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Jul 16, 2014 10:00 AM

Montreal Specifics

New Yorker planning my first trip to Montreal next week. I've read through many of the threads here and have a running list of your recommendations but need help tailoring my experience. We'll be around Plateau, Mile End, Petite Italie and perhaps Saint-Henri and Ho-Ma.
1) Casual Middle Eastern – I know Saint-Laurent has good boucheries and bakeries, but are there other neighborhoods or specific restaurants worth visiting for Syrian or Lebanese? I know there is also North African in Plateau and will try to visit La Khaima. Is shish taouk in MTL really that good? (FWIW I grew up on Middle Eastern and cook it at home)

2) 5@7 - Are there any good spots I should check out on Thursday or Friday near Plateau or worth traveling for to be near young nightlife or restaurants? Suwu, Baldwin Barmacie, Le Lab and Baracca caught my eye and though we love our cocktails in New York if Montreal is more of a beer town, I’d love recommendations for good Quebec beers.

3) Brunch - Brunch is a big, boozy tradition in New York. Is it the same in Montreal? Any good spots to check out near Notre Dame Basilica? Or just some place with great Caesars?

4) Quebecois food - I know of La Binerie Mont-Royal. Are there any better options? I'm also looking for cretons to bring back home if there is a shop or brand I should be looking for.

5) Jean Talon & Atwater – Do the vendors rotate depending on day or can I expect the market to be the same regardless if I go on a Friday afternoon or a Sunday morning?

6) Nice lunch - I have Le Quartier Général or État-Major down depending on whether we stay in Plateau or Ho-Ma. Are there other restaurants we ought to consider around this price point?

7) Nice dinner – I’m traveling with adventurous diners, but Joe Beef/Au Pied de Cochon may be out of their league. We’re looking a nice Sunday supper under $40pp + tax + tip. We are open to cuisine, but BYO would be a nice perk.

8) Picnics – If we want to picnic on Mont-Royal, do we have to sit at a picnic table in order to open our wine? NY doesn’t really have picnic tables in our parks and we’re not allowed to open wine in public either way.

Thank you all in advance.

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  1. 5) Jean Talon & Atwater – Do the vendors rotate depending on day or can I expect the market to be the same regardless if I go on a Friday afternoon or a Sunday morning?

    No rotation, if anything there may be a couple of vendors missing Friday afternoon. Keep in mind this is not a true Farmer's Market, it's great and I do my weekly shopping there but not all vendors are direct from their farms. Definitely go sample the cheese guy (Buckland Cheese) who was on Bourdain's Layover a couple of years ago.

    8) Picnics – If we want to picnic on Mont-Royal, do we have to sit at a picnic table in order to open our wine? NY doesn’t really have picnic tables in our parks and we’re not allowed to open wine in public either way.

    No, sit on the grass and have your wine as long as you don't get hammered cops won't bother you.

    9 Replies
    1. re: JerkPork

      technically, you need to eat to be allowed to drink at a park but cops are usually lenient on that

      1. re: twinkie83

        Yah, sorry I should have been more clear. I assumed since OP mentioned picnic he was going to be eating.

        1. re: JerkPork

          gotcha! i should have read better

        2. re: twinkie83

          We're stopping by Trip de Bouffe before we head to Mont-Royal so we'll have food. NYC does not have many options for sfiha, sambousek or manakish so I'm actually rather looking forward to this place.

          1. re: JungMann

            Yes! Was going to recommend Trip de Bouffe. Great idea for a picnic.

            1. re: JungMann

              Bienvenue à Montréal, JungMann!

              Are you staying downtown (business district) or in Mile-End - Pleateau?

              Trip de bouffe's pitas are also excellent. A great picnic source. By the way, are you driving here or flying? (Alas, rail is very slow). If you are driving you might want to bring a couple of bottles of wine, as it is more expensive here. For good wines, there is a government monopoly (like in Pennsylvania, I believe?) Some outlets are much better than others. In the area where you will be, Beaubien-St-André near Little Italy (there is a shop right in Little Italy with some good wines, but a limited selection, as it is small); border of Mile-End and Outremont, Laurier just west of Avenue du Parc.

