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Montreal List: please review & Rogers Cup query

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buonaforchettina Jul 20, 2013 07:13 PM

Hi all,

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can provide on my list and perhaps some indications on which places would be best for lunch vs dinner (or at least which places lose out less at lunch for example since I would like to maximize my eating :)

I am coming from Boston and will be there for the Rogers Cup week in early August. I was curious to know if there is anything decent by the Uniprix Stadium for lunch or if I am just better off bringing in food from outside (smoked meat etc) for lunch there on the dates that I am there for the day sessions during the week.

As for the rest, here is some of what I have come up with (mostly with dinner in mind but please feel free to indicate which if any of these might be better for lunch) and I should say that I am not wedded to several of these:

Bouillon Bilk
400 Coups
Toque
Les Trois Petits Bouchons
Joe Beef
Europea
Au Pied de Cochon
Hotel Herman
Club Chasse et Peche

I'll probably be there for 5 dinners and at least a couple of lunches (advice on places to take lunch out which might be convenient to the stadium would be great too) so I am hoping people can recommend other spots I have missed. Fine dining and ambiance is appreciated but so is unique/edgy and ethnic if you think it worthwhile.

I have read many threads on pastries and have a few ideas but any suggestions along those lines are also appreciated as are ideas about gelato or desert more generally.

Thanks again

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  1. l
    lagatta Jul 21, 2013 05:10 AM

    Hello buonaforchettina,
    I'll only list restaurants near the stadium as I live just a bit south of there. Think Villeray, Little Italy...

    Tapeo, good tapas restaurant, is a short walk due east of the stadium on Villeray. The well-known Syrian pair, Le Petit Alep (casual) and Restaurant Alep (more formal) is a bit southeast of the stadium on Jean-Talon at the corner of avenue de Gaspé (just across from the Jean-Talon market).

    There is quite a bit of buzz around the new Italian restaurant Impasto, run by a couple of locally-mediatised chefs, but the only serious review so far is in French (look it up at the "Openings in 2013" thread.

    For something VERY casual - decent snack-bar style with good Belgian-style frites, beer etc. there is a Frite Alors! on Villeray just east of the eastern end of Jarry Park (just east of boulevard St-Laurent).

    As for pastries and breads, croissants etc, very good at Le Pain dans les voiles, corner de Castelnau and Drolet, a bit southwest of the stadium.

    You are close to the Jean-Talon Market; there are several threads on this major public market at this board. Best icecream nearby is at Havre aux Glaces at the market. You can also find lots of food to take away there.

    Closer still to the stadium is a tiny café, Vito http://cafevito.ca/
    151 Villeray, corner Casgrain (just two very short blocks east of St-Laurent). They also have a gelato counter, but I've never had their gelato.

    The Rogers Cup takes place in a large urban park, Jarry, where there are facilities for many sports, including tennis, but also areas with trees and picnic tables. I'll leave fine dining in other districts to others. Have a good visit!

    1 Reply
    1. re: lagatta
      b
      buonaforchettina Jul 22, 2013 08:23 AM

      Hi lagatta

      Thanks very much for the message and fine suggestions! I will definitely check some of those out

    2. porker Jul 21, 2013 06:01 AM

      I don't know if this is the kind of place you might be interested, but pupuseria Iris (Jarry, corner St. Dominique a block from Jarry Park) has really good breakfasts Central American style (they're Salvadoran).
      Can't comment for lunch or dinner as I only had breakfasts of chicharon, agua frescas, plantain, etc etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: porker
        b
        buonaforchettina Jul 22, 2013 08:24 AM

        The pupuseria breakfast sounds like a very good idea, thanks!

      2. hungryann Jul 21, 2013 06:36 AM

        Not sure why Impasto keeps getting suggested/ recommended since no one from our board has been or has reviewed it...

        9 Replies
        1. re: hungryann
          g
          Glaff Jul 21, 2013 07:09 AM

          Because Michele Forgione is the chef and Venti was a favorite when he was there? And because everyone loves the Faita family?

          1. re: Glaff
            e
            eat2much Jul 21, 2013 11:09 AM

            I ate there last night. It is indeed very good!

            1. re: Glaff
              hungryann Jul 21, 2013 12:13 PM

              Good reasons indeed!

            2. re: hungryann
              l
              lagatta Jul 21, 2013 01:40 PM

              I deliberately didn't "recommend" Impasto because I haven't been there, nobody else I know has been and there is only one serious review in the press so far, but a lot of people like Forgione and Faita (mamma e figlio). I just mentioned it in hopes there will be more news before the Cup.

              eat2much, when you have a moment could you do at least a short review?

              forchettina, I second all three of Eater Bob's neighbourhood recommendations.

              As eaterbob wisely advised us, a lot of restaurants are closed for the two coming weeks, due to what is known as the "construction holidays", but it is also closing time for a host of other businesses, including restaurants. Don't worry, it isn't quite Paris in August; you simply have to check.

