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Has anyone been to Le Paris recently?

Thanks to both of you for the feedback. I think we'll give it a pass based on your experiences; especially knowing that it's now a BYO. Rats. :(

Joe Beef vs. Liverpool House

Toqué is a bust. I don't know why anyone talks about it on Chowhound. It's expensive and boring.

Anywhere to buy tourtiere at JTL?

Does APdC Cabane a Sucre still sell their tourtieres "to go" and would it travel well? I was thinking of picking one up towards the end of our trip to bring back with us for a party several days later.

Restaurant Walkable to Fairmount [San Francisco]

There's also a quaint Italian bistro which is a passable neighborhood spot (not anything to get excited about)on Taylor, I think. A couple of blocks from the hotel. Chinatown is a 7 min. walk downhill.

Restaurant Walkable to Fairmount [San Francisco]

The Big 4 at the Huntington is practically across the street and it's great: http://www.big4restaurant.com

Has anyone been to Le Paris recently?

That's indeed the place!

Cocktails in 2015

Sorry to steer this ship off course with the very first response but the Balsam Inn looks terrific and it's entirely new to me. I'm really glad that you posted this! I love Dominion Square Tavern, though the drinks are admittedly terrible; this restaurant seems to be managed by the same group. It looks like they did a great job with the layout and design of the interior space. Is there any legitimate history to the building or did they just go with a retro theme?

The menu seems a bit odd and bounces all around with some Roman dishes, some Sicilian, some Northern Italian and I'm guessing bàcari style influences, and then the standard French bistro staples alongside more of the same tired upscale comfort foods which seem a little out of place. Apologies again for diverting your thread but since you've highlighted this place, I'm really curious to know how proficient the kitchen is and whether the dining room is as equally strong as your opinion of the bar?

Back on track now - the drink menu looks to be pretty gin-centric and focused, which is great. I get the aim but it'd be nice to see Montreal bars featuring more "house spirits" and craft distilleries alongside the premium standards for added versatility, especially for a menu with such streamlined citrus and botanical forward drinks. Can anyone confirm if they use proper tonic water? Hopefully they aren't limited to the two brands of vermouth listed on their menu... I'm looking forward to visiting this fall!

Le Chien Fumant and Joe Beef... redundant?

Ah, okay. Not the same person I was thinking of. The guy behind the bar is/was a friendly Parisian who'd spent some time working Stateside, which would probably explain his dexterity with mixed drinks. That's not to say that they were anything special or noteworthy mind you, but in a city that has consistently proved incompetent in the basics of mixology, they were simple and surprisingly well balanced. A refreshing departure from the generally over-concentrated syrups and cheap spirits (Le Lab's menu is all Canadian Club and Bombay) or insipid vodka and herbal forward drinks served in mason jars that seem to be so ubiquitous. He's the first bartender I've encountered who could serve a straightforward old fashioned proficiently or wet martini stirred and he also mixed some more creative cocktails with some interesting liqueurs that I wasn't familiar with. I asked him to make me something he enjoys with a bourbon base and sharp profile and it was pretty good/original.

Le Chien Fumant and Joe Beef... redundant?

When and where has he moved on to?

I'm pretty sure that he mixed our drinks last summer. Not to get too far off topic, but has the bar scene matured or improved at all in the past couple of years? I'm generally disinterested in mixed drinks when returning to the city as I enjoy the different French focused wines as compared to California, which is obviously much more local and less Eurocentric.

I've noticed in photos that Nora Gray seems to have a prominent and seemingly well appointed bar section in the back of the restaurant - do they mix good cocktails and is the room appropriate to stop in for a drink and maybe a order a primi or dolci at the bar?

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

Oops, you're right - thinking of the liquor store I guess!

Edit: That's K&L! I guess I just need to brush up on my alphabet. :)

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

Thanks so much... we're going to save New Woey for ourselves since we're a 7 minute walk from Chinatown. I think they'd appreciate any of the other restaurants more. I made reservations at K&Y, which is likely where we'll end up. I'm sure they'll be fine. They aren't that discerning so they can order whatever they like and I'll probably order the Peking Duck, cabbage, and tofu.

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

I love the ambiance at Far East but from my one and only experience, the food's not very good. That's actually an understatement. I'd sooner go to R&G or K&Y. I think we'll probably stick to one of the two to be safe.

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

New Woey it is! The only downside is that they don't take reservations. Do you anticipate a significant wait or any issues with a party of 6 Sunday evening at 6:30 PM? I'm just considering the kids.

L’Orée du Bois in Chelsea

Sorry, that was sort of rambling free-flowing prose. Edited and fixed!

L’Orée du Bois in Chelsea

Though it's situated in Quebec, I'm guessing that this would probably be better suited to the Ontario board. Nonetheless, I'm taking my wife to Ottawa for 2 nights in the fall.