              At Jean-Talon Market, there is also le Marché des Saveurs: which sells only Québec products, including many cheeses and other treats. They also have local wines, ciders and beers. Personally, I don't think Qc wines are worth their price yet (it will take a bit more global warming; they are much better than they were a couple of decades ago) but the ciders and beers are interesting.

              I've never had any problems picnicking on Mont-Royal on the grass. We bring a tablecloth so it looks "picnicky". There can always be an annoying cop, but in general, the by-law is there to deal with itinerants and rowdy (very) young crowds. Remember that our legal age is 18.

              1. re: lagatta

                Merci, lagatta. It looks like I'm either staying in Ho-Ma or near Promenade Masson. We're trying to make the decision now if you have any opinions on the areas.

                I will certainly take your advice and visit le Marchée des Saveurs. Are QC ciders dry like the French and Spanish varieties or do they tend to the sweet side like US/British cider?

                I knew the SAQ had a monopoly on alcohol sales, but I assumed we could get wine or at least beer at the dépanneur to bring to the park. So long as we can still get decent wine in the $15-20 range, I'm not too worried.

                1. re: JungMann

                  Skip the grocery store wine. It's bulk-shipped, non-vintage, of indeterminate grape variety. Some may be drinkable but it's a roll of the dice. In the $15-20 range the SAQ is better, hands down. The small store at Jean-Talon Market has an excellent selection for its size.

                  Most ciders are on the sweet side, but there are dry ones out there. I would ask the folks at Marché des Saveurs for guidance.

                  1. re: Mr F

                    There is also a sale on some wines at the SAQ through next week. A wine adviser I trust heartily suggested that I buy a bottle or two of a white wine from southwestern France called Les Vignes retrouvées Saint Mont, which has $2 off during the sale, and I also had coupons for another $1.50 reduction. I agreed and found it very good.

                    Yes, there are some decent grocery store wines, but for the same amount of money, you are better off at the SAQ. If you are staying near Promenade Masson (in old Rosemont) there is also a decent SAQ in that neighbourhood. It is in the same borough as Little Italy, so probably closer to your other locations than Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is, though of course there are other factors in choosing a rental or b+b.

                    There are some "dépanneurs" that actually specialize in beers (and ciders) and have a very good selection of those, mostly local products.

        3. 1) Casual Middle Eastern:
          Le Petit Alep (with one of the best wine list in Montréal)
          Kaza Maza

          2) 5@7;
          If wanting beer: Dieu du Ciel (need to get there early for outside seating)
          For cocktails (I see more and more restaurants doing cocktails now, so you might have to order some food): Hotel Herman, L’Assommoir, la Distillerie, SAT's FoodLab (do they have cocktails?)

          3) Brunch:
          Communion, Le Gros Jambon, Olive&Gourmando, Titanic (week days only)

          4) Québécois food:

          5) The Markets:
          The vendors are the same, with some exceptions that some of them _might_ be only there on the weekend; Sunday morning is a good time to go (before 11am)

          6) Nice lunch: (I don't usually do lunch)
          BTW état major is only open for the evening
          Le Valois in HoMa is nice.

          7) Nice dinner:
          BYOB: Monsieur B
          (with tons of other suggestions, look at recent threads)

          8) Picnics: There are conflicting reports if you are allowed or not to have wine/alcohol in parcs;
          IMO, if you look and behave responsible and have food (other than a bag of chips) you should not have problems.

          1. Hi JungMann,
            I'd recommend Damas on Parc for Syrian food. It was my favourite meal on a trip last Labour Day Weekend. Trip report:
            I'd squeeze in a trip to Au Pied de Cochon or Joe Beef. Both restaurants offer foods that will appeal to adventurous and non-adventurous eaters. The seafood at APDC is fantastic during the summer. Portions are extremely generous. I'm not a huge fan of foie gras, and I've found lots of dishes to like at APDC which don't involve foie gras.

            12 Replies
            1. re: prima

              All three are good restaurants but exceed the OPs budget.

