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upcoming visit - multiple q's

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Hello all,

Will be town this coming weekend. Already booked APDC for Saturday night a couple weeks ago, just wanted to run through some ideas for the rest of the time.

We'll be there for:

Thurs lunch + early or late dinner

Fri breakfast + later dinner

Sat brunch + all day

Sun brunch + all day

So far I'm thinking of trying Kazu since it looks great. Maybe Thurs lunch after arrival?

I really liked Griffintown Cafe last time I was there so I'll probably return for brunch one day.

Intend to go to Olive & Gourmando as I missed it last time I was in town.

Looking at Dieu au Ciel and a few others for craft beer.

One question - I'm thinking of going to Moishes for the late night menu after the Alouettes game Thursday as it's fairly close to the stadium. Would it be appropriate to go in sports stadium clothing (ie dress shorts, nice sandals, Argos t-shirt or jersey), or would we be way out of place?

Provided we can't or don't go to Moishes after the game, any good suggestions for high quality beer + pub/gastropub food near the stadium?

Are (nice) shorts and (nice) sandals okay for APDC?

Also thinking of going to a market one day. Staying near the Bell Centre -- what's most convenient to get to? Would be willing to go something less convenient if they have good prepared foods as we will not have a kitchen to take stuff home to cook.

Also what's the best retailer for premium craft beer in the genera area of Bell Centre?

Oh also - any good, but not super upscale, Spanish food around?

Thanks guys! Your help in the past has made my visits to Montreal very enjoyable and I look forward again.

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  1. Lots of questions! I'll address the biggest issues.

    1) Kazu at lunch would be good. You'll meet a line if you show up between 12 and 2, but early (11:30) and between 2 and 3 will get you in quickly. Keep in mind that the menu is much smaller at lunch. Most of my favourites are only available at dinner.

    2) I wouldn't wear a jersey or sandals to Moishes. In fact, I wouldn't go at all, but it's up to you. There's a bit of a food dead-zone near the Alouettes stadium: not much in the way of gastropubs. There are some decent winebar type places: Furco, Dominion Square, and Pullman to the south and Buvette Chez Simone to the North. When in Rome!

    3) You'll probably be fine with shorts and sandals at APDC.. people were wearing all sorts of weird stuff in there last night. I'd typically avoid doing so, but if its a warm night you'll not feel out of place.

    4) Getting to the markets from the Bell Centre is easy. From the Orange metro line, get out at Jean Talon for JT market (walk a few blocks West), or Lionel Groulx for Atwater (walk a few blocks South).

    5) Again, there's almost no decent premium craft been retailer downtown that I can think of. Some depanneurs are better than others, but you'd be better off checking out some of the better places near/in the markets.

    6) For upscale Spanish, I'd head to Pintxo which is much closer, or Tapeo to the north of Jean Talon Market.
    Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fintastic

      I was at Moishes a few nights ago and it was exquisite. Sure it can occasionally be a miss but it was gold last week.

      I wouldn't wear the Als jersey or sandals to Moishes (personally) but nice shorts are OK. You could also call and ask, they have excellent service.

    2. Here is a link to an article about the best stores to buy beer. None are super close to the Bell Center but twenty minute walk away you can fine some. It is only in French you can use google translate if you don't understand. http://www.nightlife.ca/sorties/les-m...

      I agree with all the answers Fintastic wrote.

      1. Griffintown café has gone down in the last few months, you may want to look for an alternative.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Claudine_d

          I highly recommend Lawrence for weekend brunch. If you get there before opening at 10 you can try to get a table at the first seating.

          http://lawrencerestaurant.com/

          1. re: Claudine_d

            I agree re: Griffintown café. It used to be fantastic and now it's only "meh" on a good day.

            1. re: Claudine_d

              I agree with Claudine. It use to be one of my favourites but I refuse to even go anymore it's so down hill. I would definitely take kpzoo's recommendation of Lawrence for brunch. You won't be disappointed.

