'm well aware of the "restaurant scene". I was simply wondering if there were any new and interesting places that had opened since I'd left a year ago. The answer seems to be: not really. Thanks though.

                                          2. re: 514eats

                                            After living in San Francisco for the past year and spending time all over California, yes I can say the Montreal restaurant scene pales in comparisson.

                                            I'm very much looking forward to eating out in Montreal when I come back to visit though. I'll just be sticking to the tried and true.

                                            The heart and soul of Montreal is found in the many charming French bistros, old Jewish delis, rotisseries, casse-croutes, and dining rooms that focus on rustic regional terroir dishes.

                                            As an émigré Montrealer, of seven generations of native Montrealers, and having lived the majority of my life in the city - I think my perspective on our restaurant scene is fairly balanced. Compared to most cosmopolitan cities (including our neighbors in Ontario and on the opposite coast) we're simply not up to date. Montreal has great mid-range French food and fantastic wine bars, but when it comes to standard equilibriums for which most would guage an international food scene (ethnic foods, asian foods, Indian foods, Italian, German, Northern European, steakhouses, seafood/fish, Southern, Mexican, South American, fine dining and even polished modern seasonal menus as compared to just about any other city) - Montreal is lacking. That's not even touching on the cocktail and bar scene. I regularly posted the same while I was living here and my sentiment hasn't changed.

                                            I never said that the Montreal food scene was "crappy" though. There are plenty of great restaurants. I just expressed my inclination to not bother with those in which I know I can do better where I'm currently living.

                                            I know about the "good places" and I have my neighborhood favorites, I was simply asking if there's been any additions to that list since I've left. Hotel Herman and Maison Publique seem to be the answer and I'm looking forward to trying them both. The cupcake place seems interesting too. Perhaps Boulud is good but it doesn't really interest me because there's an abundance of similar restaurants where I live and I'm not partial to the hotel dining room atmosphere.

                                            No need to put words in my mouth though.

                                            1. re: OliverB

                                              I understand your point, even though I don't agree. I think it's just in the way you were asking for it...

                                              There was a lot of good places opening in the past year, most of them are in the 2012 and 2013 openings thread, but not all are covered by Chowhounders after as you know already.

                                              - Joe la Croûte and Le pain dans les voiles (as mentioned already) are 2 of Montreal best bakeries and they opened in the last year.
                                              - Mlles Gâteaux is a new pastry shop in Villeray opened by ex-pastry chef at Pastaga. Rustique is a popular new pie shop in St-Henri.
                                              - EVOO and Mezcla have both been receiving great reviews.
                                              - Same with La Famille, the restaurant that took over L'emporte Pièce.
                                              - Magdalen is the new restaurant by the team behind L'Orignal and Gros Jambon, if you like.
                                              - Gus is the new restaurant of old Jolifou chef, if you liked before.
                                              - Régine Café is a great new brunch place in Rosemont by the team that was behind La Cantine.
                                              - Bar Furco seems to be a new favorite downtown.
                                              - Barbounya and Sefa, 2 new turkish restaurants in the Mile-End
                                              - Tripes & Caviar has just opened.
                                              - Le Serpent and Vin Papillon will probably be open by the time you're here. Same thing with Stefano Faita's restaurant.
                                              - Ex-chef from Café Sardine is opening a new place in Chinatown soon.
                                              - Tapas24, by Carles Abellan, is also scheduled to open this summer

                                              And I'm probably forgetting a few

                                              1. re: Glaff

                                                They are working every day on Stefano Faita's restaurant, and have taken down the decorative awnings of the former place. All the former toilet furnishings (and some of the kitchen ones) were in a container to be carted off). I don't want to bother Dante about when it will open, but it should be soon.

                                              2. re: OliverB

                                                All of the following places opened in the last 48 months or so. To say that there is nothing new that's worthwhile in the Montreal dining scene is preposterous:

                                                Baxo, BEVO, Biarritz, Blackstrap BBQ, Burger Royal, Cafe Sardine, Central Brasserie, Deville Dinerbar, Dinette Triple Crown, EVOO, Furco, Grinder, Grumman 78, Gus, Hambar, Helena, Hostaria, Hotel Herman, Imadake, L'Atelier d'Argentine, Le Bremner, Le Bureau, Smoking Vallee, Maïs, Maison Boulud, Maison Publique, Mangia Foco, Mezcla, Namos, Nora Gray, Venti, PARK, Pastaga, Prohibition, Projet 67, Santa Barbara, Satay Brothers, SuWu, Tazah, The Alice Bar

                                                And I'm probably missing quite a few... Point is, there's everything on that list from French, Italian, Portuguese to BBQ, comfort food and burgers.

