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French and Innovative Dinner and Lunch Spots for Oct. Wkenders from Boston?

opinionatedchef Aug 19, 2013 12:57 AM

We are likely coming from Boston to Montreal for 1 or 2 weekend nights
the beginning of Oct., the first time in 15 yrs (we were last there for a week when you had that earthquake/treme , at least in Old Quebec , where all the power was out for the first night and we had a very romantic candlelit dinner at Restnt St Amour on Rue St Ursule!)
We had so many good meals in Montreal when we were last there. I understand l'Express is still there, but what about Au pied de cochon and le Vent Vert? I would love to eat at the foie gras place that Tony Bourdain visited- is it still there and is it still excellent? We also ate at an innovative expensive place on St Denis diagonally across and down from l'Express. Maybe Trois was in the name...? (Au Tournant de la Riviere was our temple of gastronomic pleasure way back then...I will never forget his sweetbreads mousse served like a Coup de Glace!)

When i did a foie gras search on this board, this came up. is it still there, and recommended?:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/820914

I would really appreciate recommendations for the best places for French and Innovative dinners, either one or both together. We have a lot of Asian and Italian in Boston, so i am not looking for that.

We have no excellent classic French patisseries in Boston. Zilch. Are there any in M now? (When we last visited, a branch of the Parisian Le Notre had just closed, in the north of the city) Would also love to find any exceptional chocolate shops.(Recchiutti is my fav, in San Fran.

)

We will be travelling up from Burlington VT. I don't know where we will be staying but we are aiming to go to the (last days of) the giant topiary exhibit at the Jardin Botanique(iirc) and probably the Art Museum or the City of Montreal museum. Any good lunch places in those areas would also be appreciated (but Montreal delis, smoked beef and charcuterie are not favorites of ours. We do enjoy poutine and its offspring!)
Maybe the foie gras restnt is open for lunch and i could just bring my sleeping bag....:-) Merci mille fois.

p.s. i usually do a ton of research before i post a thread like this, but i thought i would first ask the sister CH community.

edit: i just did read through the other thread- 36 hours in Montreal-and i will research those places- but if you have additional recs i'm happy to hear them.
just fyi, we will be happy to dine at 5/5:30/opening, but not late.

  1. g
    Glaff Aug 19, 2013 05:52 AM

    I'll answer for the pâtisseries and chocolateries. Yes there is:

    - Maison Christian Faure just opened in the Old Montreal. Probably exactly what you're looking for.
    http://www.christianfaure.ca/

    - Ô Plaisirs Gourmands is still really good. Was formerly called Olivier Potier if you do research. Downtown.
    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/67/1657672/restaurant/Golden-Square-Mile/O-Plaisirs-Gourmands-Montreal

    - Maybe not as french, but still our best pâtisserie and pretty much french in style anyway: Pâtisserie Rhubarbe on the Plateau.
    http://patisserierhubarbe.com/

    - Also worth the visit Kouign-Amann (for kouign-amann) and Fous Desserts (for pastries, croissants and chocolates). You might want to try Point G if you're also interested in macarons. All on the Plateau.

    For chocolates: Chocobel, Les chocolats de Chloé, Geneviève Grandbois.

    1. m
      Maximilien Aug 19, 2013 06:22 AM

      Don't know about "Le Vent Vert" ...

      For foie gras, your best bet would be to go to Au Pied de Cochon; it is not open at lunch time; but maybe the Au Pied de Cochon food truck will still be open (https://www.facebook.com/CamionPDC)

      "Le Canard Libéré" is a food store specializing in Foie Gras and it is still open. (AFAIK), I think you can eat in, but I'm not certain about the menu.

      Maybe you "expensive" restaurant on St-Denis st. near l'express is "Cocagne" ?? a bit further up is "les 3 petits bouchons".

      L'Express is good and solid, but it is not innovative.

      For innovative (modern?) french cuisine, have a look at places like "Hotel Herman", "Les 400 Coups", ...

      Max.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Maximilien
        SnackHappy Aug 19, 2013 07:36 AM

        Fifteen years ago, across the street and down from L'Express would have been Toqué.

        1. re: SnackHappy
          m
          Maximilien Aug 19, 2013 08:09 AM

          It was not clear if it was 15 years ago in Québec City or Montréal.

          Yep your right about Toqué.

          1. re: SnackHappy
            opinionatedchef Aug 19, 2013 02:40 PM

            yes! th you. are those chefs still chefing somewhere?

            1. re: opinionatedchef
              SnackHappy Aug 19, 2013 02:42 PM

              Yed indeed, Toqué moved to new digs in the Quartier International, a few years ago.

              http://www.restaurant-toque.com

        2. f
          Fintastic Aug 19, 2013 10:16 AM

          1998 was a bad time for Hydro Quebec, what with this earthquake and the ice storm!

          Le Vent Vert was definitely short-lived after your previous visit. I moved to the city shortly after that and don't recall it at all.

          The place serving foie to Bourdain (depending on which of his TV shows you were watching: he's visited Montreal for No Reservations, the Layover, and recently Parts Unknown) was almost certainly au Pied de Cochon, which opened only in 2001 (I'm not sure if you were suggesting that it was open on your last trip here?). It is certainly worth trying if you can get a reservation well in advance and can handle large quantities of heavy food. Le canard libèré is a great place to buy foie for home use and does have a small snack counter, but it is not really a proper restaurant and closes quite early. It would likely be open for lunch, however, thus giving you a chance to try their take on foie gras poutine, etc. The APDC food truck would also provide this opportunity, but your trip will be after their official operating season so it might be difficult to track down. If you're in town for the first weekend of October, I suspect they will be at First Fridays (a food truck event from 4-10pm at the Olympic stadium) which might work out well if you happen to visit the Botanical Gardens that afternoon. Other than that, there is almost nothing edible in the immediate region of the gardens: you're better off travelling back towards the plateau. Whew! Lots of information!

          On that note, if you're not visiting Montreal until the 2nd weekend of October, keep in mind that it will be Canadian thanksgiving. Likely this will have little impact on your trip, except a few restaurants might have altered hours and could be busier with Canadian tourists.

          The art museum (Beaux Arts, I assume?) does have a few good options nearby: as Glaff said O Plaisirs Gourmands is just a few blocks down and offers excellent pastries and pretty decent sandwiches. You might also consider Maison Boulud on the next block for pricey brunch/lunch, although this can also be found in NYC. The City of Montreal museum has even more nearby options, assuming that you're speaking of either the Centre d’histoire de Montréal or the Archeology and History museum, Pointe-à-Callière. The latter has a beautiful cafe on the top floor serving very well-priced lunches with one of the best and most underfrequented views in the city. You might also consider lunch at the ever-popular Olive & Gourmando or 400 Coups (if you visit on the Friday - otherwise dinner is an option).
          I will post more if I think of it. Good luck!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Fintastic
            opinionatedchef Aug 19, 2013 02:44 PM

            Fin. et al, you all are terrific up there! I was worried I was going to get some snide remarks after I saw those other concurrent thread requests. My research/mapping/reserving etc. begins now! Prob our buggest challenge will be beds. Last time we were in student Univ. housing but they prob don't offer that anymore..... Merci mille fois!

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