              1. re: kpaxonite

                You're probably right, but I still wanted to give my 2 cents to JungMann since I've often communicated with him on other Boards. I wasn't sure if he meant out of his friends' league in terms of adventure or in terms of price. Depending on how one orders, wouldn't it be possible to get a lower-priced main and dessert at APDC for $40 before tax and tip? Orders are so generous that one main and a shared dessert would be more than enough for me.
                Re: Damas
                While it wouldn't be difficult to spend more than $40/person before tax and tip at Damas, I think it would be possible to dine at Damas for $40/person before tax and tip, especially if dishes are ordered mezze-style. Even if an average meal at Damas might be more than $40/person before tax, I think it's worth mentioning, since JungMann and his friends might decide they're open to spending a little more than $40 for a good quality Syrian meal.

                1. re: prima

                  Yeah you are right, I guess that's true especially if they dont drink anything.

                  1. re: kpaxonite

                    :) I don't tend to drink much, so that does tend to keep many of my meals in Montreal closer to $40-$60/person.

                  2. re: prima

                    Prima, you do know how to tempt me. Damas is exactly the kind of place I would love to visit, but it is out of our price range. Do you have any other recommendations for good Syrian at a gentler price point?

                    The issue with Joe Beef and APDC is not simply the cost, but also, I don't think we will want to eat so indulgently at the end of our holiday. I thought about sharing small plates at Maison Publique, but nothing on the current menu really calls out to me.

                    1. re: JungMann

                      I haven't had an opportunity to try Le Petit Alep, but it's convenient to Jean Talon Market, and it's been recommended fairly frequently over the years.

                      I hear you about not wanting to eat so indulgently. Both APDC and Joe Beef are on the decadent and heavy side, that seems to go with that style of cuisine. There are plenty of contemporary bistros with a lighter hand, but the prices still tend to cost more than $40/person in my experience. I find L'Express to be good value for a bistro, but the food is very traditional French bistro food which you can find easily in NYC.

                      There are a few good upscale places that have a late night prix fixe deal (such as Cafe Ferreira and Lemeac), which might help stretch your budget, but the food and atmosphere at both places is on the slightly formal/conservative/traditional side, rather than being casual/contemporary/innovative like Joe Beef.
                      Hopefully some other Chowhounds can recommend more casual places with lighter, innovative food that is easier on the budget.

                      Most of the food is modern British. My friends loved the brunch. I found the brunch food quite good but a little rich/heavy for my taste (our group of 6 sampled shared all the mains). It is a popular place, with a mostly young crowd. Get there early to avoid a wait.

                      1. re: prima

                        Prima, thanks so much for the recommendations! A late night prix-fixe like Lemeac sounds perfect for our first night since I imagine we will be wandering our neighborhood and eating late. Do you know of any places closer to our new HQ in Plateau near rue St-Denis and avenue Laurier E?

                        1. re: JungMann

                          Leméac is due west of there. It isn't a terribly long walk, and much of it is interesting (a bit less between St-Laurent and St-Denis, though there is an attractive baroque church on St-Dominique between Laurier and St-Joseph, where an organic market is also held at the park in front of the church). You'll be walking slightly downhill in the Outremont stretch.

                          There are several restaurants near Laurier métro

                          Monsieur B, a byow bistro. La Petite Marche, Le micro-resto La Famille come to mind.

                          Although Montréal is much smaller than NYC, it is also a very walkable city; there are people walking and cycling day and evening (it isn't as 24/7 as NYC though).

                          I've found this tool, promenable. for nearby amenities and how long it should take to walk there. It is also in English; I did click on the English and while the language seemed a bit strange, it is comprehensible. I set it for métro Laurier.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            Hi JungMann,
                            I agree with lagatta that Leméac isn't a long walk from St. Denis & Laurier E. The stretch where Leméac is located on Laurier West is on the posh side (similar vibe to parts of the Upper East Side), compared to Laurier E closer to St Denis, which I would consider more eclectic and mixed.

