Montreal Restaurants – Expensive 1

Every great city has fine dining, and if you are on a budget, you may have to save up money for a great meal, and counter-balance it with some simple meals, but it usually will be a sterling memory.

I have one such experience when I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Boston, Massachusetts, right on the famous Boston Common. While guests at the hotel, we had planned to come to the main dining room for our wedding anniversary dinner celebration, but the Kennedy Family had the whole dining room reserved, so we had to postpone until the following evening (luckily we were still staying at the hotel then).

The hotel staff suggested a famous old Boston restaurant where we walked in without reservations for what we hoped was going to be a good celebration. It was OK, but nothing unexpected. Whereas, when we walked back into the Ritz Carlton for our late-anniversary dinner, the following night, it was “magical”. The staff made us feel like we were the most special people on the planet. That’s what a top-notch hotel and restaurant can do. They know they continually have to earn your respect and they work for it. It’s been a warm memory for decades.

You will seldom have a bad experience in any top-tier establishment, so here are some of Montreal’s best restaurant choices.

Au Pied de Cochon
This restaurant specializes in comforting, Quebçoise farmhouse cooking. Controversial-but-traditional foie gras is prepared many ways, as appetizer, side dish, and main event.  Celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain, (who loves all-things-pig) proclaimed it his favorite restaurant in North America.

Chef/founder Martin Picard is considered a young lion of Quebec’s culinary new wave, and this is a Foodie haven; you may enjoy eating at the bar, so you can see more of what’s happening in the kitchen.

Be sure to try the foie-gras poutine.

Other recommendations: the pickled tongue and duck carpaccio as appetizers. Plogue a Champlain – pancake with potatoes, bacon, cheddar and foie gras topped with maple syrup — unusual and good.

Takes reservations. Call the moment that you know you are coming to Montreal. Even 2 weeks ahead may not give you many choices. So, be aware. Not good for kids. Street parking. Takes credit cards. Not wheelchair accessible. Casual.

Au Pied de Cochon, Montreal – To the Pig’s Trotter!
536 Rue Duluth E., Montreal
phone:  514- 281-1114
Tuesday thru Sunday – 5pm – 12am

L’Express
This is a defining Montreal brasserie whose name is mentioned in films, literature and popular music. It has a handwritten menu (in French, in cursive writing), just like in Paris, with white tablecloths, mirrors, noise level and service to match. (They do have printed menus in English, Spanish and Italian.) The food costs the same at lunch as it does at midnight.

The kitchen is open late to accommodate après-théâtre rush (especially for classic steak-frites), cold meat plates accompanied by giant jar of all-you-can-eat house-made cornichons (the tiny, gnarled, classically-French, sour pickles). You can eat at the zinc-covered bar.

At regular dinner, at this bistro, if you are adventurous and interested in classics, then try the Roasted Bone Marrow (delicious) and the Steak Tartare. For those who like steaks, cooked, they are perfectly prepared. For dessert, consider the Iles Flotantes – Floating Islands — meringue with Sauce Anglais — and the maple sugar tart (a Quebçoise favorite of mine). The Baba rum ball was good too if you like rum.

The wait staff can make good recommendations. You may find the tables a bit close together.

Casual. Not good for kids. Takes credit cards. Street parking. Wheelchair accessible. Takes reservations (reserve a week ahead for a Saturday night; otherwise just 2 days ahead). Serves breakfast (nothing all that special) and lunch, but dinner is best.

It’s not easily seen, as the sign is down low, on the tiles!

3927 Rue St. Denis — Métro: Sherbrooke
tel. +1 514 845 5333
Mon-Fri 8am-3am; Sat-Sun 10am-3am

More, next time.

Montreal Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

One Response to “Montreal Restaurants – Expensive 1”
  1. Best Montreal Restaurants by Category Says:

    […] Best Classic French Bistro: Plateau Mont-Royal’s most Parisian spot is L’Express, which I’ve also written about in the earlier Montreal restaurant series. This is where you come to see what the Francophone part of this otherwise most-Anglophile city in Quebec. One might observe, that apart from well-made food, with the ambience of the black-and-white-checkered floor to the grand, high ceilings, this is where Old France meets New France. L’Express, Montreal […]

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