Joe Beef without reservations
Hi all -
My wife and I are planning a semi-last minute trip to Montreal in mid-August to celebrate a new job and the fact that we have childcare lined up for our kids.
I've watched Bourdain since "A Chef's Tour" and am aware of Joe Beef. It looks like there really are no reservations (lowercase) when we will be there on OpenTable.
Is it possible to get there early and wait for an opening on a weeknight? Liverpool House has availability, however. Is it similar to Joe Beef? Alternatively, are there any alternatives that you recommend? We're price conscious but certainly willing to pay for good food.
Thank you for any insights you may have.
You won't get an opening that way, but it never hurts to call early in the afternoon to see if there are any cancellations. Liverpool is a worthy alternative, and Vin Papillon is just as good, but slightly lighter fare.
I've got a table at PDC for my wife and I and we're currently running down a reliable babysitter for George (our 4 month old...and we chose that name before William and Kate).
We got a great rate through hotwire at the Le Westin in Old Montreal.
Also I just saw this and will read carefully along with everyone's 30 best lists - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/909495
We're open to any other suggestions that you may have and getting very excited for our first vacation in 2 years.
FYI, if you have George with you, you can bring him along to APDC in a child seat or stroller - as long as he's sleeping, it's not a problem bringing babies to restaurants. Although it can be on the loud side, so if he's not a good sleeper, then perhaps stick with the babysitter option.
Hi all - any other suggestions for places not to be missed for lunch/dinner? I've got a reservation at FoodLab (Labo culinaire) as well.
OK - so far we've eaten at Vallier, APDC, and Olive & Gourmando.
Vallier - this was dinner after a long drive to Montreal. The atmosphere and service were fantastic.Very French-feeling bistro with open windows bringing in lots of fresh air. Vallier had steady traffic and we were not the only people in there with a child. The food was completely serviceable as well. I got a burger and my wife got a fish BLT. The burger was on the well side of medium well and came with a salad and some kind of dijon vinaigrette. Overall, it was better than average, but nothing truly outstanding. The fish BLT had delicious bacon and was a unique taste. The fish was properly cooked, too. I think we could have done a lot worse ending up at Vallier, regardless of how tired/hungry we were. The atmosphere and excellent waitstaff make it worthy of consideration.
Olive & Gourmando - wow. We had the best breakfast at O&G. I had the 'poached egg on your face'. It was spectacular, starting with the bread and ending with the nice kick of a bit of sriracha. The acidity of the roasted tomatoes and the excellent oueff with plenty of yolk left made it very special. My wife's plain sounding 'granola' was similarly outstanding. The fruit salad with julienne fruit salad, including fig wedges, was beyond tasty. A chocolate croissant topped off an outstanding meal. Great service and great atmosphere as well. The only thing I can think of was that the drip coffee wasn't anything spectacular (but the latte was). But this is an exceptionally minor 'gripe' (if you can call it that).
APDC - We started with a daily special pate, the tomato tartlet, and a fried zucchini appetizer that isn't on the menu online. All were outstanding, with the zucchini being on another level. The zucchini appeared almost like a tempura - but way better - and each was very light and airy. The pate had all kinds of goodness, including foie gras, and came with a big slice of bread. The tomato tartlet looked a bit like a pizza on a croissant, but with way better cheese. For the main course, I got the Melting Pot and my better 99% got the Happy Pork Chop. I lack the vocabulary to describe the deliciousness of the Melting Pot's blood sausage, mashed potatoes, and other bits of ungulate. However, my wife thought the Happy Pork Chop was just 'good' and was a bit dry. She did love the Melting Pot. I think I'll be able to make a few candles from all the lard that will be oozing from my pores over the next few days. The service was flawless and APDC's in a really neat area of town which we explored a bit after.
Cafe Differance - just got a drip coffee when we happened to be walking by and it was very good. Great service as well, but it was dead in there.
I'll post my thoughts on our next stops and Foodlab (we may not make it though).