Places to eat in Montreal

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    by alza
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    by alza
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    by alza

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    Zenya: Montreal Sushi Confidential

    by alza Updated Mar 20, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In terms of the menu and food preparation, this place is tops among all Japanese restaurants I know. The cuisine is consistently innovative, inventive and very well explained to help guests make their choices. Then, service is discrete, professional and always very pleasant.

    Location is surprising, on 2nd Floor of a 5-story building in the heart of downtown.
    The restaurant interior is nice and relaxing: quiet atmosphere, enhanced by dark bamboo walls, zen furniture and muted lighting. The one concession made to traditional Japanese décor is a footbridge at the entrance -- and watch out! from bright lights in the elevator and the halls, you step into obscurity and suddenly find yourself swaying on a humpbacked bridge.
    At least you don't have to walk on rocks planted in the water.
    I enjoy the understated elegance of this place.

    There is a sushi bar on the side where guests can see the itamae chef at work. He moves with amazing grace and always welcomes curious onlookers with a quick smile while staying concentrated -- anybody would, with those knives!

    Previously, I'd gone to Zenya twice, at lunch time on a week day. The place was not crowded but buzzing, mostly with young business people. All sharp on money talk so I couldn't really follow much.
    Once I was seated beside a table of six financial young wolves all vying for the attention of another Generation Y guy, this one from London. The dishes they ordered were all so impressive that it's actually what brought me back to Zenya a few days ago. But I chose early dinner this time, for more peace and quiet. :-)

    Favorite Dish: 9 March 2014, I went in yearning for tempura so I ordered it. But I also tried two other dishes and ate a dessert. The shrimp and vegetable tempura was good but not crispy enough. Perhaps the pieces were fried too slowly, in oil at too low a temperature. Other dishes were wonderful, I ate everything even after my hunger was satisfied (something I never do.) Here's what I had:

    Green tea **Excellent**

    Hakutsuru (white crane) Junmai-shu sake, made in Kobe. I had it hot but it's also served cold. Mild at first, with a bit of sharpness kicking in on the palate before swallowing. **Very good**
    (Junmai-shu sake is pure rice wine.)

    Tempura crevettes et légumes as a starter. **Good taste, disappointing texture**

    Tartare of two salmons: fried rice patties, topped with smoked salmon, spicy fresh salmon, tobiko flying fish roe and green onions, on a teriyaki emulsion (5 pieces.) Crunshy bottom, soft top. Yum! **Delicious**

    Kani sunomono: traditional Japanese salad with algae and rice noodles, in a light Japanese rice vinaigrette **Fantastic**

    Yuzu tartlet: Japanese lemon made into curd, in pâte brisée (that crust was slightly hard.) Very tangy lemon taste and excellent curd consistency.

    NOTE: I started this Review minutes ago on my smartphone, to test my photo upload potential from it onto VT. Found out I cannot access my phone's Gallery as I do my laptop's Images, + clicked the wrong button during testing. Ended up with a photo of my living-room!
    Now I know, I can write a Review from my phone and include photos, but only those snapped on my phone while in the "Create a Review" process.

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    Qing Hua Dumpling: Dumplings galore!

    by fairy_dust Written Jan 8, 2014

    This is a restaurant that specializes in Chinese dumplings. Though they have other menu items (such as soup, tofu appetizers, etc), the dumplings take centre stage here. You can order them steamed or fried (fried is a little more expensive and takes longer to cook), and each dish has about 15 dumplings. If you're in a group, you can order multiple plates/dishes and share.

    Favorite Dish: My favorite dumplings are the lamb and coriander ones, and I prefer them fried. The spicy tofu appetizer is delicious too.

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    Bagel Etc.: Breakfast, lunch, and brunch

    by fairy_dust Written Jan 1, 2014

    Bagel Etc is a small cafe/restaurant on St. Laurent. Though they obviously serve bagels (prepared in all sorts of ways), they also have other breakfast foods - eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, blintzes, etc.

    I've also heard a rumour that Leonard Cohen often eats breakfast here whenever he's in town (he lives in one of the houses surrounding the little Portuguese park right across the street). Just in case you want a celebrity sighting... though I'm not going to guarantee anything!

    Favorite Dish: The blintzes are delicious, though everything is worth a taste!

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    Pizzeria Romeo: Not your typical pizza place

    by fairy_dust Written Dec 11, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When hearing "pizzeria", most people probably assume the place serves greasy pizzas and coke to drunk people coming out of bars. But no - this place is quite classy. The pizzas are made from very creative recipes (such as one of my faves - La Prosciutto made with strips of prosciutto ham and roquette lettuce added on after the dough has already been baked), and there are also other Italian dishes available for those who aren't into pizza.

    The pizzas aren't huge, so one person can definitely eat a whole one. Though if you're in a group, it's fun for everyone to order something different and share. The pizzas and other dishes generally range in prices from $10-$20, but add wine and dessert and it will usually be $20-$30 per person.