                                                1. re: 514eats

                                                  yes, that is a list of newish places but not a list of great, worthwhile places to suggest to an afficionado living in the land of plenty and who was very acquainted with the montreal food scene

                                                  1. re: 514eats

                                                    As catroast has pointed out and I have tried to express numerous times in this thread, I appreciate your help but in my humble opinion, many of the above listed are simply not "destination" restaurants and I certainly would not recommend them **ALL** to a person who is already familiar with the local dining scene and is visiting from California. There's no reason to even consider any BBQ, burger restaurants, fancy fusion tacos, etc. I can appreciate that you may enjoy the diversity as someone living in the city, but the majority of the above (both from online reference and feedback in this thread) would not be worthwhile; especially to somebody who is visiting from the West Coast.

                                                    Chowhound is generally an outlet for more discerning and critical discussion of the local food and service industry rather than a directory or celebration of every single restaurant that exists. I simply wanted to know if there was anything 1) NEW 2) REALLY GOOD and worthwhile to an expat who is now living in CA.

                                                    The short answer that several have offered is that there are a couple of places worth checking out, but no tremendous changes.

                                                    Re. your above "list" - while still living in Montreal, I have eaten at Deville, Grumman, Imadake, Bremner, Nora Gray and Satay.

                                                    The only place I would return to of those listed is Satay Bros.

                                                    Bremner was a mixed bag but overall left me unimpressed, save the cocktails which were surprisingly really good, if not the best I've had in the city. Perhaps if I were still living in Montreal I'd give it another shot, but not with a window of two weeks and so many better choices. The blaring speakers blasting alt. rock in our ears all night was a turn-off and did not help.

                                                    I thought that Nora Gray was decent but again, nothing special. If I were still in the city then it might be an ocassional neighborhood option, but I would not go out of my way to return.

                                                    Of the others that I have tried from your list above, I find Grumman to be total junk and Deville not worth mentioning.

                                                    My experience at Imadake was poor as well, and the only Japanese I'd ever bother returning to in Montreal is Kazu, which is still wonderful; even with all the Japanese options in California. If I had one wish for Kazu, it's that they offered a better sake menu which should be an equal if not bigger focus for an izakaya, but the food, service, staff and authentic atmosphere make up for that and it's great in my books.

                                                    Satay Brothers is delicious and they also happent to be the nicest fellas around, so I'd always stop by when in town! While San Francisco has many more "full menu" options for Indonesian, I've still yet to find a better Laksa Lemak in the city proper... though there are several places in the East Bay that I've yet to explore. I'm looking forward to stopping by!

                                                    The other places, with the exception of Hotel Herman, Maison Publique and possibly Pastaga (mixed on this place) do not seem worhtwhile.

                                                    I am very much looking forward to trying Olivier Potier though, as recommended by stak. It looks really wonderful!

                                                    Leche Desserts also looks really great and I'll try to make a point of passing by too.

                                                    Anyhow, I suppose that I may have jumped the gun with my observation on how "not much has changed" - there are bound to be changes and new openings/closings each year. The majority of places that you are championing just don't necessarily sound like highlights of our city, nor necessarily the best representations of our food scene... which I still maintain is the rustic Quebec terroir stuff.

                                                    I'm glad to hear that something new is opening up in the Chinatown wasteland and it's great to hear of Turkish options though- hopefully they'll turn out to be good.

                                                    Magdalen sounds like it could be interesting, although I'm not that enthusiastic about l'Original and what I've seen online doesn't really appeal to me.

                                                    Both Joe la Croûte and Le Pain dans les Voiles sound excellent however not really suited to my needs as I'm only visiting for 2 weeks and won't really need to visit any boulangeries while in town. They sound like wonderful additions to the city however!

                                                    Boulud could go either way, but it's nice to know that there's potential market for "fine dining" in Montreal. That's not what I'm looking for while visiting though, but I don't overlook it as a step forward for our city, so good on that!

                                                    Anyway, I thank you nonetheless. Some people seem to have misunderstood the intent of this thread so I was just trying to clarify myself.

                                                    It sounds like there are a lot of good local neighborhood spots, bakeries, pattiseries, etc. that are opening up and more options for everyone which is great. I was just wondering what, if anything, is new and worth going out of my way for, considering where I come from and where I am now living. I now have a couple of potentially interesting places to try.

