Four night trip to Montreal - feedback please!!


#1

I’m tagging @Captcrunch because you seem like the
board guru but I hope others chime in too! :slight_smile: I have been wanting to come to Montreal for a while and I finally convinced my husband! We are coming in a couple months.

Here’s what I have planned so far. Please help me with my itinerary! A little about us-- it’s just the two of us traveling, we are in our 30s and love discovering local specialties. My husband lives and dies for beer and I like farm-to-table food, ice cream, cheese, etc. We have been to France several times so we don’t feel that in need of seeking out straight up French restaurants. Though this is first and foremost a food vacation, I would also love non-food suggestions to complement our food stops!

I’ve had revisiting a sugar shack on my brain basically ever since I went on a trip to Quebec City when I was in high school. The timing has never been right and now it is! The Au Pied De Cochon cabane is all booked up so I tried booking at their new cabane (Cabane d’à Côté ) but they are only taking parties of four or greater. I am waiting to hear back from them to see if they can accommodate us but until then I’ve made reservations at both Sucrerie de la Montagne and Sucrerie Des Gallant. For this I am looking more for overall fun experience rather than absolute best food, although of course it would be nice to have both. Any opinions on which to keep and which to cancel?

We have four nights, Friday through Monday, with Monday being a bit of a challenge in terms of what is open. As much as I love rich food, I also know that we need to mix it up a bit with some lighter fare for my stomach’s sake. So far I have dinner reservations at the following…
Friday- Au Pied De Cochon- may change this if we end up going to their new cabane à sucre. Overhyped or must-do for a first time visitor?

Saturday- I cannot decide between Le Virunga and Liverpool House- I could not get a reservation at Joe Beef which is all over the news here so I did LH instead. Tell me the truth, is this restaurant group overrated? Should we skip it and go to Le Virunga, which sounds unlike anything we have near us?

Sunday- this will be our day trip to the sugar shack. Evening I reserved Tiradito late which seems like it would be a nice contrast to the sugar shack.

Monday- I reserved Damas. I love middle eastern food and this looks fantastic- we’ve never had Syrian food. I figured at this point we’d be in the mood for something different.

At other timesof the day we also want to do poutine at La Banquise, bagels at St Viateur and/or Fairmount, Hof Kelsten, the markets, Schwartz’s (open to alternatives for that as I have heard the wait is ridiculous and I am allergic to lines in general). Regarding our dinners, Foxy and Candide are also on my radar-- should we consider either of those instead of what we have already? I’m looking for variety and contrast.

Finally any beer, ice cream shops, bakery, or other points of interest would be much appreciated.

Thanks for any help! I can’t wait!


#2

Hey!

First of all, welcome to the board!

For the food recommendation (beer/wine/produce/cheese), I recommend the mega thread I made on the subject. Its a year+ old (yeah, I need to review it :slight_smile: ) but its still very current and covers a lot of themes and topics:

For ice cream, I will recommend the following:

Kem Coba

One of the highlights of Montreal ice cream. They do their own soft serve, hard ice cream and they change often. In the summer, there is a long line. They are really good.

Chocolat Favoris

The talk of the south shore. Their thing is soft serve that can be dipped in a number of different chocolate and toppings. Not my thing (I’m not much of a dip guy and prefer the kem coba method) but I can’t argue against its success.

Crèmerie Meu Meu

Classic from the Plateau! Their thing is home made hard serve.

Bilboquet

If I had to choose a #2 after Kem Coba, it would be bilboquet. They were the hot new thing before Kem Coba came along

Ripples

Their 6x chocolate hard serve is to die for. Home made ice cream.

Friday- Au Pied De Cochon- may change this if we end up going to their new cabane à sucre. Overhyped or must-do for a first time visitor?

Cabane à sucre is a must but there are probably no more tickets. All the tickets of Au Pied de Cochon Cabane à sucre usually goes in a day. Au pied de cochon is a good 2nd choice!

`

Saturday- I cannot decide between Le Virunga and Liverpool House- I could not get a reservation at Joe Beef which is all over the news here so I did LH instead. Tell me the truth, is this restaurant group overrated? Should we skip it and go to Le Virunga, which sounds unlike anything we have near us?

All members of the Joe Beef group are worthwhile. I would recommend keeping Liverpool House. I usually try Le Vin Papillon as a walkin first (they don’t take reservations), try to get in Joe Beef (sometimes there are cancellations) and then go for Liverpool House if nothing is taken. If you have reserved LH, keep it (its a bit of a bad more not to cancel reservation at least 24hr in advance)

I do not know anything about Virunga (that doesn’t mean its bad but take it as you will)

_ Sunday- this will be our day trip to the sugar shack. Evening I reserved Tiradito late which seems like it would be a nice contrast to the sugar shack._

I have never heard of Tiraldito. Its not negative but I cannot vouch for it either. If you can share the logic behind the choice I might be able to help with other suggestions.

> Monday- I reserved Damas. I love middle eastern food and this looks fantastic- we’ve never had Syrian food. I figured at this point we’d be in the mood for something different.

Damas has a great reputation. Other potential good choices in that vein is Alep and Petit Alep (see critic here: Le Petit Alep report (Montreal, long)

At other timesof the day we also want to do poutine at La Banquise, bagels at St Viateur and/or Fairmount, Hof Kelsten, the markets, Schwartz’s (open to alternatives for that as I have heard the wait is ridiculous and I am allergic to lines in general).

All of them are good. The traditional competitor to Schwartz is The Main in front however it changed owners a few years ago and I’m not sure if it still holds up (Leonard Cohen was a Mains guy)

Foxy and Candide are also on my radar-- should we consider either of those instead of what we have already? I’m looking for variety and contrast.

I liked Foxy and Candide (see my comments Candidate review and Foxy review )

Candide felt more of an experience than Foxy however. Depending of what you want, I would replace Tiradito with Candide first and Foxy second. I would keep LH however.

If you have any more questions don’t hesitate!


#3

First of all, thank you so much for the thorough and thoughtful reply!

Your ice cream recommendations are fantastic. Kem Coba in particular looks unique and unlike anything I’ve ever seen!

I managed to get us a reservation at Au Pied de Cochon’s NEW sugar shack called Cabane d’à Côté. The only time they could accommodate us was 3 PM on the Sunday so I doubt we will be hungry enough for a proper dinner after that. Because of that development, I am rethinking our meals a bit.

Friday lunch- en route
Friday dinner- I am going to cancel Au Pied de Cochon since we are doing their sugar shack experience instead. Now I am deciding between Montreal Plaza and Club Chasse et Peche. I think I recall from another thread that you are a fan of Club Chasse et Peche. Thoughts on that vs. Montreal Plaza? Though price isn’t a huge issue, we’re not looking for a fancy ambiance anywhere.

Saturday breakfast- bagels
Saturday lunch- smoked meat
Saturday dinner- Liverpool House or Le Virunga (I will decide soon and cancel the one we are not keeping; I am mindful that restaurants suffer from no-shows and I read that it’s a problem in Montreal)

Sunday brunch- TBD; open to suggestions. Light options a bonus.
Sunday lunch/dinner- Cabane d’à Côté
Sunday light snacks/drinks- TBD (cancelling Tiradito)

Monday breakfast- more bagels
Monday lunch- TBD- any place with good salads? We will probably need one by now. :slight_smile:
Monday dinner- Damas

Tuesday breakfast- TBD

As I said I’m looking for variety and maybe some lighter fare to balance out the heavier meals but I have a feeling no matter what we will be rolling home to NY. Thanks again for the feedback!