            2. The beer at Benelux (245 Sherbrooke St. W., at Jeanne-Mance St.) is superior to Dieu du Ciel's in my opinion. It's close to Molson Stadium, and walkable to the Bell Center. Can't bring it home with you though, must drink on site! They have snacks (roasted almonds, sharp cheddar and crackers, olives, etc.) european hotdogs (hot pepperettes or regular weiner), and other sandwiches as well. Food is honest bar fare, but the beer steals the show. Great outdoor terrace as well.

              I second Fintastic with respect to the Atwater Market and Pinxto for Spanish. Also Fromagerie Atwater at the Market has the best choice of craft beers in the neighbourhood. Love that place.

              Lawrence for brunch would be my choice as well. Those people know how to cook eggs - a rare thing.

              PS : Yes to sandals for APDC, no to sportswear at Moishes :-)

              9 Replies
              1. re: tibetanpeachpie

                "The beer at Benelux (245 Sherbrooke St. W., at Jeanne-Mance St.) is superior to Dieu du Ciel's in my opinion."

                Tastes are personal but I do not know one serious craft beer drinker that would agree with this statement. Benelux is good, but not in the same category as Dieu Du Ciel (reviews on Beer Advocate tend to confirm this.)

                Don`t want to make it sound like Benelux is bad, it is excellent, but if you are looking for the best craft beer in Montreal, Dieu du Ciel is it.

                1. re: jfprieur

                  Well whaddya know!! Now you'll actually have met - albeit only through the Web - a serious craft beer drinker who prefers Benelux to DDC!

                  :-D

                  1. re: tibetanpeachpie

                    benelux produces higher than middle of the road beer.

                    but ddc,...

                    that's all that I have to say about that.

                    1. re: tibetanpeachpie

                      +1 for preferring Benelux by a nose. Consistently good, any pour.

                      1. re: tibetanpeachpie

                        I really did not mean to come off that snarky, my apologies. I in no way was implying Benelux was MoR. I guess I came off as a ddc zealot ;)

                    2. re: tibetanpeachpie

                      Honest bar food? No. They serve pretty good eurodogs till 7pm then chips (there have never been other sandwiches as far as I recall). That is not my idea of bar food.
                      I do really like benelux and it is a good place to go before the game though.

                      @jf if you read the OP they are looking for serious craft beer retail, not to consume at a bar. For the bar they asked for a nearby gastropub... and benelux definitely has good beers but lacks in terms of food

                      1. re: kpaxonite

                        @kpaxonite : Benelux expanded their menu this summer. Lots of sandwiches (5-6) and different types of sausage.

                        The beautiful thing is the OP can try Benelux, and bring some DDC home with her/him!

                        1. re: tibetanpeachpie

                          Good to know I will go check it out next week... do you know what time they stop serving food at? I wish they had mentioned it on their facebook page I don't see any mention of it but their beer selection looks excellent at the moment.

                          1. re: kpaxonite

                            We have supper there fairly often as it's our neighbourhood bar, and I know that they serve until at least 8h30 or 9pm (ate at around 9 last Saturday).

                            Their Cactus and Catapulte IPAs are super hoppy, super tasty.

                    3. Thanks for the feedback so far everyone! To clarify a few aspects:

                      - I'm looking for both a craft beer retailer AND craft beer pubs/gastropubs to drink at before/after the Argos game and before/after APDC (I know most good places seem to be in that general area, but obviously happy to take suggestions from downtown as that's where we're staying).

                      - I meant to ask for *not* upscale Spanish food -- though Pinxto looks great. Could APDC clothing work there? I see white tableclothes on the website. Barring that, any lower-key tapas places? Bonus pts for ones with good lunch menus rather than just dinner (though we're just as likely to go for dinner the flexibility would be good)

                      - what are general opinions on Moishe's late night menu? Worth a trip or forget it?

                      - I feel a bit bad dragging my buddy up to the Plateau repeatedly... is there anyway to combine visiting Lawrence with then proceeding to a market right after, in terms of public transit?

