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#31
Posted November 11th 2005, 5:59pm
interestingly, most places in montreal apparently have no dress code.

we INTENDED to dress up, but our luggage was lost. we worried when we got there, and our bed and breakfast host assured us it wouldn't be a big deal... the guide books state that toque has no dress code.. we called to ask and they said no dress code whatsoever...

as it turns out, it really wasn't a big deal. the majority of those in the restaraunt were wearing business casual type clothing (some in suits, though)... and a few (us included) were wearing jeans and trendy clothing..
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#32
Posted November 14th 2005, 10:38pm
Montreal Bagels, best in the world that I know. These bagels beat anything I’ve had in the states anywhere (yes NYC that includes you).

I did a side by side taste test w/both plain and sesame bagels from two of Montreal’s famous bagel bakeries, St. Viateur and Fairmount. All bagels were purchased w/in 5 minutes of each other, all were still warm from getting out of the oven.

Hands down the winner was St. Viateur. The St. Viateur bagel was more dense and chewy, had a more rich wood fire flavor to it. The sesame bagel from St. Viateur was an epiphany for me, that good!

Fairmount should not hang their head, their bagel is head and shoulders above anything in the US.

According to the Montreal Mirror, the best bagels in Montreal are:

1. St. Viateur
(263 St-Viateur W., 276-8044)
2. Fairmount
(74 Fairmount W., 272 0667)
3. REAL Bagel
(4940 Queen Mary, 737-8841; 6160 Côte St-Luc, 484-3323)
4. Dad's Bagels
(5732 Sherbrooke W., 487-2454)
5. Yagel Bagel
(Décarie Square, 738-4231; 2075 St-Louis, 748-9016; 6579 Somerled, 489-5250)
_______________________________________

I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
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#33
Posted November 15th 2005, 12:20pm
My parents visited recently from Montreal and before they left home they called and asked my two year old if they should bring her anything. They were expecting her to ask for a book or something. She answered, "I want some bagels, Mamie." A girl after my own heart.

They brought a dozen and between my wife, my daughter, and me, they didn't last long. The bagels came from Bagel de L'Ouest, a strip-mall bagelry on Sources Blvd. in Dollard-des-Ormeaux (the suburb where I grew up) that does quite a good job. Not quite St. Viateur or Fairmount but infintely better than the bloated bread bombs that pass for bagels in most of Chicago.

For anyone caught in the West Island suburbs of Montreal, there is also a Yagel Bagel (cited in the previous post) in that part of the world on Blvd. St. Jean.

Bagel De L'Ouest
514-683-2552
4404, boulevard des Sources,
Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC H8Y 3B7

Yagel Bagel
514-624-0754
3815, boulevard Saint-Jean,
Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC H9G 1X2
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#34
Posted November 15th 2005, 1:46pm
You can also get Montreal style bagels at the Byward Market in Ottawa, ON.
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#35
Posted November 17th 2005, 12:52pm
I was in Montreal in October and took this at a bagel joint... Don't remember the name of it, though. It was near this hoity toity area... in a building that was now converted into a mall... it used to be a car showroom or something? (trying to remember what frommer's guidebook said...).. wish I could think of it..

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Anyway.. it was interesting to see how bagels are made... :o The guy rolled it in his hand on the very left board thing... then to the guy's left there is a vat of boiling water... then after that it was thrown into this oven... he took them out using this really long board ..then tossed in that pile
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#36
Posted November 17th 2005, 1:44pm
Hi dddane--

Is it the Faubourg Ste Catherine on Ste. Catherine St. West? The architecture looks familiar to me. The Faubourg was an attempt initiated some twenty years ago at a downtown food mall, with various food purveyors, specialty shops, and a fairly unmemorable food court upstairs. It suffered a little in the 90s, with lots of vacancies and low-rent dollar store type businesses coming in. It seems to be reviving a little with the addition of a big Second Cup cafe at street level, but I haven't been inside in a while.

Patrick
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#37
Posted November 17th 2005, 5:58pm
Yup that's where it was...


After a quick google, I found this:

http://blork.typepad.com/mondaymorning/ ... _mont.html

which has a better aerial pic of the same shop

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apparently its called The Bagel Place/Place du Bagel .. no idea if they're any good there (ran into it after just having breakfast), but they are fun to watch make.[/img]
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#38
Posted November 26th 2005, 12:06pm
TODG, a couple of friends and I crunched through the snow last night to Le Bistro Duluth, one of Montreal's many Portugese places. It's a true bistro: superb neighborhood food, served in a friendly, open, reasonably quiet atmosphere.

http://english.montrealplus.ca/portal/p ... eID=455267

They're famous for their moules and frites. *Justly* famous, I might add. The moules Madagasgar is done in a spicy cream sauce, perfectly cooked moules, festooned with some onion and garlic shreds, etc. I eat a lot of moules, and these really were perfect: texture excellent, lots of flavor, not a single grain of 'sand' in the whole bowl. Superb deeply golden crunchy fries, from fresh potatoes obviously. Everything preceded by a just average dressing-from-the-bottle Caesar salad.