                            Apart from L'Express, I haven't been to any other bistros in.near the Plateau in the past year. While I have liked the food at Laloux on previous visits, I haven't been since the most recent change in chefs (the current chef de cuisine is Jonathan Lapierre-Réhayem). While the regular dinner menu would end up costing more than $40/person, I noticed that Laloux does have a $20 2 appetizer and 1 dessert Menu Entracte after 5:30 pm at the Pop Bar part of the restaurant, . Maybe some Chowhounds who have visited recently and/or have tried the Pop Bar Menu Entracte can comment. Lunch is another way to enjoy somewhere like Laloux for a little less money. Even though Laloux is located closer to St Denis, it's further south, so it still would be a 15+ minute walk from Laurier E & St Denis.

                            I'm adding the links info/menus re:the places lagatta has mentioned near Laurier metro, as a reference (also so I might remember to check them out on a future visit).
                            Monsieur B

                            La Petite Marche

                            Micro Resto La Famille (closes at 7 pm weeknights, 4 pm on Sat, not open Sun or Mon, so only would work for an early dinner

                            While you're walking around the Plateau and nearby Mile End, if it's a nice day for an ice cream, be sure to check out Kem CoBa.

                            By the way, the name of the pastry shop in Jean Talon Market is Pâtisserie le Ryad. I realize now it's Moroccan, not Middle Eastern, but they certainly sell a nice, varied selection of sweets and pastries. Here are a couple pics from Flickr

                            1. re: prima

                              I seem to recall that park and street in front of the church on St. Dominique and Laurier is fenced off for 'reamanagement'. So I am not sure there is an organic market there this summer. Have no idea how long they will be working on it and what improvements they are making. Like many construction projects in Montreal, half the time there is no one working on it when I go by during the day (even before construction holiday)!

                              1. re: williej

                                The market is still going on; until the end of the work on Parc Lahaie, it is taking place in the small parking lot BEHIND the church.

                                Yes, it is strange; the park, while pretty and typical, was very run down, and the work will be an improvement, but I have no idea why it is taking so long.

                                I checked; the English version of this works too: Last summer, I went there a few times returning from meeting clients or seeing friends on the Plateau, and the produce was always appealing and reasonably priced for local and organic. They had herbs and salad that would be great for a visitor not "really" cooking, alongside som good takeaway or cold food items

                        2. re: JungMann

                          Kaza Maza (the little sister of Damas?) is a couple of walkable blocks down the street.

                          If you want small plates; maybe "Le Comptoir Charcuterie et vins" or Hotel Herman (a little more expensive or Pastaga.

                  3. I wrote this in a different thread, but realized it might be useful here as well. Apologies for the duplication.

                    For Quebecois Food
                    Binerie Mont Royal, 367 Mont Royal O (what you would call traditional)
                    Chez Ma Tante, 3180 Fleury E (possibly the oldest casse croute in town)
                    Les Jardins Sauvages, 17 Martin, St. Roch de l'Achigan (only uses Quebecois ingredients)
                    Le Renard, 330 Mont Royal E (only uses Quebecois ingredients, but slightly easier to get to)

                    Délires du terroir, 6406 Saint Hubert
                    Fous de la Gaspésie 1253 Beaubien E.
                    Les Iles en Ville 5335 Wellington
                    Boucherie Lawrence 5237 St Laurent
                    La Maison du Roti 1969 Mont Royal E

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: EaterBob

                      By the way to the OP, Ho-Ma is normally called Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to those who live there. If I was asked on the street for directions to Ho-Ma I wouldn't know what you are talking about.

                    2. Welcome to the Montreal board!


                      Shish Taouk is not necessarily famous in Montreal for its taste but for its prevalence. It is completely integrated in Montreal culture and is a definite destination for bar hoppers who has finished with their libations. 1 shish taouk, 1 garlic potato and 1 coke is a classic after party combination. It says something that its not even the right word for the dish (purists will tell you that its not a shish taouk but a chicken shawarma) but the dish spread so fast that commerces don't have the choice to name it shish taouk and follow the original mistake. Like hot dogs or hamburgers, however, quality will vary from place to place and everybody has their favorite for proximity reason or for a specific part (favorite sandwich, favorite garlic potatoes, ect..)

