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July 18-21 Recommendations Please!

Hi all,

Long time lurker, etc etc. from Toronto.

The fiancee and I have had many great food experiences in Montreal thanks to all of you. We have a couple of notches in our collective belt to fill out, namely Joe Beef, Toque, and Club Casse. Please let me know how I should solve this puzzle. Haven't booked a hotel yet, but it'll probably be downtown as usual and I'll be driving. This is what I have booked so far.

July 18
lunch/late lunch - ?
snack - ?
dinner - Joe Beef - 9:30

July 19
breakfast/brunch/lunch - ?
dinner - Club Casse - 5:45

July 20
breakfast/brunch/lunch - ?
dinner - ?

July 21
breakfast/brunch/lunch - ?
afterwards - probably Kouign Amann and Fairmont to pick up food before we leave

I believe that the Joe Beef reservation should stand firm, however I'm debating between lunch and dinner for Club Casse and Toque. How does lunch compare with dinner for both of those restaurants? Also, how would I book reservations, since OpenTable doesn't show any lunch slots for them?

Once that's complete, I'm not sure where else to go. I've been to 400 Coups, DNA (RIP), L'Express, APDC, Jardin Nelson, La Banquise, Schwartz's, Premiere Moisson, and the Jean Talon Market. I wouldn't mind going back to 400 Coups, either for lunch or dinner, Jardin Nelson, and the Jean Talon Market. The other places I've been to several times, and I'd like to take a hiatus.

Should I try Garde Manger? I've been to Le Bremner and it was ok, nothing outstanding.

I also know that on Mont-Royal, there's a place we pass on Saturdays and Sundays on the way to Kouign Amann, and it always looks like it's rammed for brunch. Is that place worth it?

Oh, and are there any cool bars/lounges to visit? Something along the lines of Death & Co in NYC.

Thanks!

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  1. Now that Club Chasse et Peche doesn't have their summer lunches on the terrasse it seems slightly less enticing. Lunches there and at Toque are certainly much more simple and much more affordable, though if you're trying to choose between the two for your Friday slot you'll have a tough time. Both are excellent and neither will disappoint. To book these you'll likely have to call.

    If you didn't feel too strongly about Bremner then I wouldn't recommend Garde. I much prefer the former to the latter.

    The rammed brunch place you speak of is probably L'Avenue. The food is standard with generous portions, but I've honestly never understood why people are willing to wait for it. In that same neighbourhood there are plenty of places that are much more interesting (just to the north are Chien Fumant and Maison Publique, to name two).

    I'd say the biggest gaps in your Montreal upbringing are Lawrence (has both lunch and dinner), Filet (sister to CCP and my personal preference), and one of the better French bistros in town like Trois Petits Bouchons, Cinquieme Peche, or even Laloux.

    I think there are not many bars in MTL with that perfect storm of coolness embodied by Death & Co. If you're not looking for a party and it's between 10 and midnight you could stop in at Dominion Square Taverne. Some don't care for their cocktails, though I often love them. Depends on the bartender, obviously. Otherwise you might consider sparrow, though cocktails are not their focus.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Fintastic

      Thanks for the advice! You said that lunches at Toque and Club Chasse are more simple and affordable. Does that mean that the dishes are watered down versions of what's available at dinner, or are the lunches still representative of what those restaurants are capable of? I guess what I'm getting at, which of the two would be better for a splurge dinner? I don't think I've seen a thread on here that compares the two...Whichever we end up going with, we'll probably try to book the other one for lunch.

      I think we went to Bremner, a couple of weeks after they had opened, so I don't know if the place has improved since then.

      Your other recommendations are intriguing, especially Filet. I like the Japanese influence. I might book that for Saturday.

      I just read a review of lunch at 400 Coups and it looks really promising. That could be our other weekday lunch.

      Dominion Square Taverne also looks promising. Thanks!

      1. re: WWuzzle

        I wouldn't call either lunch watered-down (though to be honest I'm relying on very limited experience with each). I meant simple only in that the meals will be lighter and not many courses. Traditionally I've liked CCP better at dinner, but I think if you're looking for more innovative dishes Toque might be a better choice. If you book Filet that's even more reason to try Toque, given the ownership overlap with CCP. You've tried 400 Coups so maybe save it for your next trip, even if its my personal favourite at the moment.