TODG had a daily special: grilled tranches of leg o' lamb. Local lamb, wonderfully flavored, not gamey but rich, toothsome--wonderful. Mashed potatoes, B+, but not Stroud's, if you get my drift.

One of our pals had their other famous dish, grilled chicken. There are several places in Montreal (notably Pollo Rico, just up the street from Schwartz') that grill a spectacular Portugese chicken. Yum.

Several local brews on tap, including a [put Mc* name here] cream ale that was supple in the mouth and all IPA hops in the nose.

Our friends go here 3 or 4 times a year and it's always good. We're looking forward to being frequent visitors, too.

Geo


Le Bistro Duluth
121, avenue Duluth Est
Montreal, QC H2W 1H2
Phone (514) 287-9096

PS. Can you believe it? There's a Costco exactly 2 km from our new flat!

PPS. Has anyone heard about any decent Chinese in Montreal? We've already got a bead what's reputed to be a fantastic phô....
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#39
Posted September 11th 2006, 7:42pm
I recently returned from a long Labor Day weekend in Montreal. I found the various posts on this site to be very helpful in deciding where to go and what to eat so I thought I would add my 2 cents.

Being a big pastrami and corned beef fan -- 2 of my favorite comfort foods -- there was no question that Schwartz's would be one of my first stops. I ordered my smoked meat sandwich medium fatty and I am sorry to say that I was very disappointed . . . too lean and just not that flavorful. I couldn't believe this because so many people rave about Schwartz's . . . so I returned a couple of days later, this time ordering the sandwich fatty. The result? I liked it quite a bit more, but still found the flavor to be lacking some, in both richness and pepper. Overall, I thought it was decent but I much prefer good corned beef and pastrami. However, based upon the reviews on this site and the throbs of people waiting to get inside, I think I'm in the minority of those less than enthused with Schwartz's.

I also had occasion to try the Montreal bagels at both St. Viateur and Fairmount. Both were very good, although I preferred the variety of flavors offered at Fairmount. This is the first time I tried Montreal bagels and all that I can say is that they're obviously very different than NY bagels, but I can't say that I prefer one to the other.

I was really amazed by the Marché Jean-Talon. I knew it would be large, but this was ridiculous. I made my way around admiring the cheeses and sausages, as well as the wonderful produce. I sampled some fantastic peaches and nectarines. I also noticed the abundance of cerise de terre (Cape Gooseberries) which I don't recall having seen raw at any markets in Chicago. At the same time, I can't help but be disappointed when it hits me again that Chicago still does not have a daily market. What's going on???

We also stopped a few times for bread/pastries at Première Moisson. Everything was excellent, particularly the Olive bread and croissants.

We had two high-end dinners, one of which was at Toqué. We ordered the 7-course tasting menu which was approximately $82 (US). The meal was excellent, but for the dessert - there were 4 of us and we had 2 different desserts, neither of which was good. I can't say that I really enjoyed the setting of Toqué, a very large open and rather sterile dining room that lacked quaintness and reminded me of what you might find in a nice hotel or perhaps in Vegas, but with less glitz.

We had a better meal and enjoyed the overall experience more at Chez L'Épicier which is located in beautiful Old Montreal. After reading the glowing review on this site which compared it to Blackbird, I knew we needed to give this place a try. Again, we ordered the tasting menu, this time $75 for six courses. The meal was fantastic, and but for the absence of pork belly, the comparisons to Blackbird are deserved. The smallish dining room is quite striking with the dark diagonal wood floors, and the dark teal walls. They have a number of shelves of gourmet items for sale in the restaurant, which makes for a nice tour after or before the meal.

I would also highly recommend a visit to the BYO P'tit Plateau. Le P'tit Plateau is a simple bistro much like you might find in Paris. I started with one of the best soups I have ever had, the Mediterranean-style fish soup (Bourride) and I also loved my grilled venison in a port-red wine sauce. The dark chocolate mousse atop a praline crust was outstanding. I wish Chicago had a french bistro this good. It was just under $50 for these three courses, and we saved $$$ by stopping at a wine store in the afternoon and picking up a few bottles.

Le P'tit Plateau
330 Marie-Anne E.
514.282.6342
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#40
Posted September 12th 2006, 7:38pm
I spend six days in Montreal for a conference - at the Palais, the conference center near Old Town. Of course, I first trekked out to Schwartz. Now, as a New Yorker, I can't claim that I find Montreal smoked meat as compelling, as soul-filling as pastrami. Smoked meat is something of a cross-between corned beef and pastrami, and Schwartz's version is excellent, and is a landmark. (When I was in town Ben's, Schwartz's downtowm competitor was closed because of a labor dispute; while Ben's is more convenient, Schwartz's serves a more juicy sandwich, and has more ambience).