    In summer, they open the big windows so that even though you're inside the restaurant, it feels like eating on a terrace. It's a lovely place for a date, birthday, or even if you're just going out with friends and want something classier than a regular old pizza joint.

    Favorite Dish: La Prosciutto - pizza with prosciutto, roquette, and parmesan cheese.

    L'Italienne - pizza with pieces of Italian sausage.

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    Luca e Franco: Eclectic Osteria!

    by alza Updated Oct 17, 2013

    Main photo : Façade of Osteria Luca e Franco on rue Saint-Denis

    Photo 2 : Fried calamari and very good dipping sauce

    I had tapas there recently, very good.
    The place has a great bistro atmosphere, it's bustling yet service is quick, attentive and pleasant.
    They have antipasti (appetizers) that go beyond the traditional a bit, including offerings from the "mozzarella bar". Soup, pizza, choice of 2 fish dish, and then much more choice on the meat side of things.
    Desserts when I was there were all too sweet for my taste (tho' to be fair, I didn't want dessert in the first place.)

    Great location on Saint-Denis Street, near Métro Sherbrooke.

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    La Banquise: A good place to try poutine

    by Orchid Written Jul 30, 2013

    On the face of it, poutine does not sound like something that would be good to eat. But given its status as a special culinary treat of Montreal, we had no choice but to give it a whirl. And we were glad that we did so!

    Our research into the best place to try it led us, via 'yelp' to La Banquise. It was highly rated, and easy to find (hard to miss the yellow. orange and blue painted building), just across from Parc la Fontaine.

    Poutine is plate of potato chips, mixed with soft cheese curds smothered with a salty gravy. Probably NOT ideal for a humid summer day (though the indoors is air-conditioned), but surely a delightful comfort food in the snowy winters. Poutine in the 'classic' style is just the cheese, chips and gravy, but many extra toppings can be chosen. We chose 'La Mart', which added bacon, hot dog sausage and mushrooms. I can attest to the 'regular' size being ample to share between two people.

    One should probably do a couple of circuits of Parc la Fontaine afterward to walk off the calories!

    Favorite Dish: One should come for the poutine. I'm certain some enjoyable visits could be had finding your favourite!

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    La Petite Mangue/The Little Mango: Southeast Asian cuisine, mostly Cambodian

    by alza Written Jul 2, 2013

    A friend and I had dinner at La Petite Mangue tonight. It was our first experience with Cambodian food and it sure won't be our last.
    I loved the location in the district known as Plateau Mont-Royal (or The Plateau), known by Montrealers for its great vibe and artistic life. The street was abuzz at 8.30 pm but we found a parking right in front, and a very serene atmosphere all around.

    La Petite Mangue is nicely and simply decorated in contemporary style, neat and luminous. I noticed a subtle, enticing fragrance the moment I walked in, perhaps some incense but really discreet. It smelled wonderful.

    Our waiter was a young woman who'd come from China to live in Québec at one year old, she knew Southeast Asian cuisine very well. Cuisines are mostly from Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, with a few dishes probably of Chinese origin. The waiter knew all dishes offered very well and advised us discreetly & pleasantly. I was impressed with the fact that even when our two orders became quite involved, she didn't need to write anything down, everything we said registered straight away.

    There's ample place to move, which I love. I also appreciated the soft background music (Cambodian, I think) and the absence of noise, even with many tables occupied.

    Favorite Dish: My friend and I both chose one of the two Table d'hôte (he chose the one with dessert and coffee.) Both included a soup, imperial rolls & a main dish of our choice in the Main menu (+ for him, dessert & coffee for a couple of dollars more.)
    The restaurant is a BYOB (bring your own bottle), which allowed me to bring an excellent Chablis Premier Cru and to keep the cost of our excellent meal affordable.

    He had the Tom Yum soup and I chose something new, the Siem Reap soup. Great choice!
    His Main dish was the Sauté "Kroeung" with beef which he enjoyed. I tasted and liked it too.
    My Main was the Amok, a fish steamed in a banana leaf and wrapped in spices (to put it briefly...) really delicious!

    I loved everything I had and will go back to La Petite Mangue often.

    We were busy talking and I forgot to take a pic. I'll take one of the façace when I next walk by there.

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    Les 3 Brasseurs: Is it pizza? Is it a crepe? Non! C'est une flamm!

    by johngayton Updated Mar 12, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Les 3 Brasseurs already gets a mention on this page under the "Things to Do" heading - Link here. They're handy places to drop into for a decent glass of beer and so I shan't repeat myself here, extolling their virtues as pubs. Instead, I'll mention that it's not just the beer that these brewpubs do prettty well but also some great pub food.

    The menu is printed in glorious technicolour in the form of a tabloid newspaper (appropriately entitled - "La Gazette") and in many ways reads much like a well-written one. The extensive range of dishes covers almost everything that anyone could desire from a pub meal, succesfully combining a modern French Bistro menu along with the Canadian bar staples of wings, poutine and burgers.

    I've only been in the city-centre restaurant on St Catherine and so can't attest for the rest but have always found the service bright and friendly there. Even when the place is manically-busy (which it certainly does get on Friday and Saturday evenings) the chaos seems quite organised.