                      - good recco's for craft beer/gastropub food in Old Montreal? or any of the food I've asked about above that can be found in Old Montreal?

                      Thanks!!

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Eatingfood

                        An inexpensive Spanish place which often has daily specials is El Gitano. It is on Park not far from Molson Stadium. It has a fair paella. I haven't been there in several years but I remember it being ok for the price.

                        1. re: Eatingfood

                          Utterly simple to take public transport from Lawrence to the Jean-Talon Market: 55 bus on St-Laurent, northbound, get off at Bélanger or Jean-Talon. Bélanger takes you to the southern end of the market, Jean-Talon to the northern.

                          From Bélanger, walk north one extremely short block to Mozart and walk two short blocks east to Casgrain. From Jean-Talon, walk east to Casgrain and then walk south (side of one building which is a pizza restaurant, Vinizza) to the entrance to the market. The market is not visible from Jean-Talon itself, which confuses many visitors. There are always a lot of people carrying shopping on Casgrain.

                          Short bus ride, about 10 minutes. Mtl public transport site: www.stm.info

                          1. re: Eatingfood

                            You can try some microbrewery beers at Taverne Urbain Sur Duluth before going to APDC. They have a 4-7 happy hour and some snacks as I think you are obliged to eat something while there. Or grab a few craft beers at the dep, Au Coin Duluth, nearby and enjoy them in Parc Lafontaine (again, as long as you are eating something with them).

                            Pinxto isn't super upscale but for more classic Spanish tapas there's Casa Tapas and I've heard the tapas at Sala Rossa are very good.

                            1. re: Plateaumaman

                              I wouldn't call Sala Rossa very good, but I still love the place. Its probably exactly what you're looking for, although reservations are important.

                              1. re: Fintastic

                                i would call it slightly overpriced and generally alright

                                1. re: catroast

                                  I've always enjoyed Sala Rossa, though a) I haven't been in a couple of years and b) I've never been to Pinxto. However, it fits the bill for casual Spanish tapas, IMHO.

                                  If you head up to Marché Jean-Talon from Lawrence via the #55 bus (and you can even walk it...20 mins.?) you'll pass by a bar with one of Montréal's best beer selections: Vices et Versa. OK, so perhaps you don't want to indulge in craft beer right after brunch, but the opportunity is there...

                                  1. re: foodinspace

                                    Pintxo and Casa Tapas are both excellent.. in my opinion the tapas are easier to share at Casa Tapas. At Casa Tapas, the whole meal is usually tapas, whereas at Pintxo, you usually order a couple and then have a main plat.

                                    1. re: kpaxonite

                                      You really don't have to have a large plate at Pinxto. That's just an option they give you. Lots of people who got here just have pintxos. I've been there a few times, my meals consisted of only pintxos and I was very satisfied and thought I got money's worth.

                          2. If you are going to either markets on Saturday or Sunday, email me and we can arrange a little tour :) I'm up at 6am.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: marblebag

                              "I'm up at 6am."

                              On weekends?? You can get help for that now, you know. No stigma :P

                              For a good craftbrew retailer fairly close to Molson Stadium. Specializes in Quebec microbrews:

                              http://www.yelp.ca/biz/%C3%A9picerie-...

                            2. REPORTING:

                              Thur PM - iBurger

                              Liked it. Will try the sushi 'burger' next time.
                              4/5

                              Thur evening - Bar Tartare

                              Surprised I hadn't encountered this in my research. Really liked it - we went back Friday. We had salmon and tuna Friday, more tuna and duck Friday. Raw duck tasted raw, but was cool! A lot of reviews tasted service was uneven which was definitely true - we sat at the bar so it was easier to get stuff, but still hard.

                              4/5 - probably a 3.5 on technical merit (some of the seasoning the tartares come with cover the meat more than they should and service is questionable) but rounded up for concept + overall tastiness.