Other than that I had three meals - at Cube, Aix, and Chez L'Epicier (all are in or near Old Montreal).

I was looking forward to Cube, but I was disappointed. When we were there, the service was abysmal, so poor that we informed the maitre d', and perhaps our concern did some good. Friends who went the next night found the service commendable (of course, perhaps it was different staff). But we were continually served wrong dishes, and a meal that was seven courses (three of which were small tastes) dragged on to four hours. The food was mixed with the best a cold green pea soup seasoned with fresh mint and grapefruit with grilled shrimp. Less successful was overcooked veal sweetbbreads with liquorice and aspargus. In general, Cube attempts to include too many tastes on tehir plates, proving that less is more.

The next night we went to Aix, a pretty, sleek, quiet restaurant in the Hotel Place d'Armes that specialized in game dishes and local produce. I had a very nice caribou carpaccio. While the dishes were not brilliantly conceived, their were solid, and Aix did well by them.

The last night we went to Chez L'Epicier, chef Laurent Godbout's restaurant. Of the three this was my favorite and the one that I recommend without hesitation. Perhaps it is not a four star restaurant (it is somewhat casual in decor), but it is an impressive three-star. A trilogy of beets with anise seed, goat cheese, and crumble was delicious. Also excelllent was a lamb confit with lemon and rosemary fragrances.

Restaurant Cube
355, Rue McGill
Montréal
514-876-2823

Aix Cuisine du terroir
711, Côte de la Place d’Armes
Montréal
514-904-1201

Chez L'Epicier
311, rue Saint-Paul Est
Montréal
514-878-2232
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#41
Posted September 13th 2006, 7:39am
Don't forget the cheese! Quebec produces some excellent fromage. While you're at Marche Atwater or Jean Talon check out the fromageries. They're extremely knowledgeable and very generous about offering samples, and they'll vacuum seal your purchases so they're great items to bring back - have a wine & cheese party when you get home and regale everyone with tales of the great meals you had in Montreal. I've never had a problem with customs, even with unpasteurized raw milk cheeses. One of my favorites is Sir Laurier d'Arthabaska, a soft washed rind cow's milk nice and stinky - make sure it's fresh fresh fresh and eat it right away, incredible.

PS - If you go to L'Express, get the roasted marrow bones with sea salt appetizer. Magnifique!
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#42
Posted July 3rd 2008, 8:50am
dddane wrote:I was in Montreal in October and took this at a bagel joint... Don't remember the name of it, though. It was near this hoity toity area... in a building that was now converted into a mall... it used to be a car showroom or something? (trying to remember what frommer's guidebook said...).. wish I could think of it..

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Maple Leaf wrote:Is it the Faubourg Ste Catherine on Ste. Catherine St. West? The architecture looks familiar to me. The Faubourg was an attempt initiated some twenty years ago at a downtown food mall, with various food purveyors, specialty shops, and a fairly unmemorable food court upstairs. It suffered a little in the 90s, with lots of vacancies and low-rent dollar store type businesses coming in. It seems to be reviving a little with the addition of a big Second Cup cafe at street level, but I haven't been inside in a while.


I was just at Le Faubourg yesterday. I usually stop there once a year for fast food either before or after a visit to the CCA or a movie at the AMC Forum. I don't see any signs of revival. The space seems more dismal than ever, though I'm glad that the bagel shop and candy store are still there. I don't know why it's taken me so long, but I tried Bangkok up in the food court for the first time for lunch yesterday.

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I was impressed. It's no TAC Quick, but I think it's better than solid and cheap at about $7 per entrée. I found the basil squid with noodles un peu bizarre, as the noodles were quite chewy and served atop a large mound of bean sprouts (the dish actually had very few noodles). However, the spice was aggressive (as I requested), and overall the dish was very tasty.

Basil squid with noodles:
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The garlic and pepper seafood was outstanding, equally garlicky and peppery--extremely satisfying.

Garlic & pepper seafood:
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It's no doubt fast food but a comforting sign of life at Le Faubourg.
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#43
Posted July 3rd 2008, 10:08am
Nocochi & Pâtisserie Harmonie

I usually subsist on pastries when I visit Montréal since, in comparison, I find Chicago to be somewhat of a pastry desert. I had two notable pastry experiences on my most recent visit.

First, I have been meaning to visit Nocochi, a cafe and pâtisserie just off Sherbrooke, on my visits to the Musée des beaux-arts, but it's been either closed, or I just haven't been in the right mood for extra dainty pastries. However, it seemed like an appropriate stop after indulging in the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts. (The exhibition, BTW, is amazing--one of the best shows I've seen at any art museum in the last five years, and I see a lot of shows. I want to go back a dozen more times.)