We're going to be in Montreal for a full two weeks and I wanted to get out of town for a weekend and show her someplace new. I've already taken her to Quebec City and we've spent some time in the Laurentians as well. I had considered a weekend in the Eastern Townships or a more ambitious road trip through the Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region, but late-Semptember/early-October could prove uncompromisingly cold that far north along the coast; at least for a California girl! We'd discussed Charlevoix as well, but I think we're going to combine that with a future trip through the Bas-Saint-Laurent and up the Peninsula ealier in the season next fall.

Instead, we're taking a modest weekend trip to Montebello and Ottawa - both new to the missus. Not the most exciting, but I've wanted to take her to the Chateau Montebello for some time and I figured it might be interesting for her to see the capital. In any event, we have tentative plans (ie. uncertain reservations) at L’Orée du Bois in Chelsea, on our last night.

We would potentially be driving back to Montreal from the restaurant after dinner. I'm not entirely sure how appealing that sounds but the alternative would simply be to drive back to the city earlier in the afternoon and have dinner in Montreal. Either La Salle à Manger or possibly Le Serpent, which I've not yet been to as it opened shortly after I moved away. I've read good things though. I'm not really sure that these places are fair comparisons.

The ambiance and rural setting of L’Orée du Bois is certainly unique. It's been well over a decade since I've dined there and I'm not sure what to expect. Service seems a lot more formal than most places in Montreal, which I like. I suppose it's closer to fine dining than many of the upscale market driven bistros or rustic French fare that we'd otherwise get in the city. I'm not expecting innovation at L’Orée du Bois although I am hoping to experience a very refined approach to traditional French cooking and regional QC terroir.

I'm sort of up in the air on my decision and wanted to throw this out there for others to weigh in... if you were visiting from San Francisco with limited time in Montreal, would you sooner choose to dine at L’Orée du Bois in Chelsea (factoring everything from meal to setting to the inconvenient late drive back which would limit enjoyment of wine) or spend that time in Montreal instead where we could potentially dine anywhere with no budget constraints? I suppose I'm looking for someone to post a rave review of a fairly recent meal they've enjoyed in Chelsea to reinforce our plans. I'd like affirmation that it's a "special" place...

Thanks!

Has anyone been to Le Paris recently?

Thanks, I'll look into it. I could be completely off but I remember having a very mediocre family meal at some trendy flash in the pan spot across the street from Chez La Mere Michele some 15 years ago and heard a story or rumor about the building's prior use as a funeral parlor. Do you know if there's any truth to that?

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

Can anyone vouch for the black bean snails or clams at New Woey Loy Goey?

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

Is that the wonton soup with Chinese spinach?

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

They wrote back and said that the kids like noodle dishes. What they like is old school East Coast style Cantonese, which is all that they're really exposed to... The lobster Cantonese at New Woey Loy Goey appeals though. I think I'm going to go with New Woey. The adults expressed more adventurous inclinations (they say it all sounds good) but the kids want familiar flavors and ingredients that won't "freak them out". I'm not too familiar with Bund Shanghai. We've ordered delivery before but I don't remember much about it. I know that it's a poor basis for judgement but I wonder if that says something... I think it's a show down between New Woey and Z & Y.

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

So I did what I said I wouldn't and sent out an email with a list of several restaurant options along with the top hitters at each... hopefully it won't scare them off. I'm pretty certain that what they have in mind is basic won ton soup and egg rolls, chicken fillets in black bean sauce, salt & pepper something-or-other, shrimp with snowpeas or beef and brocoli bathed in oyster sauce, fried rice and Cantonese style chow mein noodles in the same. I don't think they'd take to intense Szechuan spices or Northern Chinese flavors. Anyhow, I shot off an email with the following restaurant options and their high points, as an example of each:

Bund Shanghai:
lion's head meatballs
mongolian beef
xiao long bao
etc.

Z & Y Lounge:
peking duck
ma po tofu/tofu in chili oil
double sauteed pork
explosive chili pepper chicken
szechuan spicy cold cabbage
yunnan style rice cakes
beef pancakes
tan tan noodles
etc.

New Woey Loy Goey:
salt & pepper smelt
peking style pork chops
jellyfish and stuffed pork skin
walnut prawns
beef with gai lan
braised quail
lobster with cantonese sauce
etc.

R & G Lounge:
salt & pepper crab
steamed clams with egg custard
prawns with honey walnuts
steamed beancurd with shrimp
geoduck sashimi
claypot dishes
etc.

Great Eastern:
dim sum without the cart service - dumplings, rice noodles, spareribs, etc.

I'd be happy with any of the above so I suppose the ball's in their court now. :)

Bay Area - I need your help

Come to think of it, Miss Ollie's in Oakland makes a killer mac n cheese. It's entirely unique in the Bay Area and unlike anything in Tokyo. Their fried chicken and jerk chicken is also top notch. They offer a modest selection of aged Dominican rums to sample as well. Potato salad and plantains are also among the best I've had.

Has anyone been to Le Paris recently?

