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Brunch: Lawrence, EVOO or Prohibition?

Hi guys!

I am a huge fan of the brunch at Lawrence and I am planning on going this coming weekend. But then I asked myself if I should maybe try something different. How is the comparison of Lawrence and EVOO for brunch? I saw a couple similar dishes on each menu, and prices look about the same.

I've also heard people liked Prohibition on Monkland for their brunch. This one is closest to me, so it would make traveling easier, but if it's not up to par of the other two, I'd probably pass.

Are there other newish and solid choices for brunch that I might not know about? I'm not looking to break the bank (i.e. The Ritz) but I haven't been out for brunch in a little while and want to be able to relax and enjoy the food. I have no problem getting someplace early or waiting in line.

Thanks!

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  1. I have been to all three places mentioned. I'd say Lawrence and EVOO are excellent, while Prohibition is ok.

    I'd recommand EVOO for its attention to details. The food is original and tasty, the service is friendly and efficient. A quiet place compared to Lawrence.

    I'd also recommand La Récolte on Bélanger:

    www.facebook.com/LaRecolteEspaceLocal

    and La Bête à pain on Fleury:

    www.twitter.com/LeStUrbain

    Lots of people like Régine (I personally think the food lacks finesse and the place is very crowded):

    www.reginecafe.ca

    2 Replies
    1. re: carolilas

      La Recolte sounds really interesting!

      1. re: mindfultable

        Their menu changes every weekend and includes seasonal ingredients (like apple and squash these days).

        My friend had the panzanella salad with root veggies, goat cheese and poached egg while I had the grilled cheese with Wagyu beef. I also enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate with a homemade maple marshmallow. I usually hate marshmallows, but this one I devoured! It had just the right hint of maple and the hot chocolate was not too sweet. Both meals were thoughtfully put together and excellent.

        I go to a lot of restaurants, especially for brunch which is my favorite meal, and I really fell in love with this place!

        I highly recommend it!

    2. I like Lawrence a lot but have been underwhelmed a couple of times. The menu at Prohibition actually appeals more to me. I've been there once and really enjoyed the French toast and fried chicken. I haven't tried EVOO yet but I would say Prohibition
      Is worth a try.

      1. I've been to EVOO a couple of times for brunch and it's fantastic. I heatedly recommend it. I haven't been to Lawrence though, so have no idea how it compares.

        Prohibition was good, but it was super busy and loud, and ultimately I ended up being a bit undewhelmed by the food and overwhelmed by the busy-ness.

        I've been hearing good things about Bete à Pain. I haven't been since they expanded into brunch, but loved the bakery when I've stopped by in the past, and I'm a big fan of Le St-Urbain.

        I also really like Bacci on St-Antoine in St-Henri. Small, neighbourhood place with only a few tables, changing brunch menu, delightful owners, very affordable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mindfultable

          I checked and it is called Cafe Baci. Bacci is a bar on the Plateau.

        2. maison publique is also good
          also griffintown cafe
          also the new pied de cochon brunch starts on sunday...

          the vibe is terrible at EVOO despite the food being decent. i wouldn't recommend it to someone visiting

          3 Replies
          1. re: j_do

            Wait... What Pied de Cochon brunch?!?

            1. re: Simon Patrice

              http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca/ Right hand side. No reservations and through the end of January

          2. Recap:

            We ended going to EVOO. We made reservations online for noon Sunday. When we got there, they were only full to about half capacity, which is rare for brunch in Montreal.

            Service is great and friendly.
            I had the Baked eggs; tiny veal bacon meatballs, poached eggs, cheddar, tomato sauce, soda bread. Fun, exciting dish with great flavours.

            Spouse had the Smoked fish; scrambled eggs, apple coleslaw, crème fraîche, lime, capers, grilled bread. Beautifully plated and tasty.

            Fresh juice of the day was a combination of pear, orange and grapefruit. Nice, light and fruity.