        I too would only do Dominion for drinks or snacking, not lunch. Its not fabulous in any way except decor.

        1. re: Fintastic

          Thanks for the advice re Toque vs Club Chasse. I'm leaning more towards Toque instead for dinner now. Will probably finalize our meals soon.

          We're definitely going to Dominion more for the drinks and the evening/night scene, rather than for lunch. When you said between 10 and midnight, does that mean that it's busy before 10? I see on their site that they only allow reservations for dining, and not for drinks. Can I make dining reservations, and only grab a couple of small plates?

          1. re: WWuzzle

            Light dishes would be permitted, but yes it's usually very busy before 10 and you might have trouble getting a seat for drinks at the bar before then. Reserving will get you a full table so maybe this is not entirely what you had in mind. It's not particularly similar to Death and Co, just a cool place in its own right.

    2. I would definitely try Milo's for lunch, delicious and 20.13$ is the best deal in town. I also had a great time at cafe sardine last Saturday. We had doughnuts, an amazing and creative hot dog and a very solid coffee. One hot dog could be a light lunch, they are quite small. I would also suggest brasserie T for lunch, they have a beautiful terrace that overlooks the fountains in quartier des spectacles. I had a great oil poached salmon, fennel salad and frites on the side.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Gloriaa

        I agree with Gloriaa, Milos is good value for lunch and not far from downtown. There is also a good bread place next to cafe sardine. T is fun is summer especially with festival time so reservations a must, in season they have seafood platter. Bouillon Bilk in same neighbourhood so you might want to check out menu to see if of interest. I m going to Garde Manger this month as companion wants their lobster poutine but not keen cause of noise level. Have you been to Lemeac for brunch?

        For snack if you like sweets I would go to this pastry shop downtown but have to go early to get best choice or any choice, Olivier Potier

        1. re: mangoannie

          Thanks for the suggestions.So correct me if I'm wrong, but is Milo's a Greek restaurant? I guess I'm a little leery just because of the sheer number of Greek restaurants here in Toronto, that for the most part all seem to serve the same mediocre Greek food. Is Milo's different?

          Also, T looks interesting. Is it a more casual version of Toque, sort of like Frontera Grill or XOCO vs Topolobampo in Chicago?

          How are the croissants at Olivier Potier compared to Kouign Amann? For some reason, all of the croissants here in Toronto are merely ok, so we bring back boxes of croissants from Kouign every time we visit (and end up upsetting all of the customers behind us, sorry!).

          1. re: WWuzzle

            Milos is a world class restaurant. There's no reason to be leery except that it is very expensive. It's definitely not your average Greek-town fare.

            I wouldn't call T a casual version of Toque. It is a completely different concept. It's a brasserie.

            I much prefer both the atmosphere and croissants and Kouign Amann. Olivier Potier is stuffy and I find their breads a little over rated.

            1. re: catroast

              Milo's is a wonderful Greek restaurant, very different than your average souvlaki joint. However it is VERY expensive at dinner but their lunch special is unbeatable. 3 course lunch for 20.13$.
              Brasserie T is lound, frenetic and really fun with an amazing view of the water fountains. Dominion square tavern is fun but I don't think I would choose it if I only had a couple of lunches in Montreal, especially in the summer.

              1. re: Gloriaa

                Thanks for the additional info re Milo's and Brasserie T. We'll make a decision within the next day or so!

          2. re: mangoannie

            The "bread place" next to Café Sardine is Boulangerie Guillaume. Very good! http://boulangerieguillaume.com/

            A Greek friend in Toronto said there is nothing like Milos there.

            As for the Jean-Talon market area (where I live), restaurant Impasto, founded by two young Italian-Montreal chefs, will almost certainly be open by then - someone will announce the opening on this board.

        2. you can maybe try things in the atwater market area, like a low key brunch at toi, moi et café, or the satay bros. Liverpool house was not bad as well.