    The bar itself is attractive, loads of wood and brass and the brewery knick-knacks, interspersed with the sporty stuff, strewn around add to the overall pub-feel.

    Favorite Dish: Whist the menu has something for everyone, the house speciality is a dish called "Les Flamms ". These are a sort of a cross between a pizza and a crepe - a thin, crispy dough with a choice of pizza-style toppings. On my last visit I opted for the "Smoked Meat" variation which was just light enough to count as a substantial snack and the 3 beers which washed it down made it a repast! All the more enjoyable that I fortuitously caught the 5-7 pm weekday "Happy Hour" and so got the beers at pretty much half-price ;))

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    Montreal Casino: The Best

    by solopes Updated Feb 6, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This deserves three tips, so, the best is to use the same text in all of them:

    Things to do: - The buildings and surrounding gardens are very beautiful, and deserve a visit, even without entering the casino.

    Restaurant: - I had there the best Canadian meal. Fabulous in presentation and taste. The price… I don't know - it was included in the package. But I read a lot about free meals in the Casino, and wouldn't be surprised if the price stood far below the quality of the dinner. They have many more ways to get paid (well... not by us!).

    Nightlife: - I couldn't imagine myself in a Casino with two kids. How to handle it? Well… it was perfect. A small preparation about viciousness and the need of self control, then a notion of budget and selection of priorities, and finally $5 for person (adults and children) as the present budget.

    As you may guess, it didn't take too long to get rid of it, but the fun of carefully identifying the most amusing games, the conscious management of the progressively disappearing coins, and the discipline and tranquility shown when they ended, did, really pay all the costs.

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    Aux Vivres: Best Vegan Eats in Montreal

    by wahine76 Written Feb 4, 2013

    Aux Vivres is a great vegan/vegetarian restaurant in the Plateau area.

    The service and the food is really good. They have smoothies, salads, veggie burgers, bowls and sandwiches on their menu.
    another great thing about Aux Vivres is their small grocery counter in the front where you can buy some of their products (like their amazing Dragon sauce) or food to go. They also offer delivery via A la Carte Express.

    Restaurant is Open until 11pm.

    Favorite Dish: I love all their bowls (Dragon Bowl, Thai Bowl, Buddha Bowl, etc.) and their cakes are just heavenly good!

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    Vallier: Excellent bistro in Old Montreal

    by yooperprof Updated Jan 12, 2013

    Vallier is an excellent bistro on Rue McGill in Old Montreal, close to the Media City neighborhood. I had a tasty and completely satisfying cheeseburger with frites, but the real highlight of my meal was the dessert. The "Pain Perdu" is a Quebeçois specialty. The menu translated it as bread pudding, but I think it was much more like a very rich French Toast, served with a maple glaze and a little dollop of ice cream. Superbe!

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    Java U: At the head of its class!

    by yooperprof Updated Jan 9, 2013

    Great coffee-nook in Old Montreal. There are 17 other locations throughout the city. This one is on Rue McGill, close to the harbor. They have a sleek modern interior in an old space. It's long and narrow, but with comfortable seating up front as well as at the rear.

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    Cafe les Entretiens: Neighborhood Cafe with live music

    by yooperprof Written Jan 2, 2013

    A lovely nieghborhood cafe and bistro on Avenue Laurier Est, about a ten minute walk from the Laurier Metro station. Good food and drink, and live music in the evenings. Brandon, a former student of mine, now lives in Montreal and has a regular gig there playing the piano (jazz). It was fun to surprise him - he had no idea I was coming to Montreal, so when I walked into the cafe and took a seat close to the piano, he had to do a double-take to make sure it was me.

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    Giorgio: Inexpensive Italian food in Old Montreal

    by brazwhazz Written Nov 2, 2012

    The Montreal Old Port area has many restaurants, but many of them are expensive, to not say overpriced.

    Fortunately, Giorgio, an Italian restaurant at the corner of St-Paul and St-Laurent Streets, has come up with an interesting solution. While maintaining its mid-range restaurant (entrance on St-Laurent Street), it has opened an adjoining cafeteria-style eatery (entrance on Des Communes Street), which offers a basic, limited menu with lower prices. I have eaten at both the restaurant and eatery, and I can safely say there is no drop-off in the quality of food from one to the other.

    The eatery is very family-friendly, there was even a children's party going on the last time I ate there.

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    Bistro Araucaria: South American - Chilean

    by kenHuocj Written Jun 24, 2012

    The usual busy summer road constructions of Montreal slowed our planned visit for good Jewish fare, but the obligatory purchase of St V bagels was not to be missed. My nature call had me running across rue st Urban, on my way out, i was stopped by the owner who claimed her prowess in Chilean cuisine, as was confirmed by my sensitive nose and tingling tummy juices. her son was the perfect host. and i will be back again

    Favorite Dish: Sole that was lightly battered and deep fried. the Ocean's sweetness was very evident in the juicy well handled seafood

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