I'm in the end stages of planning a 5 day visit to Montreal & Quebec City (3 days in the former, 2 in the latter). We were just in Montreal last summer, so to calibrate I can tell you what we liked and not:
- Au Pied de Cochon - epic meal, mostly centered around a gigantic seafood platter.
- Les 400 Coups - another really good meal - this was before Jette and Demers left.
- Lawrence - nice brunch, not exceptional, but don't know that we got a full feel for the place from what we ordered.
- Le Filet - disappointing. Had about a half-dozen dishes, nearly all of them the seafood was overwhelmed by the sauces.
- Schwartz's, St. Viateur - Institutions worthy of the title.
So here are my questions:
- Is the summer seafood thing still going on at APDC or is it already over? I just took a look at the online menu and didn't see the seafood platters listed, which would be a crushing disappointment.
- Other recommendations of the same ilk as 400 Coups? i.e., contemporary in style with local, seasonal ingredients, in a place that has a not overly fussy vibe? I've currently got Au Cinquieme Peche, Chez l'Epicier, Hotel Herman, Tripes & Caviar and Tuck Shop on my list. Tripes & Caviar really intrigues me, but may be a bit extreme for the rest of the family.
- Classic French bistro: Lemeac or L'Express or does one not particularly stand out over the other?
- Maison Publique? Should I put this in the contemporary category, the classic bistro category, or another, and would you pick it over any of the other places I've mentioned?
- Portuguese: our last visit to Montreal I was intrigued to see several Portuguese restaurants. Did a little research and turned up Helena and Ferreira as apparent front-runners (and also interested in Ferreira sibling Taverne F). Are any (or others) so good that you'd recommend over the other places above?
- (I should note: so far not been able to get a reservation at any of the Joe Beef places; based on our disappointing experience at Le Filet, have crossed Le Club Chasse et Peche off our list, which seems oft-recommended)
- In Quebec City, our current game plan is to do one night at either Legende or Chez Boulay, and the other night at L'Affaire est Ketchup or Patente et Machin. For lunches, was considering Aux Anciens Canadiens (about which opinion seems to be mixed) and Le Lapin Saute. Other suggestions welcomed.
- Is there anything good for lunch on the way between Portland Maine and Quebec City (i.e. along Route 73 and 173)?