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Sep 18, 2013 11:50 AM

Montreal - Couple Recs for a past Montrealer?

Returning to Montreal for 4-5 days next week and I am looking for a couple solid places to eat. Haven't been back since I left which was 2 years ago so I am out of the loop food wise but have done some research. I will also be in Toronto for a few days beforehand so don't need any Chinese/sushi/Korean/ramen recs.

Places that I used to eat in Montreal (to name a few) and that I am planning to go to again while I am in town are: Kazu, Romados, Maison du Nord, Bombay Mahal, Leméac, St. Viateur's, Kem Coba, etc.

Any new places similar to those restaurant style's that are worth going to? Going to Leméac for their late night menu deal but are there any others worth a try? And any new places in Chinatown 2 that I must try?

A couple new places (that I haven't been to) I am debating are:
- Bouillon Milk
- Satay Brothers
- Hotel Hermain vs. Le Filet - which one?
- Italian - maybe Pastaga or a friend suggested Brama? I liked Bottega and Pizzeria Napoletana/Magpie (but these are more pizza places, I'm looking for a good pasta place).


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  1. Pastaga is not Italian, try Impasto for Italian nearby it's a new place and so far the critics love it, myself included. Make reservations now if you are going to be here next week.

    So do you want Chinese recs or not? Lol…Your post contradicts itself regarding your Chinese stance.

    Definitely make your pit stop to Kem Coba, still outstanding.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JerkPork

      Thanks JerkPork! Sorry for the confusion. I was just curious if any new restaurants opened in Chinatown 2 area that was worth checking out. When I left, so many places started opening up. If there's anything worth going to, I'd definitely be interested so any recs, let me know.

      I will look into Impasto. What kind of dishes did you enjoy there?

      1. re: jonny8

        There are a bunch of new places in Chinatown 2 and some places that were great that are no a bit more uneven (like Cuisine Szechuan). Qing Hua is still great. There's decent ramen at Misoya but as you are planning on Kazu and ramen in Toronto, not really necessary. I like Nudo in Chinatown, and Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot which has been renovated recently. I tried Satay Brothers this summer and enjoyed the laksa but service was slow and erratic. If I find myself at Atwater Market again I'd definitely give it another try. Le Filet is very good, addictive scallop, avocado and beet salad, also the tuna tartare was a highlight for me.

        For more casual new choices I might add Saint Sushi Bar, pot stickers at Chinoiseries et Dumpling, Trip de Bouffe and everyone should go to Kouign Amann?

        1. re: Plateaumaman

          Trip de Bouffe - yes, including their pita. Any former Montrealer might even be a bit bored by the idea of Lebanese takeaway, but it is much more brightly flavoured than what you are probably used to. Their pitas are not only tasty - they hold up to make good pocket sandwiches, not crumbling as mass-produced ones often do. A very good version of muhammara (which is originally Syrian) and many other treats.

          1. re: lagatta

            I absolutely love their baba ghanouj.

    2. I really like Bouillon Bilk and Le Filet, but my new favorite would have to be Impasto in little Italy. It is a great resto from the dynamic duo, Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione. The vibe is great and the food is great. They have wonderful pasta dishes. Pastaga is not Italian and is not, IMO, very good.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Gloriaa

        Oh my bad, I don't know why I thought Pastaga was Italian. Looks like I need to go to Impasto, you both recommended it!

        Is Bouillon Bilk better to go to at lunch or dinner?

        1. re: jonny8

          I had a wonderful poutine at Bouillon Bilk for lunch last spring. It is one of my favorite lunch spots.

          1. re: Gloriaa

            "poutine at Bouillon Bilk"

            That does not feels right for BB.

            Can you tell us about that ?

          2. re: jonny8

            it's not you, it does sound like a cheap pasta joint. dumb name, especially in that neighborhood.

            1. re: C70

              Pastaga is a colloquialism of pastis and is generally used in the south of France near Marseille. The name does make sense but does invite confusion.

            2. re: jonny8

              I've been for both lunch and dinner service. Dinner service was more sophisticated as can be expected but the lunch menu is great value and original.

          3. For something different try Damas . Great middle eastern food served well with a great wine selection (including several choices of Bekka Valley wines) Voted best middle eastern restaurant by Food and Wine Magazine.

            6 Replies
            1. re: finefoodie55

              Thanks finefoodie55, I was considering Damas or possibly Kaza Maza/Le Petit Alep.

              Also, I stumbled across a Venezuelan place called Arepera du Plateau. Anyone been? Worth going to?

              1. re: jonny8

                jonny, I've been to Arepera du Plateau, it was alright nothing outstanding, it has gotten some praise on this board. The Arepas were very fresh and seemed "made to order", I don't know if ours weren't cooked enough but they seemed a bit too mushy and lacked some salt. I had mine with a filling of pork.

                1. re: jonny8

                  Jonny, all those restaurants are very good, but Damas is much higher end (but very reasonable for the quality), Kaza Maza has lovely mezze and Petit Alep is casual - a bistro, and you can do it cheaply but also order anything on the menu of the fancier Restaurant Alep next door. I love Petit Alep, but it doesn't take reservations (please correct me, anyone, if this has changed) so there can be a wait in the evening. Note that Petit Alep is just across the street from Jean-Talon Market.

                  The "Shut up and Eat" blog has a good description of Arepera with photos:

                  I've enjoyed the arepas I bought there, but always ate them, with friends, in a nearby park. The weather is lovely now, if it holds you can enjoy that next week.

                  1. re: jonny8

                    I love all three but Damas is a clear step up on all fronts

                    1. re: jonny8

                      I really like Arepera du Plateau. Very low key and friendly and the arepas are wonderful ( and mostly everything is gluten free).

                      1. re: carfreeinla

                        Are you truly carfree in L.A.? bravo...

                        They are very good arepas. Our dismal weather today should blow over before jonny's visit, if he wants the joy of a locavore picnic, between Arepera and all the foods available on boulevard St-Laurent aka the Main.

                  2. Brama has some good pasta but the "supper club" kind of atmosphere is not amazing.

                    Nora Gray is a cool option for Italian that hasn't been mentioned and Riccardo Bertolino, the chef de cuisine at Maison Boulud, makes some insane pasta IMO, there is usually a pasta dish on the menu.

                    1. Maison du Nord has fallen off the map compared to the other new Chinatown2 places mentioned by others. I like Misoya (best broth in Montreal(,