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last 5 meals in Montreal

haven't left yet and i'm already out of the loop haha

i also forgot to add Tapeo to my little list there

Apr 18, 2014
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

last 5 meals in Montreal

Along that note, here’s a few of my favourite (and a few not so favourite) restaurants in the city, been meaning to post something like this, hopefully of use to someone

High end:
Maison Boulud- the food isn’t as original or local as Toque and they don’t try and wow you with little extras like Europea, but I’ve never been disappointed with anything here either, and the atmosphere + service is probably the best in Montreal if you were looking for a high-end meal.

Toque, very skilled cooking highlighting local products, atmosphere seemed a bit dated last time I was here

Europea, I think the food here actually improved a bit from the first time I went here to more recently, still I find the whole experience a bit over the top for the level of cooking they produce

La Porte, haven’t been in a few years, but was a nice intimate restaurant with very good Breton cooking, very romantic
XO, did not enjoy our meal there
La Chronique, an Outremont staple, food doesn’t really wow
Overall I think this is probably Montreal’s weakest category as a world class food city

Contemporary
Le Filet, great upscale spot, small portions to share, have yet to be disappointed
Hotel Herman, elegantly casual, with very competent cooking (much prefer it to their other reso)
Lawrence, homey atmosphere, very honest cooking
Bouillon Bilk, kitchen here produces stuff well above its pay-grade
Mezcla, Latin-French fusion, very unique, great tasting menu, very cute room
Pastaga, fun wine list, very solid cooking
Tuck Shop, neighbourhood gem type place, tough to get a reservation though
H4C - imaginative dishes, nice room, one of the best new restaurants in the city
400 cent coups, haven’t been since they changed chefs but this place used to be great (the old pastry chef’s new place is also great!)
Au Pied du cochon, loved it when I went 5 years ago, last time had a not so great experience, a few friends said the same, perhaps its fallen off a bit
Joe Beef, I think I’m in the “not sure what all the hype is about” camp for this place, over the few times I’ve been there, had 1 or 2 very good dishes, one terrible, and mostly above average stuff. Certainly is a bit different, and very rich so probably worth visiting to see for yourself. The wine markup is borderline insulting
Liverpool House, a somewhat more subdued version of Joe Beef, but similar atmosphere and style
Le Club chasse et peche, really enjoyed first meal there several years ago, last 2 times were both disappointments
Garde Manger, over-hyped
Le chien fumant, fun overindulgence, not exactly a destination restaurant by any means though
Maison Publique, only been once, nice vibe, food didn’t really blow me away

Bistro
L’express - went for an impromptu late dinner here on first date with my wife, so will always have a bit of nostalgia, as I’m sure it does for many others, reasonable wine list also

Laloux, great spot, chefs constantly chaning so not sure
Bistro Cocagne, always was dead, but solid food

Lemeac, still enjoy going here for brunch once and a while, I don’t think dinner is anything special these days
Au cinqueme peche, hasn’t really been the same to me since they moved from the original location
Chez Leveque – another old classic, not really anything special from my limited experience
Chez chose – friendly owner, good food
Brassiere T – I’d probably go for one of the classics over this place, nothing really wrong here either though

Italian
Impasto - new favourite Italian in Montreal
Graziella – upscale Italian, was a bit disapointed last time but otherwise a very nice resto
Da emma – wasn’t too impressed
BICE, Il cortile – food is ok, both terraces are great
Primo et Secondo – good humble Italian cooking, not quite at the level of Impasto imho
Le Serpent- bustling place, great modern décor, food was good but not great

Greek/Other Regional
Damas- love this place, watch out for the huge portions though
Su- nice meal, not quite as good as Damas, and a bit out of the way for me
Tasso- nice Greek restaurant on St Denis, my favourite patio in the city, great for a hot summer night
Milos - excellent seafood, atmosphere is a bit over the top Greek but it’s a nice spot nevertheless
Phillinos – had a great meal/time the one time I went there, many friends recommend it
Park - my favourite Asian restaurant in Montreal

BYOW
l'quartier general – by far my favourite bring your own wine in Montreal, to the point that I’ve really stopped going to any of the others (ie La columbe, Petit platuean, Monsieur B)

Apr 18, 2014
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

last 5 meals in Montreal

After 5 years in Montreal, I'm moving west (Vancouver). I have dined quite well in this city during that time. Started here with the Caswell recommendations and then never stopped :)

So if you were in similar shoes, what would be your last 5 restaurant diners in Montreal?(not counting smoked meat, sugar shacks, bagels, Portuguese chicken,etc which I will also hit up of course)

Apr 17, 2014
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Lunch at Le Bristol and other suggestions

Well I made the reservation for Le Bristol... hopeuflly their ingredients have improved!

