La Gaudriole - Great little neighborhood bistro! Table d'hote: Choice of avocado mousse, delicious wild mushroom ravioli for starters, braised venison chosen for the main course, and closed with a great cheese tray (choice of three Quebec cheeses).
Le Blanc, on St. Laurent - dinner at the bar. The only memorable taste was a goat cheese "cigar" (goat cheese rolled in a phyllo-type shell: crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside).
Bubbles, on St. Laurent - recommended to me on this board. Great for atmosphere!!! It turns into a painfully hip and trendy nightclub around 11:30 p.m. The DJ spun a mix of Latin and techno, and we had a great time (however, be warned that the back room, where the toilets are located, sometimes turns into a VIP room at midnight and you may have a hard time convincing the LARGE door guard to let you through to use the toilet!). However, to the chow: ordinary smoked salmon, good oysters (not great), but go for the champagne.
L'Academie, on corner of St. Denis and Duluth - Whenever we drive down St. Denis, we have always noticed a long line waiting to get into this resto, so we had to try it finally. Bring your favorite bottle of wine. Happily, the line moves quickly. For a great price ($50 CA for two), we enjoyed a satisfactory three course meal. Artichoke salad, veal with mushrooms in a cream sauce and a fruit tart, although not spectacular, were thoroughly good.
Although the place was spectacularly busy, the service was prompt and attentive. A good meal for the price.
In the suburbs:
Chambly - we tried the selection of beers at Fourquet Fourchette one rainy afternoon. The waitresses are dressed in historical costume, which normally is a signal for me to avoid the place like the plague, but I really enjoyed sampling the different beers in this setting (old building next to the Fort de Chambly, in the historical park right on the river). They offered an interesting menu of traditional Quebecois dishes, including Indian foods, but we did not dine there.
Chez Renaud, Chambly - A small, completely local cafe. Inexpensive, filling comfort food. I tried the poutine, and despite my French Canadian heritage and this being somewhat the regional dish, I sadly really disliked it. However, I'm willing to give it another try at some point.
Beloeil - Near Chambly on the river. We had a thoroughly enjoyable meal at Le Jezephil, right across the river from Mt. St. Hilaire. Sunset, the river view, a good meal and glass of wine.
Also of note: Maisonneuve market is a beautiful old building to visit, not to mention the food market!
My vote for the best cheese shop is the Hamel store on Sherbrooke (waayy out east, beyond central Montreal). The staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and will offer tastings of any of the cheeses. (Best if you speak French).
Sorry for rambling, and I could go on, but that's it!
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