                              Post-game Friday

                              Olde Orchard (?) neat stadium
                              No idea why the hell we ate here (barkeep at Tartare recommended it actually). was fairly empty even after the Argos' asskicking of the Als, which should have been a warning. Poutine + calamari were so-so-ish at best. Service was attentive, but they were empty enough on a Thursday night that it wasn't hard for them.
                              1.5/5

                              Dieu du Ciel - Fri night

                              Got here around 9pm on Friday after our second round of bar tartare. any later we wouldn't have gotten a seat. Tried a sampler of 4 sample sizes - don't recall which offhand but all were very good. Stuck to the porter (or was it a stout) - #3, because all the food and beer was starting to get at my stomach so I wanted something I was comfortable with. We didn't wanna eat much after the raw duck (good as it was I still found it a bit odd) and beer but the food looked good.

                              4.5 based just on the beer + atmosphere (not sure why I'm not giving it a 5 but pretty tired and erring on side of caution)... hope to evaluate food next time

                              edit - what the hell am I smoking, beer + atmosphere was definitely a 5

                              APDC

                              Was really looking forward to this. Was a bit apprehensive about service as it had come up in a few reviews but they were great - around enough but not too much, good with explaining the menu and no rush whatsoever (were there about 3 hrs over 3 'courses')

                              had those foie gras cromesquis (spelling?) things, cod fritters, sausage plate, veal tartare, and duck in a can (everything except the duck shared with another person).

                              We were STUFFED. felt like human foie gras. in hindsight we'd have cut out the sausages or cod fritters, and I'd get the duck breast with mushrooms as the canned duck, though good, had a bit of a taste to it I find kind of distracted -- might have been the glaze. and being so damn full sorta accentuated it.

                              4/5 on merit rounded to 4.5 for overall decadence

                              reasoning for not giving a 5: didn't love duck in a can as much as I'd hoped, mostly due to the strong taste, and I'd really been hoping for beef tartare (which was on the online menu), and, then, when venison was on the menu under 'tartare/ribs', that (venison tartare is sorta an abstract fantasy of mine). the veal was still very tasty though, was just my 3rd choice for tartare.

                              sun am - Griffintown

                              I know you all advised against and we couldn't make it to Lawrence due to sleeping in Saturday after all those stouts at Dieu du Ciel on Friday and needing to leave on Sunday, but we ended up here. glad we did. can't recall any drop off in quality from when we were there in February. only complaint is the lattee took about 15 min to come, and we were there pretty late, so I could imagine it being super slow earlier when busier.

                              I LOVED their homemade gravlox (don't recall it being there in Feb) - ordered a side order of it with my 2-egg/bacon/toast/potato breakfast and by the time I was done and wanted to order another they were out of it :( we were there around 1 though

                              4/5

                              Devo Old Montreal Sun PM

                              went here to watch sports on tv inside - everyone was on the patio so we had the bar to ourselves. had some decent beer and calamari followed by pizza.

                              would ordinary give a 3.5, but it gets a 4 for convenience of having big bar to ourselves to watch tv and good-looking barkeeps all around who were super eager to help with anything:)

                              great trip food wise! Lawrence and an elusive market trip are on the menu next time, as well as a return to marche tartare. Griffintown also earned a repeat for sure

                              oh also made it to Olive et Gourmando round 1.30 Saturday (after sleeping in after Dieu aDu Ciel). only gets a 3 cause they were out of both sandwiches I wanted (breakfast egg on your face and smoked trout) and we couldn't get seating, but definitely has potential to get a much higher ranking if we're not so lazy and get there earlier

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Eatingfood

                                Thanks for the report! However, I'm confused which "Bar Tartare" you visited: what was the address? Could it have been Marche 27 (across from one of the other Olde Orchard locations in the Plateau)?

                                Also, it's too bad about the duck-in-a-can. I feel exactly the same way about this dish: it's fine to share with a group, but too much vinegar-flavour to enjoy an entire can alone. The same is true of the pied de cochon (too much pork!), but I really enjoyed having this huge plate shared with 6 others last week.