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Last minute reservations for a small group

Hi folks,

I'm looking for suggestions on where to go for a decent (last minute) reservation for a group of about 6-8 on a Friday/Saturday night.

Not picky on the type/style of cuisine, but it's for an occasion, so let's sat something not too "homey".
For price, i'd say 40-50 for a table d'hôte, or mains in the 30$ range.
No preference to BYO either...

In the past, we've liked places like Lemeac, Lawrence, Le Filet, Pinxto - but of course open to suggestions.

Single Malt Scotch

"how is it possible that Maker's Mark is not available in this province?"

It is! (Or was) I bought a bottle about a month ago at the NDG location on Cavendish (by the Loblaw's). I also spotted a bottle in the nouveautés section at the outlet on Laurier O., where they also had some Knob Creek. But I digress, as this is a Scotch thread, and not Bourbon.

Bofinger DDO - Normal?

New Bofinger opening up on Parc south of Faimount.
Looks like they,ll be opening doors in September - they're already building the terrasse. Maybe the "moving" story ain't so far off....

New ads for La Queue de Cheval

Apologies, the ads are only in French. For the English speakers, here are the rough translations:

Image 1: Financing available
image 2: Upon approved credit

Dec 16, 2008
grillit in Food Media & News

New ads for La Queue de Cheval

I don't know if the mods will allow this, as I'm posting images of a new billboard campaign for the much loved/much hated steakhouse, La Queue de Cheval. The purpose of my post is not to "promote" the restaurant, however. I'm trying to understand how this kind of campaign can possibly draw the critical mass necessary to run a restaurant in today's Montreal.

There's no argument that the ads are effective as an attention grab, but in today's economic climate, I question the legitimacy of a strategy that involves screaming "WE ARE EXPENSIVE" at the top of one's lungs. We can presume that the patrons of the establishment are well to do, and prefer to dine where "social status" trumps the overall dining experience. The question is, does the city of Montreal have a adequate supply of this kind of clientele to justify this ad campaign. Apparently the advertisers think so, as they're pretty much alienating everyone else.

I know this isn't an advertising board, but I think the topics covered in the past have been broad enough to cover the economics of the restaurant trade here in Montreal. Any thoughts?

Dec 16, 2008
grillit in Food Media & News

Turkish delights?

>>Check their web site for cute examples of Turkinglish

"Efes's bringing to Turkish sweat to your home. "

Someone please help them out. I don't think I'd want any Turkish *sweat* in my home. ;)

About No. 3 maple syrup... again! Made in Quebec but no sold here?

I think we've discussed this here before, but my memory is drawing a blank.
I've heard of people going to the ends of the earth for dark/lower grade maple syrup. Can someone please explain to me why? The lower grades (federal grade 3 & qc grade 2) are permitted to have flavourings, sap, and caramel added. Why would that be desirable? A family friend runs a small organic sugar farm, and he goes to great lengths to produce high grade syrup that's as light/clear as possible.

From my understand, the syrup does get darker as the season progresses, but the quality syrup is still rated as category 1. Please forgive my ignorance since it seems obvious to some people - but why exactly are lower grades better?

Ham and eggs crepes [moved from Quebec board]

Cheese would be nice.

Were the eggs completely raw, or just runny? I've had crepes like this at a tiny little resto just down the block from Fairmount Bagel, but the eggs weren't completely raw. And there was nice, melted fontina along with the smoked ham. Delicious crepe!

Nov 13, 2008
grillit in Home Cooking

Business dinner & drinks: Old Montreal suggestions

Looking for a suggestions for a dinner with out of town business colleagues. I'm looking for something with Montreal charm - something that will gives upscale impression, yet remains casual. I'm not looking for cheap, but at the same time I don't want over the top (20-25$/main would be a guideline). We're a group of ten.

Obviously I'm looking for a quality dining experience, but also something that will please a diverse group of people of varying ages. I'd like to avoid the tourist traps if possible (even if the out of towners would probably fully enjoy...)

I'm also looking for a more "hip" place to enjoy cocktails after dinner - within walking distance would definitely be a plus (walking through old Montreal is always such a nice experience for out-of-towners).

All suggestions welcome, but I'm considering: Le Locale (but the walk around for after dinner isn't exactly full of sights to see), Holder, Garde-Manger (although I've never been and as such I'm weary)

Thanks in advance!

Here comes the new look!

Ummm... is there a functional reason behind the new look, or is it merely a redesign for design's sake?

Sep 25, 2008
grillit in Site Talk

Restaurant Closures - 2008

Yes, there was a front page vignette in the Gazette this morning.
Last time I ate there would have been over a decade ago. The place was filled with the elderly. I remember thinking at the time that the restaurant would soon have to close as their patrons didn't seem to have much time left...

If I recall, the food was pretty decent, albeit not very memorable...

Hysteria over Listeria?

I'm curious to know if the recent Listeriosis "outbreak" here in quebec has affected the cheese buying habits of the folks on this board. For me, it's purchase-as-usual, but some acquaintances have expressed their reticence.

I heard on the radio this morning that Fromagerie Hamel in Atwater market is closed temporarily, although I cannot find an on-line source to confirm at this time. Other cheese retailers are claiming to have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock. Some details seem a little sketchy - are *all* cheeses being thrown out? Just certain brands? Most retailers are still open for business, so what's the criteria for destroying cheese? Will this "purge" may affect the availability of some harder to find cheeses?

Anyone here in the biz?

great butcher shops

I often go to Chez Vito (Corner St-Urbain & Fairmount) but it's quite close to where I live. I've also had good experiences at Atwater Market. There are several butchers there, but for some reason I usually end up buying from Claude et Henri.

I'd recommend them both.

