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Wood Oven Pizzas in Montreal

Il Fornetto in Lachine does wood-fired pizza.

coming to see the lanterns at the Montreal Botanical Garden

Just went to Le Repertoire tonight. Tiny place, decor simple, with small kitchen at back. Service charming. Food 'contemporary french', quite nice, very well executed, emphasis on sides. At around 40$ for 4 courses, an excellent value. Wine prices very affordable, many bottles in the 30's and 40's, including private imports. All in all, I would definitely recommend. Living downtown, I wouldn't make a special trip for dinner there, but anyone looking for dinner in the east end should definitely consider it rather than thinking they need to head back to midtown.

Loukoumades, or Honey balls

I had some delicious loukoumades at Milos the other night - but that wouldn't be a quick or cheap option...

FIRST TIME VISIT TO MONTREAL - WHERE TO EAT FOR ONLY 3 NIGHTS?

If you want to talk about bad service, I don't think Toque would make you wait at the door for 15 minutes despite you having a reservation, and they certainly wouldn't let 20 minutes go by without taking your order, as has happened to me on my last visit to APDC. They are overbooked and they don't care, because they'll get punters no matter what. As for the food, they just lather on the lard, butter and sugar, and give you twice as much food as you need - basically, the easiest way to get people raving.
As for Zagat's, I don't usually rely on other people to tell me if I like my dinner. Is it really the Zagat's raters agreeing with you, or rather you agreeing with them ?

FIRST TIME VISIT TO MONTREAL - WHERE TO EAT FOR ONLY 3 NIGHTS?

There's a lot of Toqué-bashing on this board, which I feel is completely unjustified. I have had dinners there three times in the last 18 months, each time with tasting menus that allow a broad sampling of the kitchen's offer, and it has always been a totally outstanding experience, and have confirmed that Toqué is, at least for me, Montreal's best table.
On the other hand, I find that some places that constantly get raves here, like APDC and La Porte, are very meh - APDC in particular is massively overhyped, and a classic example of a restaurant having too much media coverage for its own good.

Jacket Required?

I remember my entire family getting turned away from dinner at Les Filles du Roy because I wasn't wearing a jacket. I was 7 at the time... That was about 40 years ago, I assume they have changed their cretinous policy by now. Not that anyone seems to go there anymore...

After Batali Bust, Arguments for and Against Tipping Out

Joyce Slayton's argument against tipping out basically boils down to "I enjoy having a large wage and I deserve it more than the rest of the crew". It's total self-serving BS. Customers may or may not be aware that their tip is or isn't distributed to the whole staff, but in general the size of the tip will likely reflect the whole of the dining experience, including efficient service, cleanliness, quality of the food, etc...all things that are a function of the whole crew, not just the pretty girl/boy carrying the plates. The bussers and line cooks may be sweatier and less attractive than the waitstaff, but they deserve their share.

Mar 13, 2012
johnnyboy in Features

Opinions on best Thai food?

I regularly eat at La Thailande and it definitely qualifies as "decent" - good, even.

Da Emma or Nora Gray

Been to both (once each). Very different atmosphere; Da Emma is much more quiet, more of a business dinner or 'romantic dinner' place, in the somewhat crypt-like basement of a historic building (I think it was a women's prison or something). I would say it's more of a hushed place catering to a generally older crowd. Food is good, fairly traditional but well done; service is what you've come to expect in expensive italian restaurants, ie. well-oiled and efficient and a touch obsequious. By contrast Nora Gray is (or was when I went, just after its opening) more of a young rich trendster place, quite noisy and busy, and had a bit of a 'hot resto of the month' vibe. The place is small, decor is modern. The food was quite good but also traditional, simple classic dishes done very well and served family style. I think both places could be a nice night out, but it depends on the kind of vibe you're looking for.

An Alternate Layover in Montreal

lol. I must say that's something I find mildly irritating about shopping at JT (apart from the insane prices), it's the whole New Agey, locally-grown, macrobiotic, granola ambiance that pervades a lot of the shops now - you can't buy some honey without the stall guy insisting on prevaricating on the wonders it will do to your arthritis and your immune system. Just give me the damn honey, man.

An Alternate Layover in Montreal

Yes sorry I was mistaken, I watched it on the interwebs. Damn booze...

An Alternate Layover in Montreal

Doval is awful. If you want overcooked, dried up chicken, by all means go there.

Reader Poll best of Montreal....Is this a joke year after year?

A poll is a poll, ie. never particularly interesting, and hugely influenced by methodology and the people sampled. And a poll from the Montreal Mirror, well, do I really need to explain why that would be even less useful ? Frankly, I don't get why you're all getting so worked up about this. If you rely on polls to tell you what the good restaurants are, you're doing this wrong.

An Alternate Layover in Montreal

I saw that show on my television (Videotron), so yes it is available.

Renoir - not quite

I tried Renoir for the first time last night - a disappointment, frankly. Had the Menu du Jour, which was a roasted baby leek appetizer and a rable de lapin. The baby leek was fine, though rather minuscule, and served on a bed of dark grain-like things (sorry for the technical terms), some of which appeared to not have be properly cooked (crunchy, in an undesirable way). The rable was a rather thin slice of rabbit bits rolled around a small bit of mushy foie gras. The edible rabbit meat went down in about two small mouthfuls, the rest was unedible gristly bits throughout which small sharp bones were scattered. This was served with an onion tarte tatin, a nice idea, and the onion part was good, but it contained several twigs of a very hard herb (probably thyme) which I had to spit out otherwise they would have stuck in my craw. Occupying half of the plate was a large amount of chick pea emulsion, which tasted essentially of cloves - lots, and lots, of cloves, very bitter and unpleasant. My companion had the angus steak, which was nice, but how can you mess up a steak ? Although they did bring him the wrong side dish. The only saving grace was dessert, we both had a chou pastry with a chocolate filling, which was thoroughly delicious.
There is some talent in that kitchen, and good intentions, but frankly the execution was way, way off - with mistakes that are unforgiveable for an establishment billing itself as haute cuisine.

