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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:

THURSDAY

*Dinner at DNA (and only $45!)

FRIDAY

*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.

SATURDAY

*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:

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/olive-et-gour...

      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):

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/restaurant-ru...

      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?

          http://www.maisonpublique.com/

          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 ?)

                http://restaurantlemeac.com/home/
                http://www.opentable.com/lexpress
                http://www.laloux.com/index.php/en/

                2. Maison Publique

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

                http://www.maisonpublique.com/

                3. Les 400 Coups

                http://www.opentable.com/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.

                    1. another option you might like would be Hotel Herman.

                      1. Les 400 Coups

                        We were lucky to get a reservation with such short notice. Service was excellent. We went with the tasting menu and wine pairing. Thought I'd post a report before I forget. Please note my descriptions don't begin to do the food justice. Presentation was meticulous (think micro greens, etc. etc.).

                        Amuse

                        Oyster with blueberry flowers and elderberry foam. Fresh and delicious. SO is more into oysters than me, I am acquiring a taste for them.

                        Course one

                        Smoked char with heirloom tomatoes, very thinly sliced radishes, etc. I'm not big on radishes, might need to rethink this.

                        Course two

                        Grilled scallop with green beans and ? sauce. Perfectly seared and cooked. Sweet.

                        Course three

                        SO was very happy when asked if he wanted meat. Many thanks to the Chef for this. I had cod with veggies. So fresh. Cod was cooked perfectly. Again, my descriptions don't do begin to do the food justice. SO had suckling pig with blood sauce, etc. etc. He seemed to enjoy it.

                        Course four

                        A pre-dessert, palate cleanser. My favorite. Green apple granita/sorbet with charred pistachios and EVOO and ? (Yogurt like consistency, yogurt?). Suprising on the palate. Loved it.

                        Course five

                        I can't begin to adequately describe the gorgeous presentation . . . I had a lime dessert with ? And a muscadel. SO had a chocolate dessert with ? and port.

                        We had espresso and candies (mini marshmallows and dark chocolates).

                        A very special meal. Many thanks to the chefs and staff who have created something out of the ordinary with their attention to freshness, creativity and detail.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          If the dessert that you had was called "green" it is white chocolate yogurt. Off the charts delicious.

                        2. Dinner at Chez L'Epicier:

                          I was feeling a bit under the weather. I sipped my ginger ale and nibbled on a roll (different style than bread service at Les 400 Coups) while SO read the wine list.

                          Our amuse was a miniature dark chocolate ice cream sandwich filled with goat cheese and black truffles instead of ice cream. So good. Memorable.

                          SO had the "Mer-charcuterie" for his appetizer. There were several different presentations of fish on a wood serving board. One fish was inside a miniature crepe shaped like an ice cream cone.

                          You could add foie gras or black truffles to any dish (for a fee, of course). I like that.

                          Too bad I wasn't feeling well enough to eat much. I ordered the scallops for my main. Perfectly seared and sweet over cauliflower puree and Jerusalem artichokes in a delicious broth.

                          SO had the beef tenderloin. A large, paparadelle was over the top of the beef and there were roasted figs.

                          For dessert SO had the lemon arancini, lemon curd and a chocolate ? I had a bite of the dessert arancini. Simple. Delicious.

                          Several tables appeared to have the tasting menu. The table next to us had marshmallows that they toasted over a small grill at their table. How fun!

                          I liked the atmosphere and decor. Like Le 400 Coups the vibe and service was formal.