[Montreal] [Quebec] restaurant recommendations 2022

Let’s get the Montreal restaurant conversation started.

My best meal in Montreal in Nov 2019 was a family-style group dinner at Maison Publique. I plan to revisit next time I visit Montreal.

My best pastries on that Nov 2019 visit came from Patrice.

I have been meaning to try FoieGwa, probably for brunch.

I also want to visit Arthur’s.

My friends like Lawrence for brunch. I thought it was good, but I haven’t returned for a while.

I like doing breakfast at Beauty’s when I visit.

Old favourites include Au Pied de Cochon, Joe Beef, Lemeac, le Filet, L’Express, Damas, Milos and Ferreira Cafe, which I will revisit.

If you visit in the summer, the lobster roll at Au Pied de Cochon, is decadent. I recommend splitting it with a friend. The restaurant has fresh seafood from Gaspé delivered daily during the summer.

le Filet

Damas

Lemeac

Where are your favourite spots in Montreal?

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Thank you. Our month in Montreal (May) is taking shape. Maison Publique is a favorite of an online friend from Boston who will be in Montreal during our stay & we will definitely be going there. Unfortunately, Le Quartier General has closed its doors permanently. We will get to Joe Beef or one of its offspring once they open up on line reservations. Reservations have already been made at:
Tandem
Nora Gray
L’Express
La Prunelle
Au Pied de Cochon
LeMeac
Helicoptere

Probably will also get to:
Pastel
Gus
Le Vin Papillon
Bouillon Bilk
Montreal Plaza
Ma Poule Mouillee

Hey, we gotta eat, right? I have another bunch on a list. Anyone wanna weigh in? Yes, we have an apartment with a kitchen. Might even use it to do more than warm up leftovers, since we plan to hit the markets as well.

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Might want to add Impasto. :slight_smile:

I’ve pretty much intentionally left out Italian places for dinner because we eat a lot of it here. And I mean a lot: from New World Italian adaptations to places representing Rome, Naples, Sicily, Ischia, Sardenia & points in between. And we’ve travelled in Italy a bit as well. So, we’ll go IF its a place that is very innovative (in a positive way) or is serving something exceptional, but not for “good” or even “very good”. But, I’ve been told that Gatto Matto in Lavel might be worth a look & now you mention Impasto. Who knows? A week or two in and we might be jones’ing for a good Italian meal. Thanks.

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I understand that. I often don’t go out of my way for Italian when I visit California for the same reasons.

That said, Michele Forgione is a pretty big deal in Montreal. :slight_smile:

https://terroirtalk.org/michele-forgione
Could get a burger and poutine at Chez Tousignant if you don’t have want to try Pizzeria Gema or Impasto. https://cheztousignant.com/en/

Haven’t seen Toqué mentioned yet. Bernard Laprise has been excelling for a long time. Of many memorable meals at Toqué, the most memorable was with my 14-year-old daughter on a stopover enroute to dropping her off at a summer camp north of Montreal. I suggested we order a plate or two a la carte so as not to test her attention span. After the waiter described the tasting menu, she asked if we could try it. 3 1/2 hours later and not one glance at her cell phone, I forged a new connection with my daughter.

We are also fans of Olive et Gourmando, rustic and at the opposite end of the spectrum from Toqué, but a simple delight.

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I love the international food in Montreal, which is diverse and cheap, perhaps partly because of the student population.

Among my favorites are the dumpling places where you choose a few types and giant steamers show up with 10 per variety or so – my favorite closed down a few years ago, and I haven’t settled on a new one yet, and the Lebanese places with fold-over lahmacun and other flatbreads to go.

Also a favorite – shopping at Marche Adonis (since you will have an apt). Their hot food section is as good as any restaurant, plus they have vegetable and meat pies to buy by the kg, lahmacun by the stack, an amazing cheese section, ditto sweets/cookies/baklava (they occasionally have pink “jalebis” – not what they call them, but as delicious as the Indian variation), and also a meat counter that has pre-seasoned (and pre-formed, if you want that) kabab mixture, and a massive feta bar. Oh Adonis, I miss you!

Other things to bring home and eat – Tourtiere (you can go fancier, but I’m never disappointed by Premiere Moisson, which I also freeze and bring home), anything at Marche Atwater (especially once the weather is better and produce is plentiful), prepared foods from smaller Asian grocery stores.

Restaurants-wise, I know everyone says APC is over the top. but I had a wonderful meal there my last visit in 2019, and I’ll be back!

I’ll dig up my notes from my last trip later – there were a bunch of places we wanted to try and never made it to.

Are you traveling anywhere? “Wine country”? So close, and so pretty!

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I haven’t been to Toqué for close to 10 years so I didn’t mention it. I like Toqué.

