This past weekend(Sept 5th-8th) I had the pleasure of visiting the great city of Montreal,so here's my review(sorry no photos)
Thursday night dinner at 400 Coups.
This was my favorite meal of my trip. The combination of excellent food and outstanding service(I sat at the bar) puts this restaurant at the top of my list.
I opted for the 5 course tasting menu w/o the wine pairings as I'm not a big wine drinker(or so I thought). During conversation with the bartender I casually mentioned that I cooked for a living. Well,from there on in it was V.I.P treatment for lucky old me.
The meal started with a tasty amuse bouche and ended with not 1 but 2 fantastic desserts(+ an extra pasta dish and free pours(smallish) of wine with every almost dish!
The bartender was a true professional. Not just passionate but really excited about food and wine. I'd go back there in a heartbeat.he mentioned that a new Chef will be taking over the helm soon..should be exciting.
Friday morning it was coffee and pastries(very tasty) from Mamie Clafoutis which was conveniently located just half a block south of my hotel on St-Denis.
Lunch was at one of my favorite chicken joints,Coco Rico..good as always.
Friday's dinner was Le Filet.A most excellent meal was had. A vibrant, bustling scene not too noisy but enough action to keep a solo diner busy.
Again I sat at the bar.The place was jammed but I didn't feel like a sardine or an afterthought..The service was very professional,no time for idle chit chat. The food was outstanding as well.
I ordered the Tuna tartar,octopus and.sweet breads w/lobster and for dessert I had the Piedmont(one of my favorite desserts of all time).This was my most expensive meal of the weekend but well worth it. I had previously dined at their other establishment, CetP, so I knew to expect an outstanding meal. I heard that they're also opening a new resto soon called "Serpent" or something like that..you lucky bastards! :)
Saturday morning was brunch at Lawrence. I'd read some complaints on "other" food sites about long waits and surly servers but I found nothing of the sort on my visit. I arrived just before the 10 am opening to a small line up of about 8-10 ppl.The sun was shinning,the birds were singing so no big deal. Within a few minuites ,I was seated at the bar enjoying a mighty fine cup of coffee in no time at all.I ordered the trio of donuts and the English breakfast.Service was great and the food teriffic. I'd go back any time..
I skipped lunch cause I knew I was going to have a big(last) meal that evening,and I'm glad I did.
My reservation at Joe Beef was for 9:30 at the bar(again) and after a$20.00 cab ride from my hotel,I just barley made it. I was seated at the tiny bar,crammed(and I mean crammed) in between a couple and another solo diner. It was difficult to read the menu(my French ain't so good) and the lights were dim. The bartender(who was excellent by the way) was so busy shucking dozens of oysters and chatting to and explaining the menu/wine list to the other patrons I really didn't have the time or patience to ask as many questions as I wanted(not his fault). I ordered a half foie double down and the sweetbreads. The double down was a real treat,sweet savory crunchy melty(?) all rolled into one dish. The Ris Veau was also delicious but the portion was massive and the sauce far too rich for my taste. It was served with potatoes Anna which really put it over the top. Now..none of this is Joe's fault,It's what they're known for..big rich hearty dishes that in my opinion could and should be shared. But after dining at 400 coups and Le Filet, I'd come to realize that this kind of food experience is no longer enjoyable for me(as a solo diner anyway)
Like I said the food was terrific and the service great,but the tight seating and massive portions don't appeal to me so I don't think I'd go back any time soon.
Thanks Montreal for a most excellent weekend of wine, food and debauchery..
I'll be back :D