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Steve R.

Montreal & Quebec City

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We also spent a few days in Quebec City.

 

Had a wonderful, absolutely wonderful dinner at Toast.

 

Fried parmesan suppli 15$

Red Big Eye tuna, gravlax salmon, butterfish, lemon oil, cilantro, tobiko and chorizo, comfit garlic mayonnaise

 

Fresh veal jowl from Charlevoix slowly braised 15$

Homemade papardelle, oyster mushroom, morel, broad bean, sage and parmesan, roots vegetable roasted with Jerez, braising jus and crème fraîche

 

Stonecrop & chiogga beet salad with orange and olive oil emulsion 12$

Creamy goat cheese, homemade focaccia, marinated and roasted tomato, crispy polenta, cashew, 20 yo balsamic

 

Seared foie gras from “Canard Goulu” 30$

Smoked and confit duck with mushroom “duxelles” ravioli, lime leaf and parmesan consommé, chayote and soy, crispy cabbage leave

 

We drank prosecco with this dinner.

 

A less successful time was had at Kaffee Conti on another night.

 

The place was crowded. had to wait about 20 minutes for our reservation, pretty much every table occupied. Staff running in every direction. Three people stopped by to ask if our orders had been taken, etc.

 

The appetizers came out reasonably quickly. The dinners came out about an hour later, as other people were complaining, perhaps walking out, etc. Food was unremarkable and not at all memorable.

 

----------------------------------------

 

The farmer's market was wonderful, a really interesting place. The Marche du Vieux Port (160 Quai St. Andre, Quebec QC G1K3Y2) is filled with vegetable vendors, fruit vendors, honey producers, several butchers and fish dealers. Several bread and pastry producers as well.

 

many producers were local, from the nearby Ile Ste Helene. There were various plaques certifying fidelity to the accrediting agencies.

 

The market is located "around the corner" from the historic Old Village, adjacent to the central bus station and the attractive train station. Open year round.

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And, we visited the Marche Jean Talon in Montreal. An enormous farmer's market in the suburbs of Montreal (Metro station Jean Talon, and follow the signs) with perhaps a hundred vendors, and many adjacent permanent stores.

 

Butchers, egg (duck, quail, turkey, pheasant, chicken, etc) vendors, artisan cheese makers. Mushroom foragers with 10 different mushroom types on offer. Many tomato vendors, lots of choices among peppers, asperge, jam makers, etc. Several vendors of Gaspe oysters and shrimp, salmon, yellowfin tuna, lobsters, etc. A very impressive market.

 

We were there in the morning, and many day-care center groups were on tour. The children were usually identically uniformed by center (red jackets on these kids, green slacks on those kids, etc). The guides and teachers would demonstrate a fruit or vegetable, and the kids would be invited to taste a cut up piece. Two little boys were dueling with their celery stalks, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The kids were roped at the wrist to a central piece of fabric in the same color as their uniforms. It was all very cute.

 

A number of chefs etc were buying for larger kitchens. Several people had large wheeled barrows with shelves for picking up two boxes of strawberries, several bushels of strawberries, box of peppers, etc.

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We had the obligatory dinner at Joe Beef, and it was excellent. Perfectly cooked piece of beef. I was surprised that the majority of diners were not having beef, though. The spaghetti and lobster had many takers, as did a pork stew (pork, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, red wine, etc). Many foodies taking pictures in the front room, and some continuous tweeting.

 

Glad you enjoyed. Perhaps surprisingly*, Joe Beef has never specialized in beef. As chronicled in the cookbook, the beef was originally quite poor. Now, it's quite good - supplied by Toronto's Cumbrae farms - though not a signature (that's the lobster spaghetti!).

 

*Though not if you know the history of the name.

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Seeking recommendations for Montreal+QBC (obviously, why else would I be posting here)

 

a few parameters:

 

1. no reservations (if reservations are both easy to come by and highly recommended, which rarely but sometimes happens, that's ok)

 

2. not dressy (no $ restrictions though)

 

3. obv, prefer stuff that is not being replicated at a comparable level of quality in nyc.

 

4. as usual, safety etc. are not concerns

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With few exceptions, reservations are easy (places tend to take them months in advance on OT)

 

 

I guess Pho Tay Ho meets all of your criteria. (or Pho Lien, but then it's just soup)

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Horse at the non-disgusting (or less-disgusting) location of frites alors on St Laurent and seal at Le 5eme Peche meet all criteria too.

 

The following are of some interest although I don't have time right now to classify them based on criteria met:

 

 

Joe Beef/Liverpool House

APDC

CC&P (somewhat dressy)

Toque! (corporate dressy)

 

 

Les 400 coups

Nora Gray

IGarde manger

Le Bremner

Le Filet

Bouillon Bilk

Sinclair Restaurant

 

Pastaga

Lawrence

The Sparrow

Le Chien Fumant

Cocagne

La salle a manger

Raza

Madre

Atable

Auberge Saint Gabriel

Le Van Horne

Bar & Boeuf

Kazu

Park

Satay Brothers

La Fabrique

Bistro Lustucru

Bottega

Cafe Sardine

Newtown

Garage Beirut

Kitchen Galerie

KGP

SU

Icehouse

Lucille Oyster Dive

Chez Bouffe

Aryana

Cafe Ellefsen

 

Bakeries (generally exceeding nyc standards, but not always):

 

 

guillaume

olivier potier

Mamie Clafoutis

Kouign Amman

Fous Desserts

Yannick Fromagerie

Le Fromentier

 

Espresso that isn't replicated in nyc, not because of coffee quality (it's pretty horrid):

 

 

Café Olimpico

Club Social

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Ori, great list, better than I can do, have you been to 400 Coups yet? Also, how's Sinclair with what's his name post-Les Chevres. Surprised to see Newtown on the list. Still a shame that Anise is gone (which means nothing to anyone here except, maybe, Ori).