I’ve also enjoyed Le Club Chasse et Pêche, and Europea.

I like Foxy a lot, which is owned by the people who own Olive & Gourmando.

I want to try Candide. https://www.restaurantcandide.com/

Some other spots in Griffintown I want to check out
Upmarket Lebanese at Shay
https://www.shaymtl.com/

Junior Filipino

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Thank you all. Very helpful. Toque was not on my radar at all & now will be. As will Marche Adonis. I have some ethnic Asian places that were highly recommended but I didn’t list, like Le Chien Fumant & La Maison De Mademoiselle Dumpling (what a name). And an Eater.com recommendation for Nouilles de Lan Zhou. I welcome more, especially since Saregama and I have exchanged notes on our tastes for years in NYC. Clearly, my diet plan will be on hold for a month.

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Re: Asian food, Kazu is a nice little spot. http://kazumontreal.com/english

Satay Brothers is also popular
https://sataybrothers.com/

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I’m sad that I didn’t write up where I went on my last trip, especially as I ate out much more than usual because a friend was with me and it was her first trip! (Normally I’m visiting family and we have a few meals out, but most at home)

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Hands down Le Mousso is #1 must try. Honorable mention goes Montreal Plaza.

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This thread has been very helpful in our planning & I thank you all for your ideas, opinions & recommendations. We drive up to Canada in 2 days & will have 3 nights in Quebec City before spending a month in Montreal. As I said upthread, we’ve reserved at a good (well, more like excessive) # of restaurants for dinners and will be hitting the markets as well. And… oh yeah, we’ll do some sightseeing too. Since this thread is too generic for me to write up any dining experiences, I’ll do the posting by starting specific threads for the places we eat. Wish us luck with not gaining (too much) weight. A lot of the food is not gonna be light &, so far, I haven’t located a good place to play tennis. “See” you soon.

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As this thread is fairly active, I’ll append here, rather than starting an ‘Upscale Dining’ thread.

But be aware that most of our dining when we travel is ‘upscale’ as we want to try the (supposed) ‘best’.

Our trip this month was our third since the Pandemic. Because out-of-country travel was difficult we concentrated on within Canada travel. Accordingly, all our experiences are relatively recent.

I’ll start in Quebec City, as that was the star performer. On all 3 visits we visited Tanière³ (the visit last week was to try the Spring menu – almost entirely different from the two Fall menus we had previously). If anybody wants to try ‘Canadian’ (or more correctly ‘Quebecois’) cuisine this is definitely the destination of choice. ALL the ingredients are local and seasonal, and many dishes come with a historical reference. All three visits got my top rating (a feat achieved by only Alo in Toronto and Raymond’s (not yet reopened from COVID shutdown) in St. John’s). Everything (excepting the wines [fortunately]) is local. The tasting menu is currently transitioning from winter to spring, featuring the currently available fresh snow crab, and various game options and seasonal seafood. Fresh snow crab is only available for 6-8 weeks and all of the top places now have it on their menu (we had it at all four restaurants we tried in Montreal and Quebec). But the Tanière³ version was not my favourite (the flavours were very subtle so the crab was experienced more in the aftertaste of the dish, rather than upfront – for me, a rare ingredient would preferably be front and centre). I’ll also comment on the bone marrow crema that was my top taste of the evening (they apologised that they had run out of the Moose bone marrow, usually used in this dish, so had chosen to use Bison bone marrow instead). But still the best meal of the trip.

A little behind was Le Clan, also using almost entirely Quebecois ingredients in a 6-course menu (optionally 4-course) that is less than half the cost of the Tanière³ tasting menu that has twice as many courses. The snow crab here entered the nasal passages even before being tasted.

We are now planning a summer trip to stay 3 days and will return to try both places and add another for some variety.

Nothing in Montreal matched those experiences. We returned to Le Mousso (mentioned elsewhere in this thread - which had been our favourite on a previous trip) but this time it didn’t work as well. The food is still intensely local, and the snow crab dish here was our favourite, but the format doesn’t quite work for me. Essentially everybody (around 30 patrons) is served each dish at the same time. The wine pairings and dish delivery are superbly achieved, but then comes a ‘chef-description of the food’ and ‘sommelier description of the wines’ AFTER the delivery of the food (in French, but translations are given for non-French speakers). This ‘delay’ allows the food to cool down and I found the cold (often on ice) dishes to work better than the ’hot’ dishes. And if one takes the pairings, the wines are ‘quirky’ – lots of ‘sommelier favourites’ (e.g. orange, pet-nat, and hybrid). Wine geeks will love this, but some of the flavours are ‘unusual’!

Our final choice was FoieGwa (also mentioned earlier) way cheaper than anything else we visited (and close to Atwater market). Also, open Sunday (a difficult day – two of our tentative choices when planning decided to close on Sundays). Also featured snow crab – competent with an excellent fennel salad, but this is a neighbourhood place, not intending to compete with the upscale places.