            Small side of granola; homemade goat yogurt, Gaudreau warm honey, dried strawberries. Fresh and tasty.

            Americanos were served with frothed milk, with is always a nice plus!

            Overall, I really enjoyed my meal. We will be back for brunch again and we also want to try their lunch menu; 21$ for 3 courses, which is a great deal.

            Thanks to everyone's comments and suggestions. I am surprised to hear APDC is serving brunch and will be checking that out next!

            As we were leaving, the place is almost empty, yet down the street Quoi de Neuf had a line of about 15 or so out the door. Couldn't really understand why EVOO wasn't busier? Hope they continue to do well and thrive in the neighbourhood.

            13 Replies
            1. re: causeimhungry

              Problem could be lack of familiarity as Quoi de N'Oeuf and the place near it are longstanding places on Notre Dame. EVOO is relatively new. Also the name is not very evocative, ie not saying much about what it is and specializes in, whereas Qot de N'oeuf is a nice little pun about eggs!

              1. re: causeimhungry

                I believe one of the challenges they have is that they don't attract the locals, whereas other places in St-Henri do. Among my non-foodie friends who live in the area it's seen as "expensive", but when I've asked further, it seems the perception is based off of dinner prices, which are definitely at a higher end than the neighbourhood.

                1. re: causeimhungry

                  I think part of the problem is the decor. I've been twice and was very pleased with the food and will be back again, but it was always half filled like you also noticed. The decoration is pretty bland and non-descript (in my opinion), and I think that for a place like this to work, you have to put a bit more tought in the design and the atmosphere of the place. It doenst have to be fancy, but there need to be a coherent theme or feel... It doesnt entice somebody to go in and check it out...

                  1. re: sophie.brunet

                    I hope they manage to survive... I've talked with one of the chefs/owners, Peter Saunders, and he's so nice and passionate about his craft!

                    I prefer quiet and subdued environments, so I don't mind the bland decor. Anyway, to me, it's more about the food and people...

                    1. re: carolilas

                      Why the name, though? Their website provides no clues.

                        1. re: EaterBob

                          Seriously? They should have been CP-EVOO then!

                          1. re: williej

                            I'm certain that they have heating at the restaurant, and from my recollection there was enough space between the tables that no one was squished...

                            1. re: EaterBob

                              i assume your reply was in jest! As was mine.

                      1. re: carolilas

                        I do remember that when we went, there was this lady chef (?) that came and explained in detail each dishes. It was clear she was really passionate about her job, which make the whole experience even more pleasant.

                        1. re: sophie.brunet

                          I think the points about the decor are valid (I'm also reluctant to bring visitors for this reason), but in my experience this wouldn't be an issue in cities like Halifax, St. Johns, Quebec City, Ottawa, Vancouver, most major US cities (excluding NYC, SF, etc), and maybe even Paris. I think we're spoiled here either by the impeccable decor in many fine-dining restaurants, or by what I like to call the "artificial heritage" of casual restos like Joe Beef, Dominion Square, etc etc. Sometimes the desire to sit in a cool room that looks historical even overshadows the mediocre cooking (as in much of Old Montreal). It's amazing how many online reviewers of Joe Beef are fooled into reporting that it is a very old restaurant opened by Charles McKiernan himself.

                          When I travel to Paris I'm always puzzled by the seemingly bland and outdated (read: mid-90s) decor of many high-end restaurants, perhaps because true historical sites exist everywhere and continually updating haute design is prohibitively expensive.

                          In any case, I think EVOO serves some of the most creative dishes in the city, and at a fraction of the cost of places like Toque!

                          1. re: Fintastic

                            I think you are completely right, its a good way to put it in perspective by comparing with other cities. We are indeed spoiled here in term of design of restaurants, and were some restaurants are even opened jointly between architects and chefs (H4C).

                            1. re: sophie.brunet

                              Agreed! The architecture of H4C is amazing, although I'm not entirely fond of all of the decorating choices here either... something about the material of the bench seating and the red planters... Though I like everything else!