              1. re: lagatta
                e
                eat2much Jul 21, 2013 02:19 PM

                I didn't take any notes but we had the sausage and rapini as well as the salumi plate for starters. Both were excellent. Mains were the gnocchi which were good but too subtle for me. The seafood pasta was exceptional. Deserts were awesome...tiramisu and the brioche filled with three flavours of gelato. Will definitely go back.

                1. re: eat2much
                  l
                  lagatta Jul 21, 2013 03:08 PM

                  This is great, but we should probably put it in another thread (as well) for future reference. Either in the new openings in 2013, where Impasto is already anticipated, or in the "Jean Talon Market Area" or any "Petite-Italie/Little Italy threads if they exist".

                  Nothing to do with Impasto, but sausage and rapini or any other bitter green is also splendid with polenta ...Yummm!

                  1. re: eat2much
                    b
                    buonaforchettina Jul 24, 2013 03:16 PM

                    So I am thinking about going to L'Impasto for lunch since it seems pretty close to the stadium and comments seem quite favorable; would it be your recommendation of the Italian places in the area?

                    Thanks!

                    1. re: buonaforchettina
                      l
                      lagatta Jul 24, 2013 04:45 PM

                      Remember that L'Impasto is open for lunch only on Thursday and Friday for the moment. http://impastomtl.com/

                      1. re: lagatta
                        b
                        buonaforchettina Jul 24, 2013 05:29 PM

                        Yes I saw that though I didn't see a lunch menu...do you know what they serve for lunch more or less?

                        It would possibly work for me as an early lunch one of the day sessions since it appears to be pretty close to the stadium.

                        Are there any other places in Little Italy which you would consider of similar quality?

                        Thanks!

              2. e
                EaterBob Jul 21, 2013 07:30 AM

                It's easy for lunches. The only restaurants on your list that serve lunch are Bouillon Bilk, 400 Coups (Fridays only), Toque and Europea.

                Joe Beef (and all associated restaurants) will be closed while you're here.

                I'd also strongly suggest you add La Porte to your list (they are open for lunch as well).

                Then if you want places near Jarry Park for lunch to take out, I'd suggest Dinette Triple Crown (Southern US), Chez Apo (Manakish), Marche Hung Phat (Bánh mì).

                4 Replies
                1. re: EaterBob
                  b
                  buonaforchettina Jul 22, 2013 08:27 AM

                  Thanks very much for your recommendations. Would you go to La Porte for lunch or replace one of the other dinner places on my list with it for a trip like this (tough one to answer I know)?

                  I will probably check out Chez Apo and see how it compares to Boston's many Armenian spots (one of the better ethnic niches here actually).

                  What would you say are the strongest ethnic points in Montreal?

                  Thanks!

                  1. re: buonaforchettina
                    e
                    EaterBob Jul 22, 2013 08:36 AM

                    La Porte could easily be swapped out for Les Trois Petits Bouchons, Joe Beef or Europea and I given a choice between lunch or dinner I would choose dinner.

                    As for strongest ethnic, that's easy. French :-) If you prefer a more "traditional" view on ethnic, I'd say Middle Eastern, Vietnamese and Greek.

                    1. re: EaterBob
                      l
                      lagatta Jul 22, 2013 08:55 AM

                      Actually, of course French and English are ethnicities (though francophones and anglophones include people of various ethnicities). The term is often used to refer to minority or relative newcomer groups, outside ethnographic circles...

                      1. re: EaterBob
                        b
                        buonaforchettina Jul 22, 2013 08:57 AM

                        Thanks I figured French broadly speaking was the strongest hence my choices initially :)

                        Any particular recommendations you might have for the other ethnicities would be greatly appreciated.

                  2. SnackHappy Jul 21, 2013 09:06 PM

                    I see that no one mentioned Kitchen Galerie, which is IMHO one of the city's better restaurants and very close to JTM.

                    http://www.kitchengalerie.com

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: SnackHappy
                      e
                      EaterBob Jul 22, 2013 06:13 AM

                      Yes, it's a good restaurant but it's not open for lunch.

                      1. re: EaterBob
                        b
                        buonaforchettina Jul 22, 2013 08:27 AM

                        Do you think it is worth displacing one of the other fine dining places for a dinner?

                        Thanks!

                        1. re: buonaforchettina
                          e
                          EaterBob Jul 22, 2013 08:41 AM

                          If you're only going to be here 5 nights, your list is already too long... I'd rank them this way
                          1) Hotel Herman
                          2) 400 Coups
                          3) Club Chasse et Peche
                          4) La Porte
                          5) Au Pied de Cochon
                          6) Toque
                          7) Bouillon Bilk
                          8) Kitchen Galerie

                          And while the food and service at Les Trois Petits Bouchons and Europea is very good, they'd be 9th and 10th on this list.

                          1. re: EaterBob
                            b
                            buonaforchettina Jul 22, 2013 08:56 AM

                            Thanks very much for the ranking. Keeping in mind that some of those can be lunch, which do you think lose least by being made lunch places?

                            Thanks again!

