First, a big thank you to folks on this board who helped with our decision making for dining. We had some great experiences.
Montreal: We ate at Garde Manger,Lemeac,Brunoise, Chez Epicier,Ghandi,Schwartz's.
Garade Manger is great fun. We ate at the bar one night and at a table the other. We shared a bavette et frites and had a platter of oysters. Everything was very good. The wine list is ridiculously expensive and the few choices by the glass were underwhelming for sure. I would try the seafood platter next time as they looked wonderful.
Lemeac: we looked forward to this meal and hit the dining room just before the $22 special. While we thought the food was good something about it seemed to lack sparkle. If we went back it would be for the special as that does seem like a great bargain.
Brunoise: we loved. We ate here twice within a week. The dining room is very comfortable. My first meal began with the mussel bourride which was divine. This was followed by the tenderloin(beef) which was also very good. Dessert was the pana cotta with basil syrup.
All of this conspired for a very full feeling so I went with lighter choices on our second go round. On our second night I started with the house smoked salmon (FABULOUS) followed by the scallops and short ribs(great short ribs scallops seemed a bit off) and ended with the citrus platter which is very good. They have a good wine offering of 250 ml which allows diners to share a variety of wines without either breaking the bank or your head. On our 2nd visit, we were with another couple and shared a bottle of Rockbare Shiraz which was very good.
Chez Epicier: we were wanting something in the hood(we were staying in Vieux Port) and ended up here having heard great things about it from someone in the Bay Area. We were really underwhelmed. It might have been we were nearing a certain critical mass point for "French" The place seems quite pricey for what one gets.
We had reservations for our last night at Les Chevres but opted for Ghandi (having eaten at Laurie Raphael while in QC). We really liked Ghandi. We shared a number of dishes including the butter chicken and the riz special. We shared a very affordable and good bottle of
white french burgandy.
Schwartz's is not to be missed. I really liked the whole experience including sitting down to eat with folks you have never met. I tried (2 visits) the medium and the fat. I would go with the medium next time. I don't think the flavor suffered with less fat.
QC: We began our three days here with dinner at L'Echaude. We were staying at Dominion 1912 so the short walk was the appealing part.
I had a chevre tart and green salad followed by respectable bavette et frites. The chevre tart was the delicious and the salad very fresh. I did end up with a big piece of wood in my salad(I'm used to this with bulk organic lettuces at home). I did point it out to our waiter who laughed and poured me a gratis glass of good pinot noir(fair enough). Our bill here was $80 so the least amount we spent on the trip for dinner.
We took the plunge and ate dinner at Laurie Raphael our second night. We both had the long cooked pork appetizer which was sublime.
I had the pork chops for the main and although very good I did have to wonder about the $49 price. My SO had the tomato "presentation" which had some delicious aspects. We skipped dessert as we were full.
Service was spotty and somewhat chaotic especially for a relatively quiet night in the dining room. I found the dining room rather sterile. Ultimately, we were rather underwhelmed.
Our third night was our best with dinner at Clocher Penche in the St Roch district. This was our kind of place. We had the shared casserole of lamb shank, root vegetables and polenta which was delicious. Our waiter suggested a small carafe of shiraz/cabarnet blend which was the perfect match. This place is a gem. I would go back here in a heartbeat.
We did have burgers one afternoon at Chez Victor which were very good and tasted very different from the beef we are used to in the states. We also liked the feel of this place. I'd say check it out for lunch.