I'll be arriving Tuesday for a week in Montreal. My time will be split between the Hyatt Regency, and Palais de Congres, with some night time interludes at Gesu on rue de Bleury, Club Soda on St-Laurent and Medley Montreal on St-Denis. I'll mostly be running out for a bite alone, but may find time to drag a gang along once or twice.
My goals are to
-keep myself fed- I'll be running non-stop from 8am to 4am daily photographing musicians, I'm always hungry - and I'll have little time to run out and back for food.
-eat as much interesting food as possible - especially stuff I can't find easily here in Philadelphia or New York.
-soak up some local color.
So here are a few questions-
I'll have a car. Will I want it accessible, or is there some nearby cheap lot I should ditch it in for most of the week? Are any of the neighborhoods especially worth going out of my way to by car? Or are they accessible by metro?
Is there a place close by you can recommend for an early quick breakfast? I don't eat wheat, so I'm probably talking meat and eggs, not brioche and coffee. (I do understand, however, that a small bite of a St Viateur bagel and possibly a snitch of rye with my smoked meat from Schwartz' are mandatory exceptions to the no wheat rule.)
Any suggestions for late night besides L'express?
Are any of the fancier places such as Toque on the must go list, or are these no different than the finer restaurants in Philadelphia or elsewhere? I don't mind being extravagant at one fine restaurant for an exceptional meal to remember. - although my idea of real atmosphere is watching the owner's five and six year old kids running around, screaming a language I don't understand.
Is dim sum at Ruby Red and Kam Fung or Furama, and the food at Beijing noteworthy compared to what's available at Chinatowns in the States, or just the best of the Chinese food available here? Are Pho Bang, Au Cyclo, or Cuisine Bangkok better than most in the states?
It sounds like Western European (are we talking mostly French bistro here?) should be at the top of my list to get a real taste of Montreal. And I gather that Middle Eastern is also among the best bets - and I do love Middle Eastern. Do you have favorites in the area, a quick ride on the metro, or really worth going out of my way for?
Thanks so much in advance for your help. I'm expecting that this will be a fun adventure.