 

Was going to suggest Continental for horse meat (used to have steak and tartar), but apparently no longer. 5em Peche if you want that.

 

Strangely, no reservations is more of an issue in Montreal than elsewhere because most places still, you know, take reservations.

 

Some additions:

 

Myriade if you want actual good coffee, but you probably shouldn't because the latte (trust me on that) at Sociale/Olympico makes the most sense

La Colombe (cuisine bourgeoise BYO)

L'Orignal does the Montreal trash/hedonistic food thing well and can probably do a walk-in

I'll throw Chronique because it's operating in a niche that is way under-served in NYC, L'Express and Lemeac as well though, again, you probably shouldn't go (think Balthazar but good/non-ironic).

Brasserie T

 

I lean towards 400 Coups or JB/Liverpool/PDC/GM.

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Sorry, didn't have time to edit - this is a list of current places of interest that probably meet most of jason's criteria (so, no Toque! and no l'Express). I'll follow up with my thoughts (on the ones I've been to) and what's on my list for the next trip (also what isn't and why - Newtown gets a laconic "mon dieu, looks tres douchebag")

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Sorry, didn't have time to edit - this is a list of current places of interest that probably meet most of jason's criteria (so, no Toque! and no l'Express). I'll follow up with my thoughts (on the ones I've been to) and what's on my list for the next trip (also what isn't and why - Newtown gets a laconic "mon dieu, looks tres douchebag")

 

L'Express because it's an "authentic"/non-self aware brasserie of the sort that I doubt even exists in Paris anymore.

 

If he wants the Newtown crowd, he's better off at bounna or Globe when they've got the sparklers in the bottles after he's had dinner somewhere else (though Ori may make an interesting point here - Montreal is the only city where these restaurants are actually kind of okay).

 

I love Toque! and I wouldn't send him to Toque! If he wants a Montreal fine dining-ish restaurant CCP is probably the best option.'

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thanks alot for whatever input you guys can provide (and that you have already provided)

 

I'll put in another endorsement of the Montreal subway and bus system. It runs frequently, even well into the evening.

 

If you arrive at Pierre-Eliot Trudeau airport, the 747 bus takes you to Lionel-Groulx metro, and into downtown. It's $8 one way, or $16 for a three day all inclusive pass. You have to validate your new ticket on the bus, as I recall. You can use it for an airport return within the 72 hour period.

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thanks alot for whatever input you guys can provide (and that you have already provided)

 

I'll put in another endorsement of the Montreal subway and bus system. It runs frequently, even well into the evening.

 

If you arrive at Pierre-Eliot Trudeau airport, the 747 bus takes you to Lionel-Groulx metro, and into downtown. It's $8 one way, or $16 for a three day all inclusive pass. You have to validate your new ticket on the bus, as I recall. You can use it for an airport return within the 72 hour period.

 

I'm actually driving from New Haven to QBC, Montreal, picking up people, and back to New York. But I'll pass on the info to people I know who are flying in.

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scribbles - if you want nightlife recs, I'll give you some if you give me your group's preferences.

 

Ori, what are the chances you could finagle your way into 357c to raise the sum total of good information about the place to one from zero? Because I don't actually believe it's one of the best restaurants in the city but, hey, you never know.

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scribbles - if you want nightlife recs, I'll give you some if you give me your group's preferences.

 

Ori, what are the chances you could finagle your way into 357c to raise the sum total of good information about the place to one from zero? Because I don't actually believe it's one of the best restaurants in the city but, hey, you never know.

 

nightlife preferences would be: not clubby, techno, house, electronic, rave. jazz, blues venues would be good, though not dressy.

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scribbles - if you want nightlife recs, I'll give you some if you give me your group's preferences.

 

Ori, what are the chances you could finagle your way into 357c to raise the sum total of good information about the place to one from zero? Because I don't actually believe it's one of the best restaurants in the city but, hey, you never know.

 

nightlife preferences would be: not clubby, techno, house, electronic, rave. jazz, blues venues would be good, though not dressy.

 

So no clubs? Great (I'm assuming that the "not" applies to each term in there, I'm also working on a "no dancing" inference). I'm not a jazz/blues guy, but Upstairs and Maison du Jazz seem to be the favourites among those that are. Billy Kun is a really neat francophone bar on Mont Royal designed by the CCP designers that occasionally has jazz as well, but is really good regardless. If you're interested in the local indie/live music scene, wander up St. Laurent to Casa del Popolo or Sala Rossa. You'd also probably be well served by drinks at Reservoir (micro-brewery, good food/bar snacks) or on the stunning terrace at St. Elizabeth's. The terrace at Vol de Nuit is really nice as well, except the place is a dive. Avoid the other American college students on Crescent/St. Catherines and stick to upper-St. Laurent, Mont. Royale, and St. Denis. If you're stuck in that area, urge the group to Brutopia and the other bars on Crescent south of St. Catherine. If you're in the Old Port, West is better than East. Cocktails are generally bad unless you go with classic drinks off menu at Dominion Square Tavern.

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