I can't speak to Nocochi's lunch menu, since I didn't try any of the regular food, but the salads and pasta (particularly a pesto dish I spied) all looked exquisite--made with very fine ingredients. I imagine Nocochi's signature are their miniature, quarter-sized cookies, of which they make about two dozen varieties. They're all very delicate, obviously made with skill and care. I came away with two boxes. What impressed me about Nocochi's cookies was the way they carried flavor. I've often found that, while cute, miniature cookies often lack taste. Nocochi's cookies were surprisingly rich for their size.

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Nocochi also makes standard-sized macarons in about a dozen flavors. I came away with a box of one of each of the flavors on offer that day. My favorites were the ones sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds--one may have had a pistachio filling, the other coconut-like--and the one sprinkled with dark cocoa with some kind of berry cookie.

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I also sampled some of Nocochi's pâtes de fruits and marbles of marzipan, which were very fine even if not the types of sweets to which I usually gravitate.

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I was a little surprised by my bill for three boxes of cookies--I ordered somewhat recklessly (or enthusiastically depending on you think of it!), taking basically one of everything I could see. According to my rough math, most cookies were about $1 C each, which is expensive given that I could comfortably eat about 20 cookies in one sitting. Nocochi is certainly not cheap (though probably in line with most places off that stretch of Sherbrooke), but it's a worthwhile stop. I look forward to having lunch there on my next visit to Montréal.

My other dessert discovery, different in many ways from Nocochi (but both, oddly, employing a very minimalist decor) was Pâtisserie Harmonie in Chinatown. Harmonie, which opened earlier this year, is pretty much in line with the HK-style bakeries that I've been seeing all over the world now--with various cream-, custard-, bean-, taro-and meat-filled things--but there was one standout item at Harmonie that I've not seen elsewhere, what I'm calling red bean croissants:

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They're basically crescent-shaped sweet bread with a little red bean smeared in the folds of the dough. These things were extraordinary. If it weren't for my three boxes of cookies from Nocochi and my two boxes of cookies from Duc de Lorraine, I surely would have carried back a dozen red bean croissants! Harmonie is also conveniently located one short block from Maison Kam Fung. Skip dessert at dim sum, stop and pick up pastries at Harmonie, and then take a long walk through Old Montréal--I reckon that would be a near perfect day.

Nocochi
2156 Rue Mackay
Montréal H3G 1L3
514-989-7514

Pâtisserie Harmonie
85 de la Gauchetière W
Montréal
514-875-1328
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#44
Posted July 3rd 2008, 10:54am
Happy—

For those of us who teach at Concordia—about 50 meters from the new Second Cup in the Faubourg!—the Thai resto is a saving grace. And yes, the whole 'feel' of the Faubourg is kind of depressing, but it's what we've got.

Nice that you found Nocochi. Did you notice the smiling dark-haired lady near the cash register? Owner and pastry-maker, that's her.

Just a couple of blocks away is the best baguette in the city: Premiére Moisson. They have lots of other things, esp. house made patés and sausages. Have you visited them yet?

Geo



Boulangerie Première Moisson
1490 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal, QC H3G 1L3, Canada
(514) 931-6540‎
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#45
Posted July 3rd 2008, 11:34am
Geo wrote:For those of us who teach at Concordia—about 50 meters from the new Second Cup in the Faubourg!—the Thai resto is a saving grace. And yes, the whole 'feel' of the Faubourg is kind of depressing, but it's what we've got.‎


I was thinking that it's a bit of a shame that the businesses that have opened on the ground floor of the new Concordia building near by, like the Arc'Teryx store and the juice place, did not open in Le Faubourg. I don't understand why Le Faubourg doesn't attract tenants. There's lots of activity in the area.

Geo wrote:Nice that you found Nocochi. Did you notice the smiling dark-haired lady near the cash register? Owner and pastry-maker, that's her.


It's funny that you mention her. She was the person who helped me and was smiling the other day when I came in, but I distinctly remember thinking that she wasn't actually very friendly. In fact, she was rather curt. It wasn't enough to turn me away though; she could have just been having a bad day. I still loved her cookies!

Geo wrote:Just a couple of blocks away is the best baguette in the city: Premiére Moisson. They have lots of other things, esp. house made patés and sausages. Have you visited them yet?


Ah yes--Premiére Moisson is my usual stop for lunch before or after the Musée des beaux-arts. I was just talking to someone this past weekend about which Premiére Moisson location I like best. The differences in locations is minor, but I think my favorite is at marché Atwater.

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In fact, we picked up some bread from there for our improvised lunch at the market on Monday. (We purchased our terrines from the terrine shop across PM at Atwater and at the other terrine stall at the other end of the market and a piece of Nuits d'Or from the big fromagerie.)

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However, I also enjoyed a small apricot tart from the PM at marché Maisonneuve on this visit to Montréal.

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I will post more about my visit to Maisonneuve later this week, but I imagine that the PM there must be one of the main reasons to visit since the market overall seems lacking, particularly compared to Atwater and Jean-Talon. Maybe Le Faubourg would benefit from having a Premiére Moisson!
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#46
Posted July 3rd 2008, 2:59pm
happy_stomach wrote:Maybe Le Faubourg would benefit from having a Premiére Moisson!