Sunday suits our schedule better anyway, and I always like trying new places. Really enjoyed Gagnaire though, hopefully we can return some day. I'd say of the places we've been I'd rank them in order Arpege, Gagnaire, Cinq, Plaza Athena, Meurice (whatever 1 visit is worth)

We are also going to try Saturne, Frenchie, and Chateaubriand this time. PIcked the latter over L'ami jean as its much closer to our hotel and wanted more contemporary dinning as we will have rich, classic cooking in the south west. So we will cover a lot of the heavy hitters on this forum that I've read so much about. I'll be sure to report back

Apr 09, 2014
tdiddy23 in France

Lunch at Le Bristol and other suggestions

My partner and I are going to be in Paris for 3 days (Saturday-Tuesday AM) before heading on a trip to the South West. We have tried a number of higher end restaurants in Paris (Le Meurice, Pierre Gagnaire, Plaza Athena, Arpege, Le Cinq) and a few more chic/casual places (Septime, Agape Substance, Akreme). We have gained alot of info from purusing this forum yet again, so thanks to all the regulars!

We are planning on a more casual focus this time, but would like to do one nice lunch. We could do Ledoyen or Arpege on Monday at lunch (I think) or Bristol at anytime. I can't seem to find anyone reporting on their lunch experience at Le Bristol? It is #1 on tripadvisor whatever that is worth. We won't be back in Paris for a few years probably (moving to the west coast shortly after) so a palace experience would be a nice memory. I've also heard good things about the food at Ledoyen, but not so good things about the service. I've already been to Arpege, and loved it, my partner wasn't with me. She really enjoys the whole vegi centric idea. However, I've read so many things about the inconsistencies there, part of me just wants to leave it with a good memory and not risk an off experience...

so to sum it up; lunch at Bristol, Ledoyen or return to Arpege?

Apr 07, 2014
tdiddy23 in France

Restaurant Closings in 2013

I'm pretty sure we don't "all pay taxes" this is Quebec after all haha

Is the economy really expected to be that bad this year?
I agree That it is not about the rent. There is such a large number of restaurants in Montreal, I think the only solution to be successful is to stand out somehow...

Feb 03, 2014
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant Closings in 2013

when i was there a few days ago, I asked what happened. the server told me they had "kicked out their pastry chef"

the eclair i had was slightly soggy (but still better than most)... hopefully its not a sign of things to come

the other items looked exactly the same as before

Jul 28, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

joe beef wine prices discussed in globe and mail

I was reading this article the other day

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

Owner acknowledges Joe Beef's steeper mark-up on low priced wines:
"if the customer is drinking $35 wine I might even go to three times the retail price, or 3.2 times. I will not reward you for being thrifty at Joe Beef"

Also mentions that he will often discount higher priced wines, and this can be negotiated

Was wondering what others thoughts on this was?

May 19, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Top 50 restaurants in the world.

its an over hyped PR stunt for sure. I guess I'm a sucker for looking at it every year!

seriously though, some of the 'judges' are chef's ranked on the list. Tourists boards from Scandinavia paid judges to travel their country and eat at the restaurants. they don't even make sure people are actually going to the restaurants they rank (ie attach the bill), because they are a "small operation" (who manage to publish a magazine, live stream on a elaborate website with major industry sponsors). This is of course on top of the inherent bias of the whole idea. Well at least it should be easier to get a reservation at NOMA now haha

Apr 30, 2013
tdiddy23 in Food Media & News

Help! Two Dinners in Montreal – What’s the Best?

I would reiterate the comments from cherylmtl and fintastic. Montreal does not do fine dining well, at least compared to others, and certainly not compared to Alinia, or even a more modest Michelar star in Chicago like Blackbird.

