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Currenly on the list:   Restaurants:     Au Pied De Cochon (been to before and had the best raw platter we've had in North America)   La Chronique (good reviews on other sites)   possibly Br

another thing - most coffee shops (and there are many of them) either use Illy or roast their own (it seems like the horrible environmental effects that seem to make this impossible in Manhattan do no

A very good meal at Les Chevres.   Not a very large restaurant, seating maybe 50 at capacity (a lot less when we were there), with a seemingly low investment in decor, but a full realization of a c

Hotel Hermann on a Sunday night was a pleasurable, leisurely (by means of a very small kitchen) experience. We had oysters (fine, but not as good as at Joe Beef or at the oyster stand at Jean Talon), their bar a cru - a delicate, well balanced dish, cauliflower and beautiful uni, house smoked eel, sweetbreads - the weakest plate - served with some turnips, and then, because it is after all Montreal:

 

ZOE_0014.jpg

 

Nice wine list too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The death of the Lower Main is a strange, strange story. It's been going on for at least five years at a pretty fast rate, and I can't for the life of me figure out why it's happening. It should be prime real estate for something, but nothing seems to be replacing the boutiques and restaurants that have disappeared.

 

The typical story is that these areas gentrify out of nightlife - Toronto's club district is now condos, Soho is an outdoor mall, etc. nor has that kind of nightlife disappeared from montreal. The Lower Main is just going vacant. It can't be solely that rents are too high, there have been too many empty store fronts for too long. I have some theories, but Patrick, what gives?

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Another quicky weekend in Montreal. Olive and Gourmando is still great, with a new ham, cheddar and apple sandwich that is just perfect. Snacks and Vin Papillon meaning a bottle of Jean Yves Peron's Cotillon des dames - a barely orange orange wine from the Savoie - and Domaine D'Octavion's dorabella from the Jura. A beautiful plate of celery root in bagna cruda and ham with brown butter. Great great great stuff. Could have spent all afternoon there.

 

Mandatory stop at Patrice for "vert" as dessert.

 

Dinner at Nora Gray. Appetizers were only okay. Squash with ricotta, venison tartar with a nice garlic puree, an egg and mushroom dish that left me kind of flat. Pastas were top flight. Hard to pick between the gnudi with squash and sage and the strozzapreti
with lamb ragu and bitter greens. Mains were fish I can't remember in prosciutto broth with potatoes, beautiful local lamb in a dark reduction sauce and rabbit porchetta in an apple based sauce. Both meats were very Joe Beef and very excellent. To drink, Hatzidakis Aidani, Rucantu Pigato (weird and excellent), Guttarolo Puglia Rosato (anfora aged, fwiw). The rose was actually a mistake, but a delicious mistake. Some rustic desserts, but then there were a bunch of liquid comps so you know. Anyway, lovely place.

 

Hof Keltsen was pretty nice, Lawrence for brunch where they actually do eggs properly, and Kouign Amann for a snack. Hotel Herman was pretty great too. Same sea bass as Orik, razor clams (which were a highlight and had replaced the uni), marinated salmon, sweetbreads (well executed, but not outstanding with the turnips), white fish, nordic shrimps, venison, and gorgeous foie with polenta, onion and popcorn. Arbois Pupillin Fontenelle and Ko "In Cot We Trust". Honey, milk custard thing, beignets and something else for dessert. Le Mal Necessaire. Romados. Cafe Neve. Bagels.

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Another quicky weekend in Montreal. Olive and Gourmando is still great, with a new ham, cheddar and apple sandwich that is just perfect. Snacks and Vin Papillon meaning a bottle of Jean Yves Peron's Cotillon des dames - a barely orange orange wine from the Savoie - and Domaine D'Octavion's dorabella from the Jura. A beautiful plate of celery root in bagna cruda and ham with brown butter. Great great great stuff. Could have spent all afternoon there.

 

Mandatory stop at Patrice for "vert" as dessert.

 

Dinner at Nora Gray. Appetizers were only okay. Squash with ricotta, venison tartar with a nice garlic puree, an egg and mushroom dish that left me kind of flat. Pastas were top flight. Hard to pick between the gnudi with squash and sage and the strozzapreti

with lamb ragu and bitter greens. Mains were fish I can't remember in prosciutto broth with potatoes, beautiful local lamb in a dark reduction sauce and rabbit porchetta in an apple based sauce. Both meats were very Joe Beef and very excellent. To drink, Hatzidakis Aidani, Rucantu Pigato (weird and excellent), Guttarolo Puglia Rosato (anfora aged, fwiw). The rose was actually a mistake, but a delicious mistake. Some rustic desserts, but then there were a bunch of liquid comps so you know. Anyway, lovely place.

 

Hotel Herman was pretty great too. Same sea bass as Orik, razor clams (which were a highlight and had replaced the uni), marinated salmon, sweetbreads (well executed, but not outstanding with the turnips), white fish, nordic shrimps, venison, and gorgeous foie with polenta, onion and popcorn. Arbois Pupillin Fontenelle and Ko "In Cot We Trust". Honey, milk custard thing, beignets and something else for dessert.

 

You really manage to pack a lot into a weekend. Just a heads up, starting in November, Patrice will no longer be open at night during the weekend.

 

The apps at Nora Gray are pretty variable, and usually pretty simple. They really shine on mains and pastas. I did have great pig's trotter croquette with peach mostarda app last month. It is nearly impossible to leave that place sober though, especially if you are sitting at the bar. What cut was the lamb? The rack I had last month was fantastic, rivaled what I ate in Paris this summer.

 

I was at Hotel Herman just last week; had the uni, pieds de mouton (very good but heavy, with marrow and tendon), smoked eel, partridge,venison, and the foie gras with popcorn. All very good, if a little oniony. Drank a very acidic (but in my palate) slovenian red, by Cotar.

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It's a sprint not a marathon.

 

Kind of wish Nora Gray just did a big anti-pasta plate with crudo, charcuterie and some bagna cruda but, like, really, really good. Also had some high quality shrimp fried in spaghetti with arrabiata sauce which didn't really work. Lamb was roast shoulder and pretty damn great.

 

Also had those mushrooms at Herman. Agreed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm in Montreal the week of the 8th for NIPS (big machine learning conference). I've never been before. Probably free for dinner Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. What restaurants should I try not to miss?

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