Ya think??! :lol:

Our workday PM is the one by Concordia, but our live-in place is at Marché Jean-Talon, which is about a 5-min bike ride from home. Whenever a visiting pal comes through, esp. an LTHer, we go to the PM at J-T for lunch.

We don't get to Atwater very often. What with J-T being so close, and my being addicted to some of the things there (the grilled mici lamb+garlic sausages at Balkani, for example) and TODG addicted to the ice cream place—Havre de Glace—there's just not enough time in the eating portion of our lives to get to Atwater. :)

Next time you're in town and feel like company give us a PM.

Geo
_______________________________________

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#47
Posted July 5th 2008, 8:04pm
Geo wrote:We don't get to Atwater very often. What with J-T being so close, and my being addicted to some of the things there (the grilled mici lamb+garlic sausages at Balkani, for example) and TODG addicted to the ice cream place—Havre de Glace—there's just not enough time in the eating portion of our lives to get to Atwater. :)

Next time you're in town and feel like company give us a PM.


Marché Atwater
Thanks, Geo--will do. When I'm in Montréal, I usually stay just off the Côte-des-Neiges Metro stop, so Jean-Talon is the easiest market to get to without a transfer. I think overall it is the superior market--it's where my mom shopped, she loves to tell me how it's grown in the last 30 years--but sometimes I just find myself in the mood for the scale of Atwater. eatchicago has already praised Atwater in this thread. I'll just throw in a few recent pictures:

First, I like to stop into St. Irénée, a very charming church on the way from the Lionel-Groulx Metro stop to the market:

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Given the time of year, local strawberries were everywhere at Atwater:

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The other produce--some local, some not--was also lovely as usual:

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I like La Fromagerie Atwater, particularly for its selection of goat cheese, and I always make a stop at the jam stall, even if only to browse the different hues:

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One of my favorite parts of Atwater is Les Douceurs du Marché. I think of it as a Dean & Deluca without the produce or prepared foods and cheaper. I'm particularly fond of the selection of specialty pastas:

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I also really like their range of teas, oils and spices. It seems somewhat incongruous with the rest of the shop and makes me laugh every time, but Les Douceurs also sells warm Jamaican patties (i.e. pockets) at the counter:

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A few other Atwater pictures from last week can be found here.

Marché Jean-Talon
Jean-Talon is stupendous as gleam and others here have discovered. A few pictures from last week:

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All of the fruit and vegetables were stupendous. My godmother and I filled up on samples of Lebanese cucumbers, peaches, apricots, plums, strawberries, melons and tomatoes. One of the highlights from this most recent visit was the sight of cherry pies being made at La Fournée des Sucreries de l'Érable.

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My godmother said she also saw paczkis being made somewhere at the market. Somehow I missed this. My other Jean-Talon pictures can be found here.

Marché Maisonneuve
One public market in Montréal that I don't think has been mentioned on LTH is Maisonneuve. It's small and limited in its offerings compared to Atwater and Jean-Talon and a 10-15-minute walk from the nearest Metro stop (i.e. it's not as convenient to get to as the other markets). It's worth visiting to see the old market building against the backdrop of the Olympic stadium, but otherwise I think Maisonneuve is underwhelming.

The old market building, which I believe closed in the 1960s:
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The building where the market is housed now:
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Duc de Lorraine
Because I grew up in Montréal, many of the eateries of which I’m most fond are close to where my family used to live and not necessarily destinations for visitors. The one exception to my favorites list (and which I mentioned in this post—I didn’t meant to splinter then from the main Montréal thread; I think I just couldn’t find the main thread for whatever reason) is Duc de Lorraine, which besides being one of my favorite places on the planet is definitely a food destination. (It’s also located near the foot of St. Joseph’s and makes a convenient stop before or after climbing all of those steps.)

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I finally got around to taking some pictures at Duc de Lorraine on this trip. All of the pastries are outstanding, my all-time favorite being their lemon tart, which I think is the best in the city and better than any lemon tart I’ve had in France.

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Their croissants are also outstanding, as is their version St. Honoré cake, which was what my mom used to buy whenever there was a special occasion or we were having dinner at the homes of friends.

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I’m also fond of Duc de Lorraine’s seating area, again, in the shadow of St. Joseph’s. I can (and have) spend many a long afternoon eating and reading there. Here are a few other Duc pictures.

Marché Maisonneuve
4445 Rue Ontario Est
Montréal

Duc de Lorraine Pâtisserie Francaise
5002 Cote des Neiges Rd
Montréal
514-731-4128
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#48
Posted July 5th 2008, 8:44pm
happy_stomach wrote:she also saw paczkis being made somewhere at the market.
They're at the east end, centre, just opposite the elevators to the parking, just before you get to the gourmet kitchengear shoppe. All sorts of Austro-Hungarian patisserie, lovely stuff.

