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Is SAQ allowed to reserve bottles for some customers? + hats off to Marche Latina

When it comes to the above example:
"I am genuinely curious because I am interested in small batch (but usually affordable) wines that sell out very quickly and this should save me a lot of time and effort. I can't find this information anywhere, and if anyone knows the secret code for getting a bottle reserved please share (but it won't be so secret anymore)",
it is definitely a sign of preferential treatment.

Is SAQ allowed to reserve bottles for some customers? + hats off to Marche Latina

Sorry to break it to you, but getting anywhere with wine in this province, especially with the SAQ requires French. It's a provincial monopoly, in which the official language is French. If you want to get 'extra services' like getting bottles reserved, stock transfer, some hard to get bottles from most private importers you'll have a better results if you ask in the official language . If you want better service, you'll have to improve your French. Nothing against you, just stating how it works in Montreal.

Best Dinner/Restaurant in Montreal?

The cute and romantic spots your looking for won't really be affected by the the fancy watch crowd. Lawrence would be my pick, but it is closed until June 13th for summer vacay. In lieu, I would vote for Trois Petit Bouchons, Van Horne and Pastaga.

ISO Shishito Peppers

I love these japanese gems.

Has anyone seen these at the markets recently?

Thanks in advance for any Montreal sightings!

The best place for smoked meat

Tried Le Roi du Smoked meat after reading this thread. Pretty industrial tasting. Not much grain to the meat. Had to hurry through it as the bread which bordered on a texas toast excuse for rye, was too light and got soggy quick. Pickles were good as was the slaw. Mayonnaise and ketchup were in packets which detracts from the diner experience.

I'll only go back if I have to.

Schwartz's reigns supreme.

lol: gordon ramsay no more

Hilarious. Licencing fees of 8% of net sales. The desire to get in with the cool kids eclipsed any business acumen. Totally absurd.

They should have gotten a local star, such as an F1 driver. Now that would have really drawn the crowds.

Date (she is very special) night: Quiet sushi joint?


New Scichuanese Restaurant in Town-very authentic and delicious [KanBai restaurant]

I had a similar experience last week. Decided to try out the place, solo and ordered the szechuan green beans with minced pork. About a quarter of the way into the dish, I realized that the dish was comopletely oversalted, and tasted of iodized salt. I realize that some of you would wonder why it took so long, but I absolutely love salty food, (and was hungry) bit this was way over the top. I cannot imagine how someone with a mild salt aversion could stomach this plate.

I told the waitress to put it in a to go bag, and asked her to mention to the cook that it was oversalted. From across the room I witnessed an exchange between the waitress and the female owner-manager, and an obvious dismissal of my comment. The waitress returned my doggie bag and innocently informed me that "chinese food is salty, and it is new to some people". Bush League. (i must mention here that I am of asian descent). I restrained myself to retort.

While paying at the cash I politely mentioned that as I have had this dish dozens if times in my life, and was one of the most horrible iterations due to its saltiness, the beans were cooked properly, and peppercorns and peppers were great, and that the cook needs to taste his dishes before they are served.

If there is anything more that I disdain is when restaurant management dismisses an honest customer complaint. I don't plan on going back, I'll stick to Niu Kee.

Soy Sauce in Montreal

After working in sushi restaurants for a few years I am a convert to YAMASA soy sauce. In general, I find japanese soy more refined than chinese. Depending on the sushi dish I often water it down. You can find it at Miaymoto on Victoria, or the large asian market by Plamondon metro (name escapes me). I believe the korean and japanese asian market on St Catherine by du Fort stocks it as well.

Dusty's up in smoke

I agree with alexthecook, I ate at Dusty's last saturday morning and it was a shell of what it used to be.

Restaurant Openings in 2011

So very excited for that, a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Senzala has been "phoning it in" for far too long.

Where to buy a small (used) barrel?

I have seen a few barrels in antique stores but they tended to be of the larger variety. Perhaps an oak chip or cube method à la chateau Giscours, aging in a glass container? If the objective is to add phenols, this could definitely be a good DIY solution. The chips or cubes are often available at winemaking supply stores. It could also be a great way to make small batch experiments.

Restaurant Openings - 2010

From what I've heard, an entirely new team for VORO. I've heard very good things from people who've tried food during the past week during the soft opening. Excited to taste things tonight,

Montreal Croissant Update Please

Top marks:
Mr Pinchot - buttery and lightly sweet
Kouign Amann - compact and delicious
Le Paltoquet - thin and elegant with nice crisp
Autour d'un Pain - bigger and less buttery than above but great (crisp outer/middle ridge) altogether a different style

Low marks- Croissanterie Fairmount- pretty much phoning it in

Maison du Nord

Tried Le Maison du Nord's pork sandwich on tuesday. The waitress understood my coriander request. The bread was hot, and everything tasted freshly prepared. I give it top marks. Unlike others, I love the taste of fatty meat, so I found it delicious. Very simple, understated spice and great bread texture. Copious enough for a modestly-sized meal.

I vote it up there with my favorite simply-made sandwiches in the city, Ramados chicken, Schwartz fatty, Serrano roast pork.