                            1. re: buonaforchettina
                              e
                              EaterBob Jul 22, 2013 01:21 PM

                              Boullion Bilk. Other than La Porte it's the only one that serves lunch.

                              1. re: EaterBob
                                b
                                buonaforchettina Jul 23, 2013 10:29 PM

                                So if you were going to eat 2 or 3 nicer lunches, would you do Toque, Bouillon Bilk and Europea in that order?

                                Thanks!

                                Also, I just want to make sure I am not leaving out something which should displace one of these (either dinner or lunch) like La Salle a Manger or Le Filet etc,

                                Double thanks!

                                1. re: buonaforchettina
                                  g
                                  Gloriaa Jul 24, 2013 04:49 AM

                                  I like most of your suggestions. I love Milo's and Brasserie T for lunch and my favorite restos for dinner would be:
                                  1)Le filet
                                  2)Club Chasse et Peche
                                  3) Les Trois Petits Bouchons
                                  I like the others but none I would run back to. Although I enjoy Bouillon Bilk, I find the space loud and uninspiring.
                                  I have never been to Mezcla but I hear wonderful things about it. I also liked La Salle a Manger and Gus.

                                  1. re: Gloriaa
                                    b
                                    buonaforchettina Jul 24, 2013 02:59 PM

                                    Thanks very much for the suggestions. I will definitely look into those again...I had originally intended to go to Les Trois Petits Bouchons as well but the response to it seemed muted in this thread.

                                    Also a quick question: I like the looks of Le Filet but would you say I should displace something from my list for it and what would that be in your view?

                                    1. re: buonaforchettina
                                      g
                                      Gloriaa Jul 24, 2013 03:08 PM

                                      IMHO yes, I love both those restaurants. I rarely like to go to the same restaurant twice let alone 6 times(in the case of 3PB) let alone order the same thing but both those restos are exceptions. The other ones are good as well so would not want to diss any of them but...

                                  2. re: buonaforchettina
                                    e
                                    EaterBob Jul 24, 2013 05:37 AM

                                    Yes you got the order right. And while you're missing out on a lot of good restaurants, due to your limited time in town, nothing worth switching things around.

                                    1. re: EaterBob
                                      b
                                      buonaforchettina Jul 24, 2013 03:08 PM

                                      So I have another question: Hotel Herman is closed until the 30th of July and I would like to reserve for dinner the 2nd of August (a Monday). A lot of places are closed Monday and I don't know how busy a place like Hotel Herman would be; do I risk anything by waiting until the 30th to try and get a reservation?

                                      Should I replace it with something else? I had originally intended to eat at HH on Monday for precisely this reason.

                                      Thanks again!

                                      1. re: buonaforchettina
                                        e
                                        EaterBob Jul 24, 2013 04:37 PM

                                        According to my calendar August 2, 2013 is a Friday (you might have been looking at July). That being said, I'd call them up now leave a message saying when you wanted a reservation and sit back, relax and not worry.

                                        I'm 99% certain that everything will work out better than you expected.

                                        1. re: EaterBob
                                          b
                                          buonaforchettina Jul 24, 2013 05:28 PM

                                          Sorry about that I meant August 4th :) Thanks for the message in any case I called and will decide between that and Les Trois Petits Bouchons which is also open Monday and is taking reservations presently.

                      2. l
                        lagatta Aug 2, 2013 10:19 AM

                        I hope you are enjoying the Cup and our local foods!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: lagatta
                          b
                          buonaforchettina Aug 2, 2013 01:05 PM

                          Hi lagatta!

                          Thanks for the message...I will be soon and will be sure to include comments and as many of the spots I visit as possible :)

                          Any other suggestions for things I might have missed?

                          Are any of the places I mentioned especially good at certain things (desserts etc) or should I skip dessert at any of them and go to a worthwhile specialist?

                          Thanks!

                          1. re: buonaforchettina
                            f
                            Fintastic Aug 2, 2013 02:15 PM

                            400 Coups has some of the best desserts around. Don't miss em.

                            1. re: buonaforchettina
                              l
                              lagatta Aug 3, 2013 03:37 AM

                              Forchettina, I'm not a big dessert person; I eat very little sugar. This time of year, dessert for my friends and myself is above all tiny wild blueberries and other berries from Jean-Talon market, and peaches from southern Ontario, but also the gelato at Chez Vincenzo, mentioned in the Impasto thread http://www.chezvincenzo.com/
                              a short walk due east from the tennis stadium Chez Vincenzo, Gelateria
                              500 rue Villeray, Montreal H2R 1H4
                              Tuesday - Friday : 07h00 – 23h00
                              et les samedis et dimanche : 09h00 – 23h00
                              http://montreal-addicts.com/chez-vincenzo/ In French, for the photos.

                              Just to confuse people, there is an even smaller caffè place on your way there, Vito, Villeray at the corner of Casgrain, 151 Villeray. They do have a few kinds of gelato or granita, but they don't make it - their focus is coffee alone.

                              Also at JTM, Le Marché des saveurs, with local artisanal products, including a range of Québec cheeses: http://www.lemarchedessaveurs.com

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