Duc du Lorraine is one of The Other Dr. Gale's most favorite places. When guests are in town, she takes them through the Oratory, and then to Duc. If I'm along, I insist on going 50m further along up CdN to go to the German deli.

What a town!

Oh—my vineyard/nursery is on a farm near Répentigny, and Léon, le proprietaire, has a PYO strawberry operation. DANG! those are some good fraises!

Geo
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#49
Posted December 12th 2008, 1:53am
Having just returned from a weekend in Montréal, and re-reading this thread, I was concerned that there doesn't seem to be much discussion of Montréal's lively brewpub scene. Frankly, and as as much as I like to tout Chicago, Montréal has it all over Chicago in terms of brewpubs - despite being half the size, population-wise. Perhaps the annual city-wide beer festival has something to do with it.
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We probably missed as many brewpubs as we hit. So consider the following a personal, random report, and not at all all-inclusive. An interesting point was that by law, all brewpubs must state their beers' ABV% (alcohol percentage) ... and beers over 5% are frequently a little more expensive.

We started at Brutopia - on Rue Crescent - the Rush Street of Montréal.
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The IPA was reasonably good, although as a hop-head I might have liked a little more in the flavoring/aroma department. The Nut Brown Ale was well-rounded, with a nice toastiness to it. Servers were very helpful, and offered small samples of any beer prior to committing to a pint.

Next stop was Brasserie Artisinale and Bistro Le Reservoir.
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A slightly more crowded room in a bit more out-of-the-way location, Reservoir offered a very good IPA, with more hop aroma than at Brutopia. We also sampled the Oktoberfest, which had a coarse, grainy character. Ultimately, it was probably our least-favorite brewpub of the trip - although, in many other cities, it could easily be considered a top-tier place. The ambiance wasn't helped by the waitress, who, after we paid for our beers, stood impatiently at our table. We figured out she was waiting for her tip. Had she allowed us to leave the tip on the table, as we'd intended, she would have earned more.

It took us a while to find our next stop - Le Sergent Recruteur.
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It moved north about a block and across the street from its original location. They said they were a restaurant - not a brewpub - so we had to order food with our beer. We opted for a terrine platter.
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The two terrines were average at best, although the dates suffused one with a nice sweetness. Still, terrines from a certain Ronnie S would blow these way any day. The cornichons and caperberries were a nice touch, though.

The beers were mostly Belgian in style. Their witbier was solid, but the coriander/orange peel flavor only whispered (as compared to Le Saint Bock, where those flavors didn't shout, but spoke out in determinedly authoritative tones.) The Abbey Dubbel had a rich maltiness, balanced by just a hint of hops.

Next day, our destination was Mile End, and possibly the most creative brewpub I've ever visited - Diel du Ciel!.
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This small, cozy pub had an amazing array of 16 house-brewed beers. Probably the most interesting was the Absinthe Ale, although the strong licorice taste might not be to everyone's liking. But if you like stouts, and hops, their Black IPA might be for you. The hand-pulled, cask-conditioned brune made my tastebuds think they were back in London.

Les 3 Brasseurs was our Sunday brunch stop, in Vieux Montreal (the old city).
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I was anxious to visit this place, since I had been to one of their original locations in Lille, France several years ago. There, they proudly feature their signature dish - flammenküche - something like a pizza on a crepe-like base. In Montréal, they call it Flamm ... and it's more like a minimalist cracker-crust pizza. When I visited their pub in Lille, there was only one other location in France; now there are five in the Montréal area alone. The beer list was relatively small - but despite what some of the other folks at other brewpubs said, their beer really weren't that bad. They weren't exciting, but they weren't bad.
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From left, the brune, ambre, blond, and blanche (witbier). The special, in front, was described as a seven-grain beer – a bit maltier than the others, but again, competent, not exciting.

Later in the day, we headed out to the Latin Quarter. There’s another Les 3 Brasseurs there, but we skipped it. Instead, we hit two of the best brewpubs of the trip, within a couple of blocks of each other – Le Saint Bock and L’Amere a Boire.

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Le Saint Bock was a little strange – it has twenty or so different beers on tap, but you have to read the fine print to find which ones were made on site. But the fine print was well worth reading.
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Left to right: A very malty porter, a Belgian-style sour Saison (very refreshing), Gruit Ale (using herbs other than hops - had a bright flavor that didn’t even leave a hop-head like me longing for hops), A witbier with pronounced - but balanced spicing, and a very smooth red ale.