                      As for boucheries and bakeries, you might want to try Abu Elias. Its far but its authentic. Other interesting places would be Daou and Chez Alep/Le Petit Alep duo. You might want to take a peak in Adonis Market for interesting finds. Its a supermarket chain with a middle eastern bent that is proving pretty popular (they have a nice selection of speciality cheeses, olives, nuts and deserts)


                      2) I don't think we have the cocktail cred in Montreal to impress someone with PDT and Dutch Kills in his backyard. We have nice cocktail bars and the scene is still evolving but nothing that will knock your socks off.

                      I'd try somewhere you can order local beers or a wine bar. You have a few interesting selections here. My recommendation would be Dieu du Ciel or Vices & Versa for beer/hard local cider and Pullman for Wine.


                      3) Sunday brunch is a tradition but I don't think it is specially boozy. Restaurants try to push mimosas to get the bill to be a bit more expensive but its not engrained. For weekend breakfast in the old montreal (its not right beside the basilica but its in the same neighborhood) you can try Olive & Gourmando (watch opening hours), Le Gros Jambon (counter space only), Le Cartet (a favorite of mine on the weekends but somebody came in during the week and they weren't impressed, so a little warning there. Try to order the special plates on the weekend) and Holder (pretty classic but spacious and solid). If you are on the plateau, you might want to take a look at the Lawrence brunch because I think its the closest thing to what you are used to.


                      4)Here I'll cheat and repeat one of my previous answer on this issue:

                      "I guess the problem with "Quebecois" cuisine is that the current standard is currently evolving at a breakneck pace.

                      In the 80's, at our house (we were very very middle class) the cheeses we had were mainly mozzarella, cheddar, swiss, parmesan with "fancy" cheese being a french brie or camembert.

                      Now the same middle class family enjoy one-upping each other with locally sourced farmer's cheese for the cheese course and swear that it was always that way (it wasn't but I let them have their delusions). (I credit Daniel Pinard for that, although he's not in vogue anymore)­.

                      The same thing goes for the restaurants and the current cultural mix. With culture leaders still going strong and a lot of different cultural influences still being introduced the Quebecois food is still being defined and will probably be for the years to come. And that is without taking into account torchbearers like Hugues Dufour or Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly who are introducing a new picture of what "Quebec food" could be in foreign countries. Foreigners used to Picard-ish influences could bring us to define ourselves differently also.

                      Then again, an european friend of mine once told me that he was initially very surprised how comfortable we were in mixing different cuisines from different places in a given meal (sushi for starters, shish taouk for mains and a tarte au sucre for desert might be an example). I never thought of that that way.

                      That being said, there is a traditional "terroir" of Quebec cuisine. The one we serve at new year's eve. Not a lot of restaurant serve it however because most families has their version of it and do it once a year. La Binerie Mont-Royal is probably your best bet as it is very affordable and traditional."

                      5) There are 2 types of clientèles at Jean-Talon and Atwater: week and weekend. On the weekends there will be a lot more people, including older, richer gentlemen and ladies who like to take their time and smell tomatoes so there might be a bit more stalls but the experience where choice is concerned should roughly be the same.

                      6)There is a lot more choice on the Plateau than at Ho-Ma. Right off the top of my head for lunch (I'll be missing a ton still):

                      *Aux Vivres for vegetarian
                      *La Banquise for poutine
                      *Poule Mouillée for grilled chicken and go in the park nearby
                      *Romados for more grilled chicken
                      *Comptoir 21 for fish and chips
                      *Le nouveau palais for hipster greasy spoon/ comfort food
                      *Santropol for hipster sandwiches
                      *Chien fumant for great for great chalkboard bistro food
                      *L'express for that french flair
                      *Lola Rosa for vegetarian food that doesn't make you feel like a vegetarian (you don't really notice!



                      For Ho-Ma...

                      *Le Valois is pretty well known but its hit of miss for me. I enjoyed their breakfast/brunch but wasn't impressed with dinner. Its the neighborhood's "highest end" though.
                      *I love Jardin Tiki because I live 80's kitch tiki chinese buffet with red gloopy sauce but I won't send tourists there. The tiki cocktails are cheap there so you can try to get drunk to forget the taste of MSG flooding your mouth.
                      *The locals go to Gerry's. Its not that good. Typical diner food.
                      *Stay away from Les Princesses. Flee. Nudity and breakfast do not mix well. Also, I can't imagine the type of people who choose to eat there. Can you? You don't want to know.
                      *I used to like to eat at le sommet for breakfast. Enjoyed their smoked meat pizza too. I also used to be stuck in that neighborhood and I left as soon as I could. An option if you are desperate. I suggest to go downtown.


