Back in NYC after a long weekend in Montreal. Without getting into the particulars of our meals I would say:
Brunoise: I agree with the consensus view, this place is pretty good, definitely worth going to. Elegant in a casual way, there's a nice selection and the entree prices ($CDN 35-45) also include sizeable appetizers and desserts. We got an inexpensive bottle of a Canadian (!) cab-merlot blend and really liked it. Taxes run about 15% up there so the bills may be higher than you expect, but for the equivalent of $US 80 pp. you can do quite well and I think the food compares favorably to NYC restaurants that cost sometimes a lot more.
La Chronique: I'm not a full-blown foodie but the 7-course tasting menu w/ paired wines was quite impressive. I'm afraid I don't do enough of this sort of thing to compare it to other tasting menus, but the dishes were mostly top-notch. (Dessert was just weird, it had about 10 ingredients.) Inasmuch as any meal is worth US $175, I suppose this one was. That said I was probably happier paying half the price at Brunoise.
Montreal bagels also impressive. I recommend the St. Viateur cafe for a sit-down breakfast or lunch, the stores are pretty much good for just grab-and-go.
Had Dunn's smoked meat on (or rather just off) St. Catherine for the first time. Better than Ben's, which should be avoided like the plague, but Schwartz's remains clearly the place to go.
Wanted to put in a plug for Vietnamese sandwiches in Chinatown. Don't remember the name of the particular place I tried, unfortunately, and there is more than one Viet deli -- this one was on the east side of the street at the northern end of its block. But it's tasty and you simply cannot beat the price: $CDN 2.75 for the large where we went. It makes it affordable to go to the above.
For an American-style diner breakfast you can do a lot worse than Mister Steer. Reasonable prices and the hamburgers are deservedly well regarded.
I'm not sure any of the above merits comments but I welcome them. Au revoir, see you next year.
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