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At L’Amere a Boire, we simply asked for a sample of whatever they’d made there they might have lying around. We got:
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All were excellent. Their beers merely stretched traditional beer style guidelines, unlike Diel du Ciel, which occasionally trampled all over them (in a good way). Standouts were the clove-y Hefeweizen, the smooth, malty red Vollbier, and the not-excessively alcoholic Imperial stout. Impressively, their beer menu lists the specific malts and hops used for each brew. At other places, when asked about what hops were used, I’d be lucky if I could get a response like “German” or “English;” here, I could read whether it was Fuggles or Hallertau, for example (all hops and malts were apropriate for their styles - unlike another brewpub, which claimed Cascade hops were their choice for their “authentic” IPA).

Last stop was:
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At Benelux, we got into a very interesting, rambling discussion of Canadian and American politics with a student from nearby McGill University, who was having a few beers and a couple of snifters of brandy before going to class. We all enjoyed the big Triple Saison, and the witbier was also very good. Although they seemed to favor Belgian styles (as the name would suggest), there was a reasonable representation of British and American styles, too.

After getting back, and just as a point of comparison, we visited Goose Island. Based on their sampler, they’d be ranked among the top four or so of the Montreal brewpubs, but definitely not at the top.

Montréal isn’t Belgium, but it’s pretty close to a beery paradise.

Brutopia
1219 Rue Crescent
Montreal, QC

Brasserie Artisinal eand Bistro Le Reservoir
9 Duluth East
Montreal, QC

Le Sergent Recruteur
4801 Boullevard Saint Laurent
Montreal, QC

Les 3 Brasseurs
105 East St. Paul St.
Montreal QC

Dieu du Ciel!
29 West Laurier Ave.
Montreal, QC

Le Saint Bock
1749 Rue Saint Denis
Montreal, QC

L’Amere a Boire
2049 Rue Saint Denis
Montreal, QC

Benelux Brasserie Artisanale et Café
245 Sherbrook Ouest
Montreal, QC
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Avatar
#50
Posted December 12th 2008, 11:42am
Wow, thanks for the write-up, nr706. Certainly moves Montreal up on my list of places to visit, and makes me kick myself that in four years in Boston, I never made it up there when it was so much closer.

Agreed on the point also that Chicago leaves a lot to be desired in terms of local brewpubs. I wonder how much of that has to do with a city and state bureaucracy and licensing scheme that probably makes Montreal look like an unregulated utopia (ABV labeling requirements notwithstanding).
Avatar
#51
Posted December 31st 2008, 6:02pm
When in Montreal, don't forget Moishe's, a top-of-the-line steakhouse, expensive, wonderful, a boisterous scene with a largely Jewish clientele. Very near Schwartz's.

Moishe's
3961 Blvd. St-Laurent
_______________________________________

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Avatar
#52
Posted January 18th 2009, 9:41am
nr706 wrote:Having just returned from a weekend in Montréal, and re-reading this thread, I was concerned that there doesn't seem to be much discussion of Montréal's lively brewpub scene.


Tom, my reading of LTH has been pretty spotty in the last few months, so I just noticed your Montreal report this morning. I'm in the process of scheduling my Montreal visits for this year and checked the thread to see what else I might contribute. Thank you for reporting on the brewpub scene. It is significant and deserves more attention. There aren't really any beer-drinkers in the Montreal branch of my family, which is why I don't get to the pubs often. You've inspired me though. I'm definitely going to set aside some time for a few beers once the weather warms up.
Avatar
#53
Posted July 17th 2010, 3:16pm
I'm planning a long weekend trip to Montreal for next month and hoping for some help with the eating itinerary.
We'd like to find some spots in neighborhoods off the beaten track (but Metro accessible). From reading prior LTH posts (and a few other sites), we have the following on the list as possibilities:

Le P'tit Plateau
Chez L'epicier
Club Chasse et Peche (worth the hype?)
L'express
Bonaparte
La Montee

We'd also like to have one Portuguese meal.
Anyone have opinions on Jano vs. Le Roi de la Plateau vs. others?

We will definitely be hitting some markets (Jean Talon, for one), a brew pub or too and some pastry shops (thanks h_s) and stopping for bagels. I know, it's sacrilege, but we'll probably skip Schwartz's (we're not big deli people).
Avatar

#54
Posted July 17th 2010, 3:44pm
Funny you should mention La Montee, thaiobsessed. It's demorphed back to what it was.
[The review is by Leslie Chesterman, of the Gazette, who is extremely reliable. You might look at what she has to say about your other restos.] I can't say anything about most of your other places, since they're not on our list.

For Portuguese, I'd highly recommend La Roi de la Plateau: we've eaten at many Portuguese grills in town, and this is our fave. You'll need a reservation. It's a few-block walk from the metro, but only a block from the St-Laurent bus (which you need to ride!).

No Schwartz'? Ouf.

If you like excellent North African, the best in the city is Au Tarot; nicely enough, it's BYOW. I'd also recommend Tapeo *very* highly. Tapas, Montréal-style; it is *always* rated in the top five restos in the city.

