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Restaurant Closings in 2012

Sad in a way. In their previous incarnation, Le Jolifou was one of the better fine dining restaurants in Montreal, with a real warmth and a unique positioning of offering Quebecois food with a Mexican twist. But when they switched to their "southwestern" theme a couple of years back everything seemed to unravel. The fine service touch went down an excessively informal path, the food preparation did not really distinguish itself that much from the all the other tex-like dining establishments that have sprung up in Montreal over the last two to three years, and the ambiance became relatively uninviting. If ever the expression "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" could be applied to a restaurant environment that seemed to be going well this could be a case study.

Oct 02, 2012
bengol in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant Closings in 2012

Wow! Truly one of the best 10 -15 restaurants in Montreal. Easily the biggest restaurant closing of 2012 so far!

May 31, 2012
bengol in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Toque' or Better

I live 7 months/year in the Bay Area and 4-5 months/year in Montreal. The bottom line is this: when it comes to food ingredients it's hard to beat the Bay Area, although access to seafood and the riches of Charlevoix keep Montreal's better restaurants well provided. There are also more Michelin one star-like restaurants in the 6.5 million Bay Area than in the 3.5 million Montreal area, and SF has more money and wealth to spend on fine restaurants. Having said all that, for foodies Montreal is a more interesting place than SF, in my opinion. The advice you've been getting from most of the Chowhound posters is pretty accurate. While SF bistros like Fringale (especially in its heyday) can be quite good, they pale by comparison with what Montreal has to offer. APDC is one of the most unique restaurants in North America. You may also want to try Cafe Ferreira, the top Portugese restaurant in Montreal. It's not Michelin, but very, very good, and we really don't have Portugese in SF. Le Club Chasse et Peche would probably get one star - it's a better version of the overrated Boulevard. Two new ones with a lot of buzz here are Les 400 Coups and La Porte, both of which I'll be trying this season. But the key to Montreal, as everyone keeps saying, isn't the Michelin angle, but rather the literally dozens of outstanding bistros and upscale/re-invented comfort food establishments, most of them relatively informal, yet often delivering presentations that would compete favorably with a lot of the SF Michelin restaurants. Overall, Montreal's dining scene is both more exciting AND more innovative than the SF scene, which has a hard time with anything more innovative than the latest fusion-like incarnation of anything. BTW, I couldn't help chuckling when you made the point about how SF really doesn't have much in the way of great Chinese restaurants (not counting Yank Sing, which you alluded to)...(One could have said the same thing about Mexican, but let's not air the dirty laundry...LOL!)

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La Porte Restaurant
3627 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2X2V5, CA

May 28, 2011
bengol in Quebec (inc. Montreal)