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Apr 12, 2014 03:17 PM

Recommendations for June in Montreal

We (a couple from Austin, TX) will be visiting Montreal for the first time for five nights in June: attending the Mondial de la Biere, will probably stay in the Plateau area, would Love suggestions for eating and drinking while in town. Adventurous eaters, enjoy wine & a good cocktail, like locally-sourced spots...mid-range preferable, but will definitely splurge a night or two. A few on my radar from prior research: Le Lapin Saute, Joe Beef, BEVO, Le Quartier General, L'Orignal & Le Barberie Coop...Cheers!

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  1. Bevo is definitely not a must... a mediocre place amidst tourist traps! dining in old Montreal means higher prices... 400 coups, CC&P.

    1. Au pied de Cochon, le P'tit Plateau.

      Edit: and by all means check out schwartz's deli, romados, and Boustan for cheaper eats. Or snack your way through jean talon market.

      1. Hi there,
        I think you're on the right track, but just a few notes:
        First, the Mondial de la Biere can be a great time, but in past years has typically meant waiting in a very long line to get in (especially after-work on the Friday and mid-afternoon on the weekend days). I'd advise going early if you have a choice, unless you're a vendor.
        Second, I believe both Lapin Saute and La Barberie are in Quebec City and not Montreal. Also, BEVO is nothing particularly special - I've eaten better pizza in Austin. The others you've listed are reliable choices.

        Also consider Lawrence, Hotel Herman, Vin Papillon.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Fintastic

          Yes both Lapin Sauté and La Barberie are in Quebec City (250km from Montreal, just saying for the OP). La Barberie beer can be found in Montreal and Lapin Sauté definitely dont worth the trip!

          1. re: Fintastic


            How does Hotel Herman compare to Lawrence? I've seen it recommended before, along with Maison Publique, as two of the newer bright spots in the city. Both opened after I've left and I'm wondering how strongly you would recommend them and what you enjoy most about either place? I think that Lawrence is a great local/neighborhood spot but not necessarily a restaurant that I would be excited to dine at if visiting from out of town. How does Hotel Herman rank against it?

            1. re: OliverB

              IMO, the food at Herman is more "refined" than Lawrence.

              I think I've written before that Herman was one if not the best restaurant in town. (but that's just me).

              1. re: Maximilien

                Thank you Max, I'll try to squeeze it into our eating itinerary!

                Why do you feel that it's one of the best in town and is it a fixed menu or market driven? What are your favorite things to order?

                1. re: Maximilien

                  I actually find both rather refined. Perhaps Lawrence skews more towards larger dishes derived from recipes for British comfort food, while HH relies more on small plates and simple ingredients (often seafood/fish) that are allowed to speak for themselves. In my experience both are equally market-driven (with continually changing menus)... or perhaps more accurately-put, butcher-driven, as I think the availability of specific meat-proteins might take precedent when it comes to shaping a dish. As a result of this I have no favourite dishes at either.

                  I'd say HH is worth a visit, even if early in the evening before another dinner reservation. Several times I've had a small dish there before going elsewhere for a main course. Great wine program to boot. I've been less consistently impressed with Maison Publique, although my last meal there was exceptionally good.

            2. Some of the microbrasseries in town (what you would call brewpubs) are
              Benelux, 245 Sherbrooke O
              Brutopia 1219 Crescent
              Cheval Blanc 809 Ontario E.
              Dieu du Ciel! 29 Laurier O
              Helm 273 Bernard O
              Le Reservoir 9 Duluth E
              Vices et Versa 6631 St Laurent

              For cocktails I'd suggest
              Bar de Courcelle 4685 Notre Dame O
              The Emerald 5295 du Parc
              Flyjin 417 St Pierre
              Furco 425 Mayor
              La Drinkerie Sainte Cunégonde 2661 Notre Dame O
              Sparrow 5322 St Laurent

              2 Replies
              1. re: EaterBob

                Hows the Courcelle doing these days Bob?
                I stopped in twice since the country tavern redux. I couldn't give it a fair shake since I was totally bummed out for losing the old-time brasserie.

                1. re: porker

                  I haven't been in a bunch of months. So things might have changed, but as I never knew it in its previous incarnation, I can't hold the change against it.