                      7) IMO Joe Beef and Au Pied de Cochon has options for non adventurous eaters. They have fish and seafood (esp in the summer) and more standard cuts for those less adventurous of us.

                      For the other options, it depends on your preferences:

                      *Toqué/Club Chasse & Pêche and Europea are nice but more expensive than $40pp
                      *Bouillon Bilk is an interesting choice for interesting higher end options
                      *O'Thym for ok french but BYOB!
                      *Lawrence is a great alternative in the plateau
                      *Lemeac for classic french
                      *Le Filet for fish and seafood


                      8) Sorry, I don't have a ton of experience on that subject. I, uh... never been arrested?

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: CaptCrunch

                        Thanks for the detailed response!

                        I shop at the Middle Eastern grocers in New York so I'm not sure Adonis is on the radar unless their bakery is very good. I have a weak spot for good ma'amoul.

                        With respect to the cocktail scene, I am not so much looking to be blown away as I am in search of a place that attracts a broadly local crowd. A Montrealer recommended Big in Japan and Barraca where I might find myself in a mostly hipster crowd, but it will still be a Montrealais experience because they'll expect me to speak French.

                        On Quebecois food, I realize it is a rapidly evolving cuisine, but we are only beginning to discover the classics in New York. I fell in love with my first tourtière. I am craving cretons. The soupe aux pois, well that I'm not craving as much this summer, but I'll try some if it's good! I guess La Binerie it is.

                        I am not staying in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve anymore, but I have to ask, what is nude breakfast? I'd do a web search, but I'm at a work computer and I'm afraid what would come up...

                        1. re: JungMann

                          There's a middle eastern pastry shop with great ma'amoul, baklava, loukoum, etc in Jean Talon Market.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            Well, you had a detailed set of questions so I had to try follow suit!

                            For Adonis, if you are satisfied with your New York offering skipping it would not be a problem. Its an interesting concept of a store but not a crucial one. The best I can do to explain it is if Whole Food decided to change their "healthy" bend to a middle eastern/international one.

                            I tend to know a bit less about Baracca but I agree about Big in Japan Bar (be careful, Big in Japan is an ordinary restaurant. Big in Japan Bar is a great hidden little speakeasy like bar that plays a mix of crooners, vieille chanson francaise ànd Bossa Nova). If you are looking at spots and crowds a bit more than products I might add l'Ile Noire (an established pub that specialise in scotch in the Quartier Latin) as its a nice central pub that is having a resurgence and Sainte-Elizabeth for its magnificent beergarden to my list.


                            The classics are hard to get now as every family will have their own heirloom recipes and will mostly cook it during christmas/new year's eve and eat it in sugar shacks. Au pied de cochon will do really exceptional modernised versions of the classic (their soupe aux pois and tourtière are exceptional and their pudding chomeur is really the ultimate variation of the dish) but you'll find the dishes less and less at the restaurant and more often re-interpreted in their sugar shack restaurant. Be careful to ask for the special at the Binerie. If you find the tourtière a bit dry, you can add ketchup (its what we do!


                            Nude breakfast is exactly what it sounds like. A girl bringing you bacon and eggs in a G string. Its a theoretical concept for me as I've never been there. I honestly don't know who goes there since most of these places look like dives from the outside. The usual reaction is amusement at hearing that such a thing exist, wonder at who goes there followed by a bit of sadness at the patheticness of it all.

                            1. re: CaptCrunch

                              There was a report on the nude breakfast place a while back, and it mostly sounded sad and far from the "classiest" strip joints.