Don't eat before you go to Marché Jean-Talon, which, btw, is--IMHO--the best visit in the city, bar none. Go on Saturday morning, walk around, have coffee at Pain Dorée, with a brioche, croissant, etc., oysters or calamari, or fish 'n chips at the fish store, game sausages at the grill, and finish off with a grande dessert at Premiere Moisson. What a grand visit!

Sorry we can't be here to have a drink with you, but Debbie and I leave for Oz (and then KC for me) on Monday the 19th July. But you'll have lots of fun, and we'll expect a report!!

Geo

Au Tarot http://www.restaurantautarot.ca/

Tapeo http://www.restotapeo.com/main.php5
_______________________________________

Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
Avatar
#55
Posted July 17th 2010, 4:52pm
Thanks Geo! Sorry we'll miss you...

Geo wrote:No Schwartz'? Ouf.


Really? I may have to rethink that one. Maybe just for a little snack.

Au Tarot and La Roi de la Plateau are now officially on the top of the list. Potentially Tapeo, too (depending on stomach room--we're only there for three days, though I have been known to pack in quite a few dining spots in a very short period of time).

Glad you warned me not to eat before Jean-Talon (good bread and oysters, can't wait for that day!)
Avatar
#56
Posted July 17th 2010, 5:42pm
thaiobsessed wrote:I'm planning a long weekend trip to Montreal for next month and hoping for some help with the eating itinerary.
We'd like to find some spots in neighborhoods off the beaten track (but Metro accessible). From reading prior LTH posts (and a few other sites), we have the following on the list as possibilities:

Le P'tit Plateau
Chez L'epicier
Club Chasse et Peche (worth the hype?)
L'express
Bonaparte
La Montee

We'd also like to have one Portuguese meal.
Anyone have opinions on Jano vs. Le Roi de la Plateau vs. others?

We will definitely be hitting some markets (Jean Talon, for one), a brew pub or too and some pastry shops (thanks h_s) and stopping for bagels. I know, it's sacrilege, but we'll probably skip Schwartz's (we're not big deli people).


This sounds lovely. I look forward to reading your impressions. I've been missing Montreal very much lately. My October visit can't come soon enough.
Avatar
#57
Posted July 17th 2010, 6:10pm
I was just in Montreal on business (some days I really love my job!) and we stumbled upon Chez l'Epicier by chance since the two folks I was traveling with had never been to the city before and wanted to see the Old Port ... knowing nothing about it, we simply thought it looked great and so in we went. What a glorious wonderful meal! Each course was superb - inventive but also comforting. The service and atmosphere was lovely - and each of us were charmed. It's definitey in my top meals of all times category.

I'm also very taken with the breads at Au Pain Dore - multiple locations though I've only been to the one on Peel. We were staying up the street at the Omni and working a lot of the time so this was a great lunch and afternoon break option. Whenever I'm in MTL, I try to stop there on my way to the airport and literally fill a bag with breads which I freeze as soon as I arrive home ...

And if you are into shopping (and have not spent every last dime on all the wonderful food in Montreal, Olgilvy's is a superb old school high end department store ... and my favorite source for my favorite Arche shoes.

Such a great city ... wonderful for walking, so many fun and free summer time events (if you're there during the International Fireworks competition, head down to the piers in Old Port and join the friendly crowds for a great show.
Avatar

#58
Posted July 17th 2010, 6:44pm
Sadly, it's been several years now since I've been in Montreal, and this thread makes me realize I need to get there again soon.

I'm glad to hear there's some more recent approval of Chez L'epicier. I just loved Le P'tit Plateau and I hope it's still as good as it was on the night I was there - I remember that meal as if I had it just last week and it's been about 4 years. Although I'm basing my opinion on just a single meal, I'm still of the opinion that there is not a single French restaurant that comes anywhere close to the quality of Le P'tit Plateau.
Avatar
#59
Posted July 19th 2010, 11:56am
O.K. so I'm supposed to be whittling choices down but I've read a few recommendations for Au Cinquieme Peche--any yeas or nays on that one?

Here's the rough line-up:

Lunches: Graziella, L'express, Au Tarot vs. Au Cinquieme Peche
Dinners: Le p'tit plateu, La Montee, Roi du Plateau vs. Tapeo
Plus bakeries and markets and maybe Schwartz's for breakfasts and snacks.
Avatar
#60
Posted July 19th 2010, 12:13pm
thaiobsessed wrote:O.K. so I'm supposed to be whittling choices down but I've read a few recommendations for Au Cinquieme Peche--any yeas or nays on that one?

Here's the rough line-up:

Lunches: Graziella, L'express, Au Tarot vs. Au Cinquieme Peche
Dinners: Le p'tit plateu, La Montee, Roi du Plateau vs. Tapeo
Plus bakeries and markets and maybe Schwartz's for breakfasts and snacks.


I gotta agree with Geo -- you have to hit Schwartz's and you have to hit the Marche Jean-Talon. The gastronomic highlights of montreal for me.
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Ed Fisher
my chicago food photos

RIP LTH.
Home Cookin'

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