Here's how the trip shaped up: Sat. night, we ate at Les Infidels, on the recommendation of our B&B hosts. Wonderful meal, friendly and relaxed but elegant atmostphere. Loved the Fois gras creme brulee, and the grapefruit sorbet in vodka was also outstanding. Next night, we ate at Au Pied du Chochon. Very different vibe, I wasn't prepared for the very informal atmosphere, but again, delicious food (although in the end, we preferred the menu at Les Infidels) and a lively, friendly staff. At the table next to us was a family from two towns away from our own (in Massachusetts). I was a little taken aback, though, when, after asking about one of the apps, and hearing the description of what sounded like "pork rinds", we said, no thanks. The waitress, who was very nice, insisted on bringing us what seemed like a small sample (and in fact, it was exactly what we thought). We tasted them, did not care for them, offered them to our Massachusetts "neighbors" . But we thought, "How nice of her to do that." Until we got the bill and saw that we were charged for it. We chalked it up to a language snafu, but I'm not sure. C'est la vie! It wasn't enough to spoil what had been a really fun and fattening dinner. I especially loved my maple pudding.
We also tried Schwartz's for lunch. And sorry, Montreal, I'll take my black Roumanian Pastrami over Schwartz's smoked meat any day. Maybe we should have asked for it lean or medium--we had no sooner said we wanted the smoked meat sandwich than the guy behind the counter swooped away, and the sandwiches were placed in front of us. I found the meat more like our corned beef, and kind of fatty. It's not that I'm expecting dietic meat, but I do like mine with the fat all smoked into the meat, rather than thickly marbeling it. Also, it seemed kind of wet--made the very thin and small slices of bread a mess. Give me a nice, sturdy Polish corn/rye bread as a way to hold my meat. Good cole slaw, though. Come to NY and try Katz's!
I had a craving at lunch for moules frites, and we went to Biere & Co. "blind." I couldn't find anything about it on the board. Moules were tasty, frites crispy and the beer selection awesome. Our last night in town, we were in Old Montreal. Someone at our hotel warned us away from STash's, saying more than one friend had bad experiences--of the 3 day belly ache kind. I asked about Cassoulet, and we were directed to Le Pyranees (the other places suggested were closed for EAster Monday). Not my favorite rendering of the dish, and the place was pretty empty, but the owner/host was so friendly and welcoming, that we enjoyed our dinner very much.
Overall, you have such a warm, friendly and elegant city! WE'll be back, and will post here again for more suggestions. Thanks Montreal Chowhounds!
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