Well, the title pretty much says it all. I drink most of my cocktails at home, but am going to be having more chances to go out and enjoy some drinks in the near future.
My current gold standard is Le Mal Necessaire, I love the fact that it is quiet and the drinks are made with so much care and attention. Oddly enough, I am not a big tiki person, but there are enough other things on the menu that I never leave unsatisfied.
Big in Japan has a restaurant and a bar that are a few blocks apart. The Bar posted an add on Craigslist 2 days ago for a waitress: “Waitress (Big In Japan Bar) (4175 blvd St. Laurent)”. That does not sound like a business that is closed! Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Big in Japan is a thriving business.
Big in Japan (Bar) has no signage outside and is entered though a “secret” door (at 4175 blvd St L) like a speakeasy from the prohibition era.
My favorite cocktail bar is big in japan bar. Not to be confused with the restaurant “big in japan”, the big in japan bar is located on the corner of Saint-Laurent and Rachel, just beside the “Patati Patata” and there is no sign, indication or anything, just a brown door with a metal plate with a japanese inscription.
I love the decor, the music, the ambiance… everything about the place. I would not bring more than 3 people there however since the place is more or less one big bar (there is only one table if I remember correctly). The music is bossa nova, sinatra and the rat pack, vieille chanson francaise. They have about 10 cocktails on the menu but their bartender is very competent.
My second favorite place is Le Mal Nécessaire. I love their cocktail but I’m not a fan of the music and the place is always packed these days.
N sur Mackay do good cocktails. Its worth it if you are near and looking for a place but if you are open to “travel” I’d go to Le Mal Nécessaire or Big in Japan Bar.
I like the Midway tavern for classic cocktails. They aren’t as innovative as Le Mal Nécessaire but they have a pretty large cocktail list and what they do they do well (where else can you find a Ramos Gin Fizz???). Plus its very spacious so you’ll have a good place to fall back on when you find out Le Mal Nécessaire is full.
Le Lab has been on my list but I haven’t found the time to go there yet. It sounds a bit pretentious and high brow for me but I’m open to the possibility of being proved wrong.
Haven’t got time to go to the Wiggle room either. Plus I have a ton of female friends who want to go there but are as busy as me (burlesque strip tease, the socialy acceptable strip club! :)) Apparently the guy responsible for the cocktail program at “Big in japan bar” is the same doing cocktails at the wiggle room (and emerald bar maybe?) but I haven’t had the time to go there either. Its a classic bar with burlesque shows (music, striptease with feather boas). Its right up my alley because I love that era but I just don’t have the time!_
I’ve heard of “Le bar sans nom” or “The Emerald Bar” but I never went there. Its on my list:
I also have a place called “Le Jockey” that’s apparently very good but its far from home!
My current favorite haunt is Le Loic in Saint-Henri. They have beer and cocktail but where they shine is the wine program. Ask for Rebecca for incredible service!!! I like Loic even more than Pullman and it was my gold standard!