Thanks to all who responded to my various questions regarding where to eat in Montreal for a first-time visitor. We had a great time and managed to hit some of the suggested restaurants. Here's my review of where we ate and what we ate, etc.
October 20 - beers at Le Cheval Blanc, on Ontario. Very good beer! Excellent DJ/bartenders, too. Dinner at the only place that was still open at 9:30 pm on a cold Sunday - Mars & Venus on Ste-Catherine in the Latin Quarter. My first (and only) experience with Poutine, which we loved. But, this restaurant is remarkably unremarkable, otherwise. I didn't expect much of it, though.
October 21 - lunch at Petit Moulinsart in Vieux Montreal. Very good. Appetizer of simple hard boiled eggs with mayonaise (very simple but very good) and main course of mussels in a tomato-wine-herb sauce. Dinner at Schwartz's. Yummy smoked meat sandwich and the best cole slaw I've ever had. Clone this place and send it to Washington DC!
October 22 - lunch at Pizzaole downtown on Laurier, I think. Good, crispy pizza, tho nothing that I can't get at home, honestly. Post-hockey dinner at L'Express. Awesome! Gotta love a place that brings you a *jar* of cornichons. I OD'ed on them, though. :) I had Steak Tartare, with endive au bleu salad to start and chocolate tart for dessert; my husband had hanger steak (Onglet), with aged cheddar for dessert (can't remember what his appetizer was...I think it was onion soup). ***Can someone enlighten me!? What were we supposed to do with the jar of mustard that was brought along with the bread and cornichons? I ended up just slathering it all over the bread; my husband tried it on the cornichons. We both *love* mustard, but were wondering if its purpose was for something else entirely.
October 23 - lunch at Schwart's again. :) Post-concert dinner at Bon Ble' Riz, near the Place Des Arts. Just a normal, inexpensive Chinese place on Ste-Laurent at Ste-Catherine, I believe. (We'd had so much rich, french-inspired food and were craving something pungent and asian.)
October 24 - lunch of various pates and cheese from Marche' Atwater. What a wonderful place!! Dinner at Toque'! Most excellent. :) We both did the tasting menu, with wine. I got the Foie Gras, which was heavenly and was served with a delicious sauternes, of course. Our tasting menu included an amuse-bouche of raw oyster with basil oil foam and also raw scallops served in the shell with concord grape vinegar and a concord grape juice reduction, I believe. Both were excellent. First course: some sort of white fish sashimi with pea shoots on top, eggplant caviar on the bottom, sprinkled with seasalt and garnished with wasabi-creme fraiche, I think. Second course for me was foie gras (awesome!). Third (main) course was rare venison with a tiny bit of fresh pasta in a creamy sauce and a port wine reduction and (for my husband) guinea fowl with butternut squash puree. Fourth course was asiette de fromage (six or so different types), dessert course was creme brulee cubes in chocolate ganache served with vanilla milk for my husband, and thyme ice cream served with something I can't remember (!!) for me. The service at Toque'!, of course, was excellent.
Sorry this is so long, but perhaps someone else in my (former) shoes, visiting Montreal for the first time, will want to know this stuff. :)
Thanks again, and I look forward to visiting your wonderful city sometime in the future.