                                                    NEW QUESTION:

                                                    Are there any new bars that are doing good cocktails yet??

                                                    :)

                                                    1. re: OliverB

                                                      I know it's far, but Mile Public House in Dix 30 has a great mixologist.

                                                      1. re: 514eats

                                                        Thanks,

                                                        Where is Dix 30; is that out in Brossard?

                                                        I hate to seem so negative (I'm usually not!) but I just found this video which I find really off-putting; it's not my kind of place:

                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKiskf...

                                                        1. re: OliverB

                                                          Yes it's in Brossard. That video is a definite turn-off. The guys behind Maison Publique and Le Bremner opened this place to tap into the huge south shore market. They have good drinks, the food is very normal.

                                                          1. re: OliverB

                                                            I don't understand what you don't like about the video,
                                                            That video shows nothing about the place or its atmosphere. It's showing barmen doing drinks "a la Tom Cruise". lol

                                                            Is it a restaurant or bup ?

                                                            here's a map of Dix30
                                                            https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=dix+30&...

                                                            1. re: maj54us

                                                              Ugh! If they were serious about mixology they wouldn't be standing in front a wall of Grey Goose and Bacardi, tossing bottles into the air, juggling limes behind their back and pouring canned Perrier from over their heads; and with no measure, no less! The guy is making a mojito for god's sake - how ridiculous can you get?! Sorry, but that's proof that Montreal still just doesn't get it. The marshmallow piroulline stick garnish and neon blue daquiri at the end are the icing on the cake. Sorry, but this place looks awful!

                                                              1. re: maj54us

                                                                And that skull that he's infusing with some kind of smoke... what a load of pretentious BS! How the hell can any of those drinks be good if they're using such shit ingredients to begin with?? What talented mixologist does embarassing theatrics while pouring unmeasured oversized snifters full of bacardi?? It's totally lame, and the drinks they're making in that video look gross.

                                                                1. re: maj54us

                                                                  I feel like I'm right back home in good ol' Montreal again, haha! : )

                                                                  1. re: OliverB

                                                                    Unfortunately, this is more a "bad marketing" issue that probably works on the South Shore/suburb demographic. I don't find this video makes the place justice. They do have one solid mixologist in Andrew Whibley, who should not be penalized because of the joint's marketing strategy.

                                                  2. Howsabout Wilensky's Light Lunch? They just opened recently (on Saturdays).

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: porker

                                                      What's "Light Lunch" and how is it different from normal Wilensky's?

                                                      1. re: OliverB

                                                        The formal name is Wilensky's Light Lunch Inc. Theres no difference.
                                                        ...just my weak attempt of injecting levity in a thread that seems to border on putting people on the offensive for no reason whatsoever.
                                                        {;-/)

                                                        1. re: porker

                                                          The only thing light about Wilensky's are the bulbs in the ceiling...

                                                          1. re: EaterBob

                                                            I dislike everything about that place..

                                                    2. OliverB, for posterity's sake, I hope you post a another thread whilst you are in town, at 11am on a Sunday morning after you and your wife have had a big night and are hungover, looking for good food that will deliver! When you left town, my dreams of a gourmet delivery mac and cheese business died! ;)

                                                      On topic-
                                                      there are a couple of new donut places that you might like to try. Saint Donut's are stocked at Myriade and few other places around town. I personally think they are overrated but other people seem to love them. I think it might depend on the flavour you choose.
                                                      https://www.facebook.com/SaintDonut
                                                      Leche Desserts on the other hand make some very good quality donuts - definitely not overrated imho.
                                                      http://www.lechedesserts.com/

                                                      Was SAT Foodlab open when you were here last? Their hours are different now and they have opened up a terrasse - if you haven't been, that could be a nice choice.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: unlaced

                                                        Haha! I no longer need to worry about such things now that I'm married, unlaced! Sunday hangovers are so much easier when you've got a wife! ; )

                                                        SAT was just getting started before I left... they would host random events from what I remember, with different restaurants and chefs catering. Are they a full on restaurant now or is it the same deal?

                                                        I live just up the street (to my detriment!) from one of the best donut shops around. It's called Bob's and is run by a little old Chinese woman. Her hot apple fritter crullers, crunchy crumbles, old fashioned cinnamon and glazed donuts, coconut bars and raisin bread pudding are out of orbit and each cost about 0.70 with tax! Nothing fancy, zero marketing schtick, just authentically delicious, cheap, sticky carb crammers. I'll have to see how Leche stacks up! ;)

                                                        1. re: unlaced

                                                          Is SAT Foodlab's terrasse open for drinks only or do you have to order a meal?

