Thanks for a nice weekend! Such a friendly city! Everyone was just so nice and helpful.
We particularly loved the Jean Talon market! So beautiful and so much incredible food!! Oh to have one back home in NY!! We bought lots of fantastic cheeses from Hamel - so friendly there and so many many choices - we could have sampled cheeses all day!, we also had corn on the cob boiled at the market - delicious!, we had a good lamb sandwich by a man with a rotisserie in one corner of the market, some tastes of some perfect organic tomatoes, some delicious Paula Red apples, some decent strawberries, a good almond crossaint from Premiere Moisson, etc. etc. etc.
We also stopped at Pied de Cochon our first night and had the pied de cochon, the poutine with foie gras and the onion soup. having never had poutine or pied de cochon before, I don't know if they were particularly good examples but they were tasty. The onion soup, however, was the best I ever had - fantastic broth - meaty and wonderful umami with delicious gooey cheese on top. we really liked sitting at the bar and watching everything going on.
We ate 2 other dinners - one at Toque and one at L'Express. At Toque we had the tasting menu and while the food was good and interesting, I fear that our expectations were much too high (we had expected WD-50 or Per Se (NYC restaurant quality)) and it didn't quite reach that level. (more of a 24 or 25 Zagat rating, if we had to rate it).
L'Express was also a tad bit disappointing. We sat at the bar and loved the bartender. So nice and helpful! We had the heirloom tomato salad and lobster bisque to start and then the quail and tournedos of beef. The heirloom tomato salad was good, but not fantastic - some of the mushrooms were a little mushy and the vinagrette didn't really seem to make the tomatoes pop. My husband liked the bisque, but it was unlike any other he had. The tournedos were overdone and the sauce not that interesting and the quail was good, but the wild rice overpowered it completely. The tartelette citron, however, which we had for dessert was very good. nicely tart/sour, good crust and great