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Sep 10, 2013 02:58 AM

Montreal this weekend . . .where should we eat?

Returning to Montreal this weekend. My second visit. I'm just starting to read the openings, closings and recent trip reports from other hounds.

I'd appreciate your suggestions.

We will be staying near Sherbrooke Street, W. Montreal. I only eat poultry and fish. We're NOT interested in Greek, Asian or deli. We will have time for:

2-3 breakfast/brunches (one should be croissants . . .Patisserie Fous Desserts or ?)
2 lunches (Friday & Saturday . . .we liked Montee)
3 dinners (Thursday - Saturday . . .we really enjoyed DNA and Version on a previous trip)

Les 400 Coups might be a possibility. We'd probably pass on Lawrence.

Where we ate in 2009:

Returned yesterday from Montreal. Thanks again for all the excellent suggestions. I cannot wait to return! Perhaps I should learn a little French first . . . We will finish the Ami du Chambertin from Yannick this evening . . .then start on the Fleur de re and Reine Claude.

Highlights of our Montreal food adventure:


*Dinner at DNA (and only $45!)


*Breakfast at Patisserie Fous Desserts - this was a long walk from downtown . . .SO said the croissant rivaled ones in Paris. I had an almond croissant and tasted the chocolate croissant .

*Mile End food tour (peaked into several places including Cocoa Locale - maybe a lemon cupcake next time . . .)

*Late lunch at Montee

*Dinner on the patio at Version (closing in about a week?). We could not get a table at Chez L'Epicier No. 311. This was our one, unplanned dinner in Old Montreal.


*Breakfast at The Sparrow (a lovely, long walk from downtown). We arrived at just the right time before the waiting line started.

*Late lunch on the terrace at Tam Tam d' Afrique until the bees got the best of us. Djoliba was already closed and Gracia Afrika was too far.

*Dinner at Europea followed by port at Ferreira, a Portuguese bistro downtown

I'll post a detailed trip report about the food later this week. Thanks again for all your help. It made my first visit to Montreal very special.

PS I didn't get to try a Montreal bagel and we would have liked to eat at a bistro. Next time . . .

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  1. My apologies, it looks like I never posted a follow-up report with food details. . .

    1. Breakfast or lunch possibility:

      Is Olive et Gourmando in the old city really worth it?

      PS Not a fan of long queues and difficult reservation systems.

      Ruby Burma (Burmese) might be a lunch possibility (though it looks a little far for walking):

      3 Replies
      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        I tried Ruby Burma a couple of weeks ago and it was good. (lunch on a saturday)

        Depending how far west you are staying, it might not be far to walk, and after that, you can continue walk up st-laurent blvd.

        1. re: Maximilien

          Thanks so much, Maximilien.

          I think we'll be near the hill down toward the old city and the hill up to McGill. I can walk off the croissants and cheese :)

          1. re: Maximilien

            Thanks again, Maximillian. We had a late lunch at Ruby Burma. A short walk. Had the fried ? appetizer w/sauce, the tea leave salad (delicious!) and shared a chicken curry w/rice. The rice tea was also good. Our first taste of Burmese food. Service was thoughtful (asked about spicyness, advised about food quantity,etc.). Very nice, gentle owners. If we lived in Montreal we'd be regulars. IMHO, more of a lunch place or very casual dinner spot. They also have Burmese art.

            After lunch we walked up and down Main. Stopped in the Spanish shop and passed Schwartz.

        2. We really enjoyed DNA (now closed). How is Chef Derek Dammann's Maison Publique?

          We'd like to have another dinner like DNA or Version.

          6 Replies
          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Not the same at all. If you loved La Montee and DNA, stick with 400 Coups. You won't be disappointed.

            Olive et Gourmando is good. You can also try Mamie Clafoutis for croissants (chocolate, almond and regular), or if you're on Sherbrooke West, O Plaisirs Gourmands should be near your hotel.