From your list, I would remove Le P'tit Plateau, Tapeo, Monsieur B, and Dominion Square, without hesitation.

My 2-3 meal picks would be:
- 1 of Joe Beef/APDC, both pretty heavy, gluttonous meals but very "Montreal" (skip if you are against gluttony, foie gras etc)
-400 Coups
-Either Bouillon Bilk or Le Filet or Hotel Herman (same people as La salle a manger but I like it better)

Apr 16, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

last minute trip to DC, thoughts

Got back yesterday, hada great time. We ended up keeping our reservations at vidalia and ethiopic. the game was earlier than i originally thought so I was able to move up the reserveration. Vidalia was an interesting meal, great corn bread, had some of their staple items (sweetbreads & waffles, shrimp and grits) that were quite tasty.
Ethiopic was a notch above the ethiopian food you can get in Montreal, really nice flavours; service could have been better (usually the service we get in US is much better than here in Canada) but they were nice. Maybe next time will have a bigger budget for some of the high end restaurants I read about, sounds like DC is emerging as a restaurant destination

Apr 03, 2013
tdiddy23 in Washington DC & Baltimore

last minute trip to DC, thoughts

Hi,

Just took advantage of a great seat sale and decided to come down from Montreal to Washington DC for the easter weekend. My wife and I will be heading to the east regional game Saturday night (Verizon Center), and Wizards game Sunday (seems like they are practically giving the seats away on Stubhub for this one, not so much NCAA haha) and are staying downtown. I did some quick looking around and booked a dinner at Vidalia on Saturday night and Ethiopic on Sunday. We are looking for things we wouldn't typically get back home, without breaking the budget. Also considered sitting at the bar at Rasika, is this feasable at say 9:30-10 on Saturday, a better option?

Vidalia is pretty close to our hotel so that would be convenient, but if there are more interesting, lively places for a couple in their early 30s to be on a Saturday night without dealing with lines etc I'd be open to suggestions

THanks a lot!

Mar 28, 2013
tdiddy23 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Rural Quebec Dining

So I recently came back from an impromptu late season cross country ski trip at Mont Tremblant. We had dinner Saturday night at SEB in St Jovite and had a great time. We had the squab and bison as mains, well prepared with spring vegetables and a demi-glace sauce. Nothing mind blowing in terms of flavours/combinations but a perfect meal for a night in the country after a hard day of skiing.

Driving home, I started thinking about other rural QC dining experiences, and since it doesn't seem to be talked about here thought I'd post mine. Hopefully others can add to it (I haven't included sugar shacks which are a bit of a different experience)

Exceeded Expectations, great meal:
Manoir Hovey (eastern townships)
La Pinsonnière (Charlevoix)
Le Charlevoix -Fairmont Manoir Richelieu (Charlevoix)
SEB (Laurentians)

Good Meal, would recommend:
Auberge des Peupliers (Charlevoix)
Mouton Noir (Charlevoix)
Le Cheval de jade (Laurentians)

Disappointed:
Les Zebres (Laurentians): not really a bad meal, but felt it was over-hyped, and was a fair bit out of the way for us
Cafe Massawippi (eastern townships)
pretty much every restaurant we went to in the Gaspe

Mar 25, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

En Route Magazine Best New Restaurant odds

So i tried a few more of the new places, I think this might be a good year for montreal on the list

Hotel herman was great, nice space, good food, good wine list, since its already been written up in the globe and mail, I'd say this place is close to a lock for the list. -500

Mezcla was also seriously good, and the latin flare really makes it stand out in montreal, its a bit off the beaten path but I think it has a chance +600

Project 67 was good, didn't really jump out at me, thought the menu was kinda gimicky, nothing really wrong with the place either though. +1200

Cafe Sardin: loved it! great food, well sourced local ingredients, nice small plates, friendly people, best cocktails I've had in Montreal, interesting wine list. Place really screams Mile End vibe and delivers. Not sure if they'll make the list but I'll be cheering for them... and returning +300

Mar 16, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Chocolate shops

there is le maitre chocolatier as well, their afternoon tea is unimpressive but chocolates are well done, i also really like chocobel

to be honest I find most of the chocolate shops are a bit overpriced (if i remember chocobel was a bit cheaper)... much lower quality:price than in paris, but I guess thats what competition does

Jan 23, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Toronto foodie needs help in narrowing down choices - visiting Montreal

alright, to each their own :) you won't have a bad time at garde to be honest

sorry i didn't make myself clear, if its just a question remaining about CCep vs APdC, chose APdC. I am not typically a fan of gluttony, and really didn't like his sugar shack, but at APdC you can walk the line between overt gluttony and a unique, Quebecoise restaurant experience.