Completing our dining week was Atelier in Ottawa (technically should discuss on Ontario board but we took the train from Toronto-Ottawa-Quebec City-Montreal-Toronto as easy connections on this route). This is a holdover of ‘Modernist Cuisine’ and features a 44-taste menu that amuses in parts and makes one sigh in others. Sort of a ‘greatest hits’ but with a few updates (e.g. the Ferran Adria ‘olives’ are replaced with ‘spring peas’, although the somewhat tired helium candy balloon still appears). Served for two people (almost all small dishes are to be shared), I actually enjoyed the meal although some of the excesses didn’t work (e.g. pickles on a string – described as ‘the future of dining’). I’m suspicious that the chef is sort-of-parodying the tendency of the ‘Instagram Generation’ to photograph every dish (yes, all 44), each of which is accompanied by a QR code that allows the diner to explore more about each dish.

But it was fun!

In the two prior trips we did visit places mentioned elsewhere, so my comments are all ‘since COVID’.

We chose to skip Au Pied de Cochon and Toque because previous experiences at both (pre COVID) didn’t entice us to return.

We did try Joe Beef on one of our recent trips, and the menu was particularly exciting, but what we received was large portions of pedestrian food. Not sure what the staffing situation was, and would welcome other reports.

Also visited Pastel last time. An excellent meal well worthy of a re-visit. However, I know the chef changed (the original TV-celebrity chef left) last year around the time we visited – I don’t know whether we experienced the original or current chef, but it was closed Sunday and we chose Le Mousso this time around (although expect to return to Pastel next time).

It’s been a tough time so I’d prefer not to slag places in general – but Jerome Ferrer was so bad I can’t recommend it at all. Totally gimmicky – all flash, no substance.

Hope this helps to finalize your choices.

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Thanks… much appreciated. Our Montréal list includes Pastel so we’ll report back afterwards. Never heard of Foie Gwa & may give it a try.

Good review! We also went to Le Mousso for 2nd time which wasn’t as good as the 1st time, but the food was as inventive as before and we still consider them one of the, if not the best in Montreal. I agree the format of serving everyone at the same time followed by restaurant-wide description of the food & matching wine leaves something to be desired (especially if you don’t speak French), but it does make for a show and creates a unique kind of ambiance that you can’t find elsewhere. We’ll likely go again but reservations have been very difficult to get in the past.

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To clarify - 3 trips to Quebec for us in the past 20 months, and on the most recent we tried to hit the highlights from the first two. In Quebec City it was Tanière³ (three times) and would have been Le Clan (twice)- except it had a delayed opening and opened the week after we returned home.
In the first two Montreal trips, Le Mousso and Pastel were the ‘stars’ - but their opening hours didn’t match our visit, so we could only visit one on the third trip. But these two were definitely our favourites in Montreal. Both worth visiting.

Incidentally Lake Inez (in Toronto) has a comparable format to Le Mousso - tasting menu with ‘commentary’ (only in summer months on their ‘secret (!) patio’). Their place is more casual and combines Ontario produce with an Asian sensibility; the commentary is also more ‘free-form’ less-focused on the dish itself, but more on the inspiration for the dish.

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So, based on estufarian’s post upthread, we went to Foie Gwa the other night. Damn, I’m glad this isnt in my neighborhood at home. I’d be 30 pounds heavier. Its a great local diner, with a friendly vibe, efficient service and large quantities of tasty food. My wife had ½ dozen excellent oysters, while I had a Caesar salad that made me very happy & which my wife had to share, since it was quite large. She ordered the bavette, which was a better cut than we’ve had elsewhere and well prepared. Tender. I ordered the cheeseburger & made the mistake of getting the larger one. It was not just larger, it was a double, each of which could’ve been a meal. But I politely finished them. No condiments necessary, as the brioche bun sat in au jus that was excellent. And, of course we ordered a side of the deluxe fries with bechamel, etc loaded on top. With the 2 of us digging in, there were leftover fries. Crisp, flavorful fries. I’m still in mourning. With glasses of good wine & a large shared chocolate mousse (yeah, I’m a pig), the bill came to about CA$200 w/tip. I know… a high total for a diner. But, remember, oysters, steak, wines, etc. I’m more than ok with that. Thank you estufarian.

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Saregama - any recollection of which Adonis you liked? We havent managed (yet) to go to either near us, but the one on Peel is in the middle of major Griffintown construction and the one on St Catherine is, well, on a major street. Before we commit, it’d be nice to go to the one you liked. Thanks.

St Catherine. It’s close to a metro stop iirc. But for peking you’d probably need to go a few streets over to a more residential area.

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