            1. re: cherylmtl

              Thanks, Cheryl. Had lunch at olive & gourmands today. Got there before the queue. Loved it. Details to follow. The breakfast places are helpful. Will be ready for pastries tomorrow if we don't eat too many desserts tonight.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                SO had The Cubain. Pancatta, roasted pork, raw milk gruyere w/lime, cilantro, chipotle and pickle mayo. I had The Smoked Trout. Hot smoked trout, capers, s. dried tomatoes, red onion, spinach w/dill cream cheese. We shared the corn chowder. I'm not a big corn person but the chowder was delicious.
                Our timing was good. No queue when we arrived.Service was attentive and no detail was overlooked. Including asking if we were okay with our coffees when server saw we switched cups. Atmosphere is cozy and lively. Have to return to read everything on the blackboards :) Loved the spirit and soul of the place. You can feel the care.

                PS Hostess seats you. You order at the counter. Food gets delivered to your table. There is a tip jar at the register where you pay just before leaving.
                PSS Really liked the thoughtful table cards about watching your purse it only takes 2 seconds to be stolen. There are always a lot of purse thefts in NYC also. Tourists are often targeted.

              2. re: cherylmtl

                Deciding between Mamie Clafoutis or the closer O Plaisirs Gourmands . . .Probably a late lunch at Ruby Burma as Maximillian suggested.

                Dinner last night at Les 400 Coups. Details to follow.

                DInner tonight at Chez L'Epicier No 311. Didn't get to eat there last time and ended up at Version on their patio. Weather was nicer on our last visit.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  We should have gotten some pastries to go from Mamie Clafoutis when we left Sunday. Had a lackluster breakfast on W. Sherbrooke at Inspiration or Imagination . . .to be fair the staff tried very hard.

                2. re: cherylmtl

                  Cherylmtl, O Plaisirs Gourmands was very good. Quiet, relaxing vibe for a Sat. morning. A nice long walk there and back helped me walk off the almond and chocolate croissants I ate :)

              3. BREAKFAST/BRUNCH (2-3)

                croissants (but where?)

                LUNCH (2)

                Ruby Burma

                DINNER (3)

                1. French Bistro (Lemeac or L'Express or Laloux or ?)


                2. Maison Publique

                Can I enjoy a meal here if I only eat poultry and fish? Read some posts about most dishes having meat.


                3. Les 400 Coups


                6 Replies
                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  Foie gras. Maybe cocktails and foie gras for dinner Saturday night? Or lunch on Friday or Saturday?

                  Au Pied de Cochon (APDC) or someplace else? Read posts about tomato tart, raw foie gras on salt tart and deep fried foie gras bites (cromesqaires?) and realized our trip to Montreal will not be complete without some.

                  Thanks in advance for your suggestions and help.

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                    If you're going to be here this weekend, it may be difficult to get last-minute reservations at APDC or elsewhere - you might get lucky with a very early or very late reservation, though. Another option would be Joe Beef - they usually have a few foie dishes on the menu, although not to the extent APDC does.

                    1. re: cherylmtl

                      Had foie gras terrine last night at L'Express. Creamy. Very good. Bread and butter, jar with wooden tongs and cornichons served as we read the menu. For dinner SO had the hangar steak with frites. We should have asked for the frites to be well done. Served with mayo the traditional way. He enjoyed his steak. I had the roasted quail with wild rice and hard boiled quail egg. Very good. Not the best quail I ever had. We shared a dark chocolate tart. SO had espresso. Service was very good. SO said there were not that many good reasonably priced bottles on their wine list. Very enjoyable dinner.

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Because of the SAQ's government imposed monopoly it is impossible to get any wine/liquor or beer that could be called "reasonably" priced.

                        That being said, L'Express' wine list is arguably top 3 in the city, top 10 in the country, and top 20 in North America. They have stuff that you just can't get anyplace else for any price.

                        1. re: EaterBob

                          Thanks, EaterBob. Going easy on the wine this trip. Had my first taste of Chateau Latour a few years ago at DNA. An excellent way to mark my first trip to Montreal.

                  2. re: financialdistrictresident

                    Laloux isn't really a french bistro anymore - the food is much less traditional (and to be honest, I wasn't that impressed by it on my last visit). Stick with Lemeac. Or try some place a little more contemporary, like Tuck Shop.

                  3. If you like fish, try Van Horne.