Jan 22, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Toronto foodie needs help in narrowing down choices - visiting Montreal

I would second the recomendation to take out Garde manger. I think club chasse et peche is past its prime, and overpriced. Instead I would recommmend their newer restaurant, le filet (also closer to where you are staying). Other options would be bouillon bilk, la porte,or hotel herman (hot newish place, just tried it last weekend)

lawrence is good for brunch, but its a bit too popular, often lineups. if your not interested in waiting in line (esp in the cold!) consider chien fumant, le comptoir, or pastaga

Jan 22, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

En Route Magazine Best New Restaurant odds

I would say Maison publique is more like +100. I don't think it deserves to be on the list, but might make it anyway because its such an easy write up. Went there last weekend and was a little disapointed with the food, nice atmosphere and people though

park +800, it is a good sushi option in montreal (actually probably the best I've had in Montreal), but I think this is more reflective overall poor sushi here rather than some new, creative resto that deserves to be on the national spotlight

really want to try mezcla and hotel herman soon

Jan 15, 2013
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Choco in Cordoba

Obviously a little late, but just went to choco and was quite impresseD. it was raining so we didn't feel like tapas hoping. Its only a $5 taxi from the historical area. Creative take on regional cooking, excellent service

Oct 29, 2012
tdiddy23 in Spain/Portugal

400 Coups or Le Club Chasse et Peche

I've been to both a few times, and both recently this summer

CCEP is really nice at lunch on the terrace, but I've been disappointed with my last two dinners there. 400 Coups on the other hand probably has one of the best kitchen's in montreal for french market cuisine, right now imho. So i would chose them without hesitation.

Sep 20, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

visiting sydney 1 month, which restaurants need very advanced booking

Hi,

I'm going to be in Sydney for 1 month in nov/dec.. I hadn't really thought much about reservations yet but happened to see quays website and noticed they are booked until Jan? Will give them a call, but in the meantime, are there any other can't miss restos that also need to be booked months in advance?

We are hoping for weekday dinners so we are free to travel on weekends. Will be staying in glebe. We're living in montreal right now , like all kinds of food, particularly want to eat lots of Asian and fish.

I Usually do a lot of research before asking this sort of question but am pretty tied up for the next month, and don't want to miss out, so any help is appreciated!

Sep 18, 2012
tdiddy23 in Australia/New Zealand

La Chronique - good, but not that memorable.

Nice post. I tend to agree with you as well, good food but doesn't leave a lasting impression like some world class restos. Although I wonder if we have spoiled our taste buds a little (based on your Paris list on the blog.. nice job BTW) I don't think its meant to be a creative destination restaurant but rather a nice classic french option with an 'outremont' type vibe.
Perhaps it deserves more credit for what it is, I can't think of many restaurants in Canada that do this style of french better (I would include LA Porte on that list too as foodlover has mentioned)

Sep 11, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Question from San Francisco 'hound

Yeah I tend to agree with you guys in general. I find TripAdvisor is better for hotels than restaurants. For the latter to me its more of a screen to make sure everyone doesn't hate the place

Sep 09, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Question from San Francisco 'hound

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/F...

Chez chose is not a bad place at all, not top 5 in Montreal but would have no problem recommending it. It probably gets good reviews because the maitre d is extremely friendly

Sep 09, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Question from San Francisco 'hound

I've been to all the restaurants discussed here, I speak some french but almost never use anything beyond bon soir. Don't worry about that

Zagat generally isn't all that reliable in Montreal, but I stopped paying attention so maybe it has improved?