Restaurant Closures - 2008

L'ouverture, the new place that open at Laurier O. & Esplanade is all papered up. It seems they only opened yesterday ;)

That location is cursed.

When is it "too much"?

I have noticed a marked "downsizing" of the O&G brownie. I would estimate they're probably 20-30% smaller now than about 4 years ago when I went through an O&G brownie rage, that saw me trekking over there every afternoon around 14h30 for my fix (except on those lamentable Mondays when O&G remained closed).

The dimensions you mention (4cm x 4cm x 3cm) seem to correspond with the last brownie I purchased there. They used to be big enough to share (if you were so inclined) but now they're for me alone.

Authentic southern bbq in montreal

My only experience at the Downtown Bofinger was also a disappointment. I've been to the NDG location several times and have always been satisfied, but Downtown is different. They offer a different variety of sauces, the pricing and menu options are not the same either (downtown is more expensive for fewer ribs) and the ribs themselves seemed smaller - but that may have been just the psychological effect of paying more for less. I'd go back to NDG anytime... just seemed like a better deal....

Are Bofingers franchised? Is the price difference just a consequence of downtown rent?

SAQ store or Depanneur w best beer selection

He also create his own beer under his own brand "Paradisiac".
My understanding is that these beers are his own recipes, but he has local brewers produce/bottle them. He tends to favour heavier beers (triple fermented, Belgian style), but he also has a "ligher" beer. All can be purchased by the bottle.

Outremont Organic Market?

Where does this habitually take place?

Chez Vito Closed or Open

There is a notice on Vito's door informing passers-by of their vacation period - and it's been there for quite sometime...

Chez Vito Closed or Open

Chez Vito the butcher at Fairmount & St-Urbain is closed for vacation as of July 22nd - if that's the Chez Vito to which you're referring....

Restaurant Closures - 2008

Perhaps not significant to chowhounders, I noticed that La Fourchetta on Laurier O. is papered up.... wonder what will open up in it's place...

Commensal vegetarian no! any recommendations

You didn't miss much. The F&F in mile end (it may still be there) was quite forgettable. I think F&F stands for "Frais et Fableux"; it was neither.

Kitchen Cabinets

Nekita Originals makes gorgeous solid pine reproductions. They do lovely custom built kitchens, all wood (no melamine/pressed board), and you can choose the style, finishing and hardware. I checked their website and it seems to be down, however: The phone number is still visible if you check the google cache. They could probably build your kitchen within the budget you quoted.

Shaker-inspired furniture is by it's nature very pure/clean in design with little in terms of adornments. It may even cost you less to have them custom made. If you want white you could either have it painted or better still, use a white tinted semi-transparent stain - that would look very sharp. :-)

I recently installed solid pine cabinetry and I love the rustic visual aesthetic. Of course, there are some minor compromises - for example, you may need to have smaller openings than conventional kitchens for the doors and drawers, but this depends on the case construction. Also wood breathes, expanding and contracting with humidity and over time this may result in a sticky drawer or two. Again this depends on the construction, and it's nothing that can't be corrected - a small price to pay for the natural beauty of wood.

There are many solid wood cabinet makers, and the price of the kitchen will largely vary based on the materials, the joinery (construction techniques) and the finishing. Pine cabinets are considerably less expensive than beech or oak. Pocket screws (used to join the cabinet cases) are much quicker/cheaper to build with than mortise & tenon joinery or dovetails.

Good luck with your kitchen search!

Commensal vegetarian no! any recommendations

Aux Vivres is an excellent vegetarian choice. I find their dishes are generously portioned, packed full of flavour and are reasonably priced to boot. The home made corn bread and veggie butter makes for an interesting entrée and they serve some lovely sandwiches on chapati (sp?) flatbread. Don't go if you're in a hurry as service can be somewhat slow.

Edit: You may also wish to try Chuch on St-Denis (search this board for reviews) and Santropol (Marie-Anne/St-Urbain) also serves casual vegetarian fare and they have a nice garden terrasse in back.

Restaurant Openings - 2008

Well it's some time after April, but Bond is open. They serve small meals, but it seems to me that a the idea is more "supper club" or "lounge" - I spoke to the owner a week or so ago, and he mentioned that the previous night DJ Maus had been playing to a packed house, they'd moved the tables for dancing etc. The decor is pretty swanky (if not exactly to everyone's taste" but clearly they've put a lot of work into the place.


There's some general tourism information at the "cantons de l'est" tourism site. It might give some ideas, or at least serve as a starting point:


Ooops - my bad for posting before researching!
Owl's Bread effectively has two locations according to their site:

One in Magog, and the original in Mansonville. BTW they are also at the Market in Knowlton every Saturday morning.


Isn't Owl's Bread in Mansonville, on the way to Owl's Head? Unless they have another location in Magog, that would be quite the drive - at least 40 km (although probably worth it). I had lunch at Owl's Bread this past winter and we enjoyed it thoroughly. I had some lovely duck sausage with crisp grilled vegetables, and she had an excellent & hearty cassoulet. Both came with a salad and we splurged on a succulent tarte tatin. The portion was generous enough for two, and it wasn't overly sweet - just right.

The service was decent on the resto side, but on the bakery counter side (where you can get many pastries & desserts to go), you may have a chance to engage the charismatic owner in conversation.

Restaurant Openings - 2008

The menu posted on trhe door indicates Creole cuisine. I did find it a little sparse - only about a half dozen entrées - no much else. Perhaps it was incomplete?

They've redone much of the interior (from Alloro - however they seem to be using the same outdoor furnishings on the terrasse. I'm not planning on going anytime soon, so hopefully someone will do a quick write-up....

Looking for Carrot Cake - Homemade style

Ok - so looks like I'll be the one baking this weekend. I'll let y'all know how it goes.