I just returned from a visit to Montreal and Quebec. We had a nice time. It would have been great if we had not had rain EVERY day, but Quebec City is lovely.
I read the boards for a few weeks prior to our trip and wanted to thank you all for your active conversations. My report;
We stayed by Vieux Montreal, and I was not overwhelmed by what we found in that area (or the area itself, but that is another web site.) We were unfortunately there late on a Saturday night (after a delayed flight) Sunday and Monday when many places were closed, and were on a budget that may have limited our choices. Sunday morning was almost desolate and breakfast very hard to find.
I never made it to Schwartz's and I so wanted to. We did have a smoked meat sandwich at the train station that we thought was pretty good, but I would love to know what it is, since to me it tasted like a cross between corned beef and pastrami. I wanted to try poutine, but kind of wanted a kiddie size as I did not want to commit to it for a whole meal.
There was one standout. Per your suggestions and a suggestion from our concierge, we ended up at Leméac on Sunday night. It was our "fancy" meal, and it was fabulous. Service was great, wine was good and my husband's lamb looked out of this world. My cod (a fish I don't often choose) was great too; perfectly seared then roasted. I was sorry nothing else in the area was open as it would have been nice to take a more leisurely walk back to the metro after dinner.
I almost forgot. We also spent a morning at Jean Talon market. Oh my god, I wanted to buy every pepper, leek and piece of cheese in sight. It was a wonderful pleasure and a great stroll. I so wish I could have purchased some to take home...but it was early in my trip and alas, I was traveling via plane to a country that does not like other's produce to cross it's borders.
In Quebec City we had two notable meals. First a lunch at the Bistro Sous Le Fort, just down the hill from the Funnicular entrance in Basse Ville. I had an elk burger and my husband a duck sandwich, both really good and something we cannot get in Minneapolis on a regular basis.
For our last night, we ate at aux Anciens Canadiens and had a fabulous meal with the meat pie and pea soup as headliners. The chocolate cake (I could not convince him to get the maple pie) was enough for 4 people and really at $49 a head, their table d'hote menu is a value and more food than a person should consume in a day. On a budget? their lunch deal also seems a good value.
Thanks again. I hope to be back someday to eat more and see the city in the sun. And, as to dress codes---not to worry. We really found anything goes.