You can do much better than lemeac or l'express

Sep 08, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Question from San Francisco 'hound

au pied de cochon is a great experience, if your not at all health conscious.

the restaurants mentioned above are all great, but recently i've been most satisifed with le filet, 400 coups, and bouillon bilk

Sep 07, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Gaspé trip 2012

so i got back last week from our trip to the Gaspe. Thanks for all the tips, we ended up at a lot of the same places.

First of all I should say we had a great time, the scenery was gorgeous. We did a backpacking trip through parts of Parc Gaspasie, and spent a few days in Forillon, also stopped in Redford gardens and parc du bic. These are really wonderful parks, not overcrowded, with lots of wildlife (got right up close with a herd of caribou, and a little too close for comfort with a black bear).

In terms of food, our experience was not so positive. Highlights included the stop at Atkins. There were several other poisonnaries, that did smoked fish well also. The smoked salmon in the region is really amazing. The local microbrew, petit caribou, was fantastic, as were a few local jams available at IGA there. Cafe des Artists makes great coffee.
In parc Gaspasie we tried the restaurant in gite du Mont-Albert (the one you see in all the SEPAQ adds). Local products were nice, not really put together well, desserts dreadful. Best wine list of the trip. We ate at Café de l'Anse, was probably my favourite restaurant in the region, honest cooking with local produce, what more restaurants in the region should have been like. In Gaspe we tried to dine in a few restaurants mentioned in the Gaspe Gourmande journal, however, they were either empty of closed (on a friday night). So we ended up in Brise-Bise, the poutine was good, the rest of the meal was fairly dreadful. Dined in Maison du pecher, at the recommendation of our inn (and just about every guidebook), it seemed well past its prime. They have an extensive menu, including pizza and pasta!? (as did most restaurants in Gaspe, does anyone have an explanation for this?) Perhaps they should cut down their menu and focus on the core dishes a bit more. The sauce they made on my main was so full of clumps it barely looked edible. On the way home we stopped for lunch at Restaurant de l'Auberge La Coulée Douce, had a nice fish soup, a bland shrimp salad and a good sugar pie. A few other places that didn't really stand out good/bad (i'll add them if i can remember)

I was disappointed with gaspasie gourmande. When you look at the magazine, it all seems very impressive, akin to the flavour trial in Charlevoix, but the experience does not match it. I think partly it is a factor of the vast distances between the locations. Many places were closed despite the hours listed in GG. Also, there are too many restaurants that probably should not be included. I’m sure we missed a few better places, perhaps if they had shortened their list so its not so hit/miss it would make the guide more useful.

Overall, the restaurants simply were not impressive. We've been to many other martime travel destinations, including Brittany, Amalfi, Maine, Nova Scotia, Vancouver island etc, and honestly I would have to say that Gaspe is very near the bottom in term of dining. I guess this is probably a factor of the relatively small population density. Still, I would think that there would be a market for at least 1 proper high end restaurant where they can actually prepare the excellent seafood available in the region. Or atleast more places like Café de l’anse. Based on our trip, I would not recommend the Gaspe as a food destination, especially considering the travel time from Montreal. Definitely go for the scenery and outdoors, just don’t set your hopes too high for dining.

Sep 05, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

2 people, less than a week, (at least) 93 suggestions

la chronique is one of the best in the city in that area, kinda pricy for dinner but great value for lunch..

i can see where the previous poster was coming from about the age comment, often feel the same way myself. However, I think its more of a vibe you get moving here, since your just visitng I wouldn't let that get in your way, enjoyr a few of the typical montreal places, you can get more attentive service and comfortable settings back home, but the edgier 'montreal cool' is harder to find elsewhere in NA.

Jul 29, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Gaspé trip 2012

great report, thanks a lot. I'm going to the Gaspe for a week at the end of August, will come in handy. A few quick questions

Is the hard copy of the Gaspasie Gourmande http://gaspesiegourmande.com/en.html easy to find in the region or should i try and pick one up in Montreal?

Also, did you need reservations for any of the restaurants you visited?

Cheers

Jul 25, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

best value wine lists in Montreal

thanks for the tip, will not be spluring at hiverpool house on wine (did enjoy the food there once though), is it the same situation at Joe Beef? .

re the list/card, this is something i thought about doing but never seemed to have the time, guess i'll start giving it another shot

Jun 25, 2012
tdiddy23 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)