Thanks, that seems to be the standard. I don't know of anyone who's been in the past decade either. I would assume it's primarily tourists but I don't think that a downtown Montreal restaurant could sustain itself for 50+ years without repeat business in this economy. I plan on poking my head in just to get a better sense of what's going on in the kitchen. Maybe we'll risk a lunch rather than dinner, but I'd like to give it a shot. In such a rapidly changing restaurant climate where all too often the past is viewed as expendable, I'm all for supporting old businesses and institutions. It's nice to be living in California, where I can walk into a 150 year old establishment and consistently order great meals without the typical homogenization with respect to quality, menu, decor, service, etc. Here's hoping Le Paris surprises!

As for L'Express, it's definitely on the itinerary. I love Brasserie T as well and I took the missus for lunch on our last visit. She's a California native and I've gradually been introducing her (over the past couple of years) to my favorite restaurants and places of nostalgia. She's been to most of the French bistros in the city by now.

On a separate note, I just wrote to Maison Publique for reservations in September. Do you know how far in advance they open their calendar? Same question for Wilfrid sur Laurier, which is new to me, though I've heard great things. It looks to be a new local Chowhound favorite and I look forward to trying it.

Le Chien Fumant and Joe Beef... redundant?

Bonus: Only well balanced spirit-based cocktails that I've received in Montreal in thirty plus years; albeit ordering off menu.

Le Chien Fumant and Joe Beef... redundant?

Ex-pat Montrealer weighing in here... stick with Joe Beef and switch your reservations at Chien Fumant for weekend brunch. You can safely dismiss any concerns about redundancy. Win-win.

Has anyone been to Le Paris recently?

It must be at least a full decade since I last visited and I was thinking of taking my wife for the very classic Parisian bistro feel. I love the timewarp ambiance but want to be certain that the kitchen is proficient. Should I limit expectations? I'm envisioning a L'Express type of meal; at least that's what I'm hoping for... returning for a week from San Francisco so I don't want to waste time on mediocrity. I'm somewhat hesitant as both Tourisme Montreal and the airlines seem to be pushing this place on tourists based on Yelp reviews. I wonder if it's seen as an institution or whether that's the less than ambitious market they're catering to. To be clear, I'm not looking for "inspired" - I'm looking for simple but really well executed standards like tartar, escargots, soup a l'oignon, beef bourguignon or bavette steak, duck confit, foie gras, strong cheese plate, creme brulee, and good French wine selection, etc. I know that Le Paris checks all the marks but are ingredients high quality/locally sourced and is preparation well executed? I want to assume so as they've been going strong for over fifty years... any somewhat recent experience?

old-school high-end for celebratory dinner

Boulevard?

Haven't been recently as it's not really my thing, but it fits the Zuni mold.

old-school high-end for celebratory dinner

If you wanted to go even more trad (certainly compared to Keiko or Perbacco) I'd strongly recommend Harris off Van Ness and Broadway. I have never had anything but exceptional meals and service and their Eagle Rare Manhattans are flawless. If you're dining solo, you can order off the full menu in the bar lounge (with table seating) and enjoy standards tapped out on piano most nights. The Big Four is another favorite with similar atmosphere and service. I've only been once since it reopened last year, so I'm less comfortable recommending it as I can't vouch for consistency, but we had an enjoyable evening. Harris is my favorite in the city for what you've described though.

Chinatown: mid-range with kids [San Francisco]

Thanks Robert!

Assuming they take reservations, we'll likely give it a shot.

Bay Area - I need your help

Mission Bowling Club is very good but I personally think Marin Joe's takes the cake. MBC is a bit oversized and overdressed for my taste. Marin Joe's is a more uniformed hamburger and I prefer the charbroiled flavor. It's perfectly rare, crumbly, and bursting with juice. On the Peninsula, Palo Alto Creamery is my favorite.

Bay Area - I need your help

I'm not judging her; I simply stated that I don't particularly understand the motivating factors behind why the OP would be choosing these two items as neither seem particularly exciting/interesting/complex (who among us can't make a grilled cheese sandwich with quality ingredients?) and neither are representative of the local food scene. As you say, who in San Francisco are making them well? It just doesn't seem inherent to the landscape. Perhaps it would seem more commonplace and characteristic if she were visiting Southern States and looking for a great side of mac and cheese. Neither are influenced by San Francisco's culture, climate, cultivation, etc. and neither are distinctly provincial in that you could probably find grilled cheese or m'n'c in any city. Apart from being the most ubiquitous of choices, I would also imagine that there are probably several restaurants devoted to both items in Tokyo. That said, if the OP is up for a drive to the Point Reyes seashore, the dungeness mac and cheese at Nick's Cove is among the best I've ever had and would check a couple of points off her list.

EDIT: I read the OP's response and fair enough! If you're up for a drive along the Peninsula, I personally love the Palo Alto Creamery and I'm pretty certain that their bread is baked fresh daily. I've never ordered a grilled cheese but I imagine it would be done quite well and you would certainly get your dose of Americana and nostalgia. Otherwise, Tartine Bakery in the Mission makes a really solid and fancied up grilled cheese with local ingredients. Surely, you could make your own in Tokyo as good as any restaurant here in the States, right?