                                                        2. How about Les 400 Coups? One of my new faves.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: chilipepper

                                                            400 Coups is great. Perhaps my second favorite in the city after CCeP. Not sure that it qualifies as "new" after almost 2 years though. I had dinner there NYE 2012 (and several times since) so it's been around for some time.

                                                          2. Olivier Potier is a lovely, and relatively new, patisserie & boulangerie. Have you tried it?

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: stak

                                                              It opened before I moved but I have not been. What's good there?

                                                              Thanks!

                                                              1. re: OliverB

                                                                The Paris-Brest, the Éclairs and also everything else. Pastries change often, so hard to tell exactly.

                                                                Also try Le pain dans les voiles on De Castelnau and Joe la Croûte on Casgrain.

                                                                1. re: Glaff

                                                                  Thanks, the photos on Yelp look superb - I will definitely check it out!

                                                                  1. re: OliverB

                                                                    I haven't had the time (or the $$$) to try much but I loved the `snickers bar`type pastry (that`s how they described it; I guess there are similarities but it is soooo much better than a snickers bar). I mentioned it because it seems to get very good reviews in general.

                                                                    1. re: stak

                                                                      i liked that one more than the cream pastries but that type is never my fave, although it was beautiful I must say!. I have tried to get a lemon one but most of time when i go little choice left

                                                                2. Btw, is Maison Publique better for brunch or dinner?

                                                                  Thanks!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: OliverB

                                                                    I haven't been yet, but be warned that they only serve coffee at brunch, not dinner! (There is a thread all about this)

                                                                    1. re: stak

                                                                      Thanks, I usually don't drink coffee at dinner anyhow (just alcohol, ha!) though that seems strange.

                                                                  2. Also, any idea if Le Chien Fumant will take Sunday brunch reservations for 13 people or is that way too many for the small space?

                                                                    Thanks!

                                                                    1. Basically not much new for your taste buds-- as for olivier potier pastry place go early or there will be nothing to try. Many restos closing, economy not well. You may have to wait to go to Paris or top cities in usa for your satisfaction and to compare favourably with San Francisco. Still prices are good here and parking near restos not bad-that I will miss when I move. Chowhounders tried to help to no avail(title may have misled them) + I do think their time spent was wasted to help you with 1) NEW 2) REALLY GOOD and worthwhile to an expat who is now living in CA and be discerning in response. Let us know if you discover a jewel in Montreal dining and drinking! It is so true impressions such an individual thing I loved Bremner and panned 400 coups meal!!! I cant think of resto to recommend at this point that will meet all the criteria and comments but hope you will discover some places to make your trip worthwhile foodwise.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: mangoannie

                                                                        ?! There's probably more openings than closings these days...

                                                                        1. re: Glaff

                                                                          some are opening but opening in places where restos didnt make a go of it, I think thats what I was referring to

                                                                        2. re: mangoannie

                                                                          Thanks, not to no avail though - I did get a cople of good recommendations which I'm looking forward to trying. I'm not expecting to discover any new jems that are under people's radars here, I'm just excited to return home and visit most of my old favorites. I was just curious whether anything "absolutely can't miss!" had opened since I left. It gave me a good overview of what's been going on in the city if nothing else.

                                                                          Cheers and thanks everyone!

                                                                          1. re: OliverB

                                                                            I don't know, I always thought that we should actually be open to find new great restaurants that are not covered here. For exemple, it took almost 1 year before Les 400 Coups gets recommended on this site.

                                                                            This year, La Famille and Mezcla have both been receiving amazing reviews since their opening and still, there's almost nothing about these restaurants on this board (including from me, I've not been to both places yet)...

                                                                            1. re: Glaff

                                                                              Oh definitely, I'm not writing them off and Mezcla looks pretty good... but when you leave a city that you call home only to return twice a year for 2 weeks, you crave nostalgia and old favorites more than anything. There are some highly recommended new restaurants that I'm looking forward to trying, as suggested by others in this thread, but with a short window of time I wouldn't want to take chances on places that aren't gauranteed to be great! I'm also most interested in eating at places that aren't as accessible where I'm living now and Mezcla doesn't really fit that bill. I'll wait for the Chowhound reviews and feedback and maybe check it out the next time we blow into town.