                  Overall it seemed like a nice enough, upscale neighborhood bar, with an emphasis on cocktails. I'm not certain I would consider it a destination bar. But convenient watering hole when in Saint Henri.

              2. Thanks for the feedback! Le P'tit Plateau looks great (BYOW!) - will check out the brewpub & bar info. Are there any worthy pizzerias in Montreal? Also looking for some lunch options...

                12 Replies
                1. re: txgoddess

                  BYOs are pretty common here, there are excellent offerings in almost every genre.

                  Someone upthread mentioned Lawrence, very good for lunch. A more staid menu but classic ambiance is l'Express. For lunch I prefer more downscale treats which Montreal does just as well: wood-grilled chicken (Romados), smoked meat sandwiches (schwartz's deli, world famous institution), or a big fat greasy poutine (la banquise).

                  Pizzeria Napoli is fairly authentic, which is the style I prefer.

                  Other options for dinner: Chao Phraya has good thai, Mysore for Indian.

                  1. re: 1point8turbo

                    Galangal is excellent Thai as well (on Lajoie in Outremont). Check on hours though, I am not sure it is open Sunday or Monday.

                  2. re: txgoddess

                    For pizza, I have 2 suggestions:

                    Bottega for more traditional "Neapolitan" type pizza.
                    Magpie for a little less traditional pizza in a more "hipster" surroundings.

                    1. re: Maximilien

                      Bottega is not Neopoletana at all; it's just plain bad.

                      1. re: OliverB

                        I like it.

                        Pizza was always good as was the service.

                        1. re: Maximilien

                          I like it too! I love the eggplant salad, especially combined with the meatballs and arugula salad. They also make a delicious calzone(folded pizza) with prosciutto and arugula.

                          1. re: DowntownJosie

                            I've only ever had their takeaway pizza margherita and on 3 different occasions (spanning approx 3 years each) it's proved a terrible, soggy, undercooked disaster. There's no way that this place is certified "vera" neopoletana. I'm not even weighing it in against great pizza places... just in terms of what's available and decent in Montreal. A visiting friend from Brooklyn who was craving some comfort food agreed that it was probably one of the worst pies he'd ever tasted. To give you an idea, I genuinely like Magpies - although I don't think it's such great shakes compared with your average pizza in just about any other city. Bottega has in my experience, been absolutely awful every single time I've done a pick up. I live in a fantastic pizza city now (San Francisco's offerings easily rivals NYC) and I would still rather pick up a $3 slice from the Whole Foods counter up my street than eat at Bottega, and I sincerely mean that!

                            I have never tried any of their other menu items so I can only comment and offer my opinion on the pizza. I don't understand how they've managed to garner the reputation that they have. I think that Pizzeria Napoletana a few blocks away is infinitely better.

                            1. re: OliverB

                              Good for you, but almost no one would agree with you.

                              I love it too and have it regularly. But of course it's not the best pizza for take out with that thin crust. Don't even know why you would still try taking it to go after the first time.

                              1. re: OliverB

                                Oliver, did you ever have Bottega at the restaurant? I wouldn't do take out from Botegga of course it's going to get soggy.

                                Pizzeria Napoletana is really not good.

                                Bottega is definitely the best and yes Magpie right up there too.

                                1. re: JerkPork

                                  I have never dined at the restaurant though I really don't feel the need to do so, as it was more than just the soggy, limp pie. I wasn't impressed with the sauce and I found the dough was undercooked on every order. I no longer have to worry about pizza in Montreal as it's not what I would go for when I return home. I agree that Napoletana is not that great (also not Naples style despite the name) but I do prefer it to Botegga, which I really do not enjoy at all. If I had to eat at any pizzeria in the city, it'd surely be at Magpie's.

                      2. re: txgoddess

                        The legend has always been that Montreal does not make a decent pizza. There are a few exceptions..
                        Check out this list, though I can't endorse all of them:

                        1. re: txgoddess

                          My 2c on pizza would be Amelios, #14 on Fintastic's list.
                          Its BYOB, not high end (its not 2for1 either).
                          It may not be a destination pizza place for out-of-towners (although such a place might not exist), but it can fit the bill for two couples shooting the breeze over vino and good pizza.
                          No reservations, shortish line-ups for weekend dinners (I don't know about mid-week wait times).