HELP! will not survive another week there.

lol - I work in the area and live not too far, and I must say I sympathize with your plight ! There are simply no good options in the area, sorry. All you can find are not too dreadful ones. There's a sushi/Asian restaurant on blvd Industriel near Arthur Sauve which is not horrible (the setting is, though). There's a couple of non-chain restaurants in the old St-Eustache, including one called the Vieux St-Eustache, originally enough - I've been there once and will not return, but if you're allergic to chains you might want to try. You could also venture to the Faubourg Boisbriand nearby, which has a few restaurants - another Asian one, a Baton Rouge (not great I know, but not as bad as Casa Grecque), a Vinnie Gambini, which is surprisingly not too bad, and also something called Acqua, which appears to want to brand itself as a hip 'urban' dining spot, which is hilarious considering it's in the middle of a parking lot in the deep suburbs. If you want some finer dining, you could go to the St-Christophe in the Ste-Rose neighbourhood of Laval, not too far away (maybe 10 minutes drive). It's a nice traditional french resto with good service and a nice wine list. Ste-Rose has other decent restos as well. Good luck !

Sticky Rice in Montreal?

If what you mean is the standard white sticky rice without seasoning, there are several thai places that serve it. La Thailande is one, I believe Chao Phraya might have it as well though I haven't been there in a long time. I don't know about chinese places or chinatown though.

Restaurant de Glace Pommery from January 6th 2012 until March 31th, 2012

The way it's been looking, I hope they've planned to have a refrigeration system...

Tasting menu at La Porte?

Just to have another opinion: I've been to Le Mitoyen recently, and believe me - I'd love to have a fine dining option closer to where I live (on the north shore), but Le Mitoyen isn't it. You've been over the decor already, which I can confirm is typical suburban-naff, in small overcrowded rooms. But I don't mind decor that much. The food is basically all right, traditional french. A decent value for the money, but nothing more. Overall not a bad resto, but really, if what you're looking for is an exceptional dining experience, I would choose Europea, or Toqué, or any number of other Montreal or Laval restos, over Le Mitoyen.

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Europea
1227, rue de la Montagne, Montreal, QC H3G1Z2, CA

Myriad problems?

I have no idea about Myriad, but I did hear recently that there is a serious global shortage of the high-end coffee beans - so prices for good coffee are going through the roof, and the overall quality of the mid-range and cheap stuff is going down, as it's being diluted by low-grade beans in order to keep the cost reasonable.

Mochica

Anyone been lately ? Still good ? Most recent mention of it here dates back from last november, so just checking.

Bleu Raisin - Still good ?

I finally went a few weeks ago for the first time. I didn't suffer your long wait, but like you I was very much underwhelmed by the food, especially after all the raves I'd read here. Service was amateurish, the room crowded and very noisy. With many restos in Montreal offering the same type of food but much better executed, I very much doubt that I will be back.

Where can I find a restaurant that cooks rare burgers?

Reading from the french website, clearly what they mean is that this is the first micro-brew restaurant on the north shore/Laval.

Best Martini in Montreal?

Baldwin Barmacie makes excellent cocktails, and if you go pre-dinner you'll avoid the crush of trendy youths who pack it sardine-style after 10PM.

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Baldwin Barmacie
115 Avenue Laurier Ouest, Montr, Montreal, QC , CA

Where to buy a nice Charcoal Grill?

Oh I like what I'm seeing with this Canadian tire one. Integrated thermometer, plus adjustable grid height, make this much more flexible than the Weber I have, which has neither.

Where to buy a nice Charcoal Grill?

I have bought a 26" round Weber at a big-box Rona in the burbs, they had plenty in stock. I'm not sure you could find anything much bigger for charcoal around these parts, apart from ordering it online. It's about 100 dollars. Not entirely satisfied with it: flimsy legs, too much space between grids as mentioned previously, but all in all it does the job.

Toque' or Better

Indeed, you better do a lot of walking in the daytime to burn off those dinners !
Good selection, do tell us your impressions after your trip. Enjoy !

Toque' or Better

I think Holder would be the closest to bistro style in Old Montreal. It has a trendier, noisier feel than other bistro places outside of Old Montreal (like Lemeac or L'express), and the food can be a bit uneven (I find their fish and chips inedible - at least the fish part, though other dishes can be quite good).
To me, "bistro" refers to a particular style of french resto, so to talk of a quebecois bistro doesn't quite work (or just confuses me). If you mean traditional food served with a quebecois twist in a non-formal atmosphere, I guess in Old Montreal Club Chasse et Peche would most closely fit the bill, with Le Local and Garde-Manger as other options. I've been to L'Epicier a couple of times in the last year, and wouldn't recommend it.

Toque' or Better

Indeed, calm atmosphere might be a bit of a challenge if you're going to any of the currently popular places on a weekend... And i'm not sure what you know about Schwartz's, but you'll find neither calm atmosphere or courteous service there... What you'll find is a grungy place with quite gruff service and not-so-subtle hints to not linger after your last bite. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I love Schwartz's, but only outside of line-up hours (say, after 10PM).
For your additional night, if you're willing to forego your 'calm atmosphere' requirement, I would suggest Le Filet, La Montée de lait, or Liverpool house. All of these are somewhat different, but they all have a Montreal vibe to me.

Montreal Wedding Venues - Sept 2012

I forgot: your recon team might also want to check out the Mount Stephen club (who do rent to non-club members). Don't know about the food but am sure the rooms would have a lot of ambiance.