Opening Tomorrow "Lawrence", 5201 Blvd St Laurent

To further calirify sonnierie's and kpzoo's posts - as I just reserved for Saturday evening.

Their reservation policy is as following:
Brunch reservations are only for groups 6 or more.
Dinner reservations are accepted for any number of guests,

Weekend brunch is 10-3. Lunch is Wed-Fri 11:30-3. Dinner is Wed-Sat 5:30-11.

Opening Tomorrow "Lawrence", 5201 Blvd St Laurent

The staff formerly of The Sparrow is opening their new restaurant tomorrow evening, Dec 1st. "Lawrence" will be open for lunch as of Dec 2nd and weekend brunch will begin Dec 4th. The restaurant is located on the North East corner of Fairmount and St Laurent.

First time in Montreal - late november

My recommendation for Saturday: Les Trois P'tit Bouchons. Well chosen-well priced wine list, outstanding innovative dishes and great service. I might sound like a shill, but I find this place hard to beat.

Apres-dinner cocktails?

The Sparrow (5322 St Laurent) has a short, yet very well-conceived list of cocktails. Fitting to your criteria of "simple yet elegant". Good atmosphere and very close to Cava.

It's small, it's regionally appropriate, it's exceptional quality...

Les Trois Petit Bouchons. Fits all of your criteria. IMHO a perfect montreal restaurant experience.

Lechon in Montreal?

Sabor Latino-Andes - 4387, boul Saint-Laurent, has fried pork skin, chicharonnes. Dipped in Mang Tomas, isn't really authentic filipino, but any Pinoy worth her flip-flops would eat a plate of that.

Lechon in Montreal?

Lechon is typically slow roasted and basted over coals on a spit, The resulting crispy skin has more of a glossy almost "patent-leather" look. However, outside of ordering a whole pig, for a single serving you'll have to make do with the chinese iteration of roast pork. The grocery store in chinatown, on St Laurent and de la Gauchetiere, NW corner (beside the other one that burnt down) has roast pork which gives me my fix. From what I remember, they also have Mang Tomas' "All-purpose sauce" which is the requisite pair. Also try it with white vinegar and pepppers.


Tried M:BRGR tonight.

Must say it far exceeded my expectations. The AAA Burger was succulent, delicious and meaty, The sweet potato fries were crunchy from light batter. Mac and Cheese with truffled potato chips- best use of truffle oil i've tasted in awhile. Everything was savoury and well prepared. Maybe you could chalk it up to working downtown for too many years, but this place is close to the only place I would consider to sit and enjoy glass of wine and small bite, solo, in work clothes, in the 1.5 km radius from the corner of peel and st cath. (pullman is outside of that radius btw, and yes I'm well aware of all the other restos in the area.) I mentioned to the owner that he really nailed it on the head.

The music is loud, the service is a bit green, and the place is noisy and packed. Exactly what one would expect from a busy Montreal casual dining restaurant. Chapeau.

Graziella restaurant

Had lunch at Graziella just before the holidays. Very open, classy space, with high ceilings. Linen plus good quality flatware and stemware give its fine-dining wings.

Attentive service from Alexandre the maitre d'hotel and part owner, knowledgeable of food and wine. I opted for the $25 lunch menu fixe, with grilled octopus and sirloin steak. Delicious, classic mediterranean italian flavour combinations and elegant presentation.

Chic, muted space with all the details, devoid of the corny cosmo-tini crowd of the area.
Graziella, the chef, was greeting tables as we left.

Thumbs up.

Restaurant Openings - 2008

It's a gourmet burger joint. Opening this Tuesday, January 15th.

Chateldon (sp?) water in Montreal

If I remember correctly, it's brought in by Reserve & Selection, the wine agency.

Bday dinner with my parents - lowww key

Get meat-tastic at Jano or Chez Doval. Everyone will be stuffed on a reasonable budget, the food will be honest, and the atmosphere will be busy and convivial...perfect for a birthday.

Pizza lovers in Montreal? Ever left montreal for pizza?

Pizza in discussions in Montreal always seem to slag our city. As someone who has had pizza in about half of the United States, I don't see the huge quality disparity that everyone speaks of. I think alot of the guff comes from the fact that some people simply don't like "Montreal style" pizza, chiming in that Chicago, Philly, Bronx Etc style pizza is far superior. Everyone is entitled to their style preference.

As of late i've had a few fabulous pizzas all excelling at a particular style, at Neopolitana, La Fornarina, Amelio's, and Bardeco. They are all as good as any pizza I've had anywhere.

Japanese grocery?

Had the (mis)fortune of trying shirako (sic?)- cod testicle sushi at a higher end sushi place I worked at. Let's just say I'd rather put gum from the underside of a desk in my mouth.

To stay on topic, I buy stuff at Jang Te, it's one of the few places that stocks Yamasa soy sauce (get the regular), the Echezaux of sho-yu. However I prefer to get my sushi staples like Kewpie mayo, Nori (In blocks of 100 sheets for $9!!!) Furikake (anime figure brand) inari, massago, tamago, and Paramount brand crab stick, and Kokuho Rose rice at the big chinese grocery stores facing each other on St Laurent right above Gauchatiere. They are always in stock, plus they're the cheapest.