                              I've been to Petit Alep many times, but not this year (just didn't happen to go). It is a more casual place where one can order anything from a sandwich or small salad to a daily special or a more elaborate meal, as it shares a kitchen with the fanier Restaurant Alep next door. Due to the type of cuisine, it is friendly for vegetarians and hardcore meateaters. As was said before, there is a good wine list, fairly reasonably priced by local standards, It is just across from Jean-Talon Market, so if you are parked at the market, you don't have to look for another spot (because of the market, many streets have resident parking vignettes).
                              You can get good frozen tourtières at le Marché des Saveurs at the market, if you have a way of getting those back home (or just want to let it thaw slowly in an isothermic bag, and have it once back in NYC). They usually have a caribou tourtière, or a venison tourtière, and there is also a vegetarian tourte with mushrooms.

                              Le Filet would also be a lighter alternative to APDC.

                            2. re: JungMann

                              You've really done your homework. I won't try to catch up on the other points, but just #2. Montreal is definitely more of a beer town than a cocktail town. However, it's also more of a wine town than it is a beer town, so let that guide you.
                              BIJ-Bar (not restaurant) and Barraca are both viable options, though I think the hipsteriest hipsters have long ago moved on to greener pastures, so to speak. At the moment the most interesting cocktails are coming out of a few new restaurants (Manitoba, Tripes & Caviar, Mais, off the top of my head), and a couple of bars (La Mal Necessaire, The Emerald aka 5295 Parc).
                              The best wine bars continue to be Hotel Herman and Vin Papillon, but both require you to order food (which is exceptionally good itself).
                              In fact, Vin Papillon, Herman, and Manitoba might be good bets for your #7 request. Prices are in your range, give-or-take, and while they may not offer truly Quebecois cuisine they do have what I'd consider new-nouveau-Quebecois dishes.

                              1. re: Fintastic

                                Funny you mention Le Mal Necessaire. I was scouting the premises last week (along with Bar B1).

                                I'll get around it eventually. However, I find 20$ for the pineapple and coconut drinks at LMN a bit expensive to me (when you think that its about 8$ at Jardin Tiki). Ok, there is probably a ton more booze in the LMN version but still its expensive for essentially a flashy fruit glass. I'm a bit bummed they don't try to revisit Tiki classics like the Pina Colada, Daiquiri, Hurricane, Mohito, Zombie or Mai Tai. If only to put their seal on it...

                                1. re: CaptCrunch

                                  While I'll always have a soft spot for Jardin Tiki, I might not use it as an example of what one wants in a cocktail.

                                  $20 is an obscene price for a drink, but the man has designed a tasty beverage.

                                  1. re: Fintastic

                                    Pamika Brasserie Thai, on Sherbrooke E also is serving Tiki drinks.

                                    1. re: EaterBob

                                      Thank you! I've been meaning to go there. Here is another reason!!!

                                    2. re: Fintastic

                                      indeed. both may be in pineapples but they are definitely not the same kind of cocktail. there seems to be more thought and care in le mal necessaire than tiki

                                      1. re: Fintastic

                                        I had a special night where I ordered all the cocktails on Jardin Tiki's menu (it was my birthday... yeah... I celebrated my birthday by getting smashed in Jardin Tiki. Even brought vintage hawaillan shirts bough at rokokonut! ) and they weren't that bad. I missed the fact that they had no proper volcanoes but aside from the mint horror who tasted like listerine (and you could argue green crème de menthe drinks are vintage too so you can't even disparage that last element) they were interesting, varied and inexpensive. Favorite were the Bolo (the pineapple thing) and the Aku Aku (the one who came in a fake coconut).

                                        The main critic I might assign Jardin Tiki's cocktail is that they weren't that strong. There is no way I could order a whole menu of cocktail at the original Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic and not be completely smashed. I made a few original cocktails at home for friends according to what I could source as being the original recipes and one thing in common was that they were all punch in the gut strong (the original hurricane has 4 ounces of rhum!). At one point when doing the prep me and my friends had to stop drinking Daiquiris because they tasted like juice and were basically 2 oz of rhum with 1/2 of fresh lime juice and 3/4 simple sirup.

                                        As for LMN, I'll go there eventually. Its just a shame that the proper tiki drinks are overpriced and low in number. I'm not the type of guy being influenced by the fact that Jardin Tiki is a cheap chinese buffet and LMN is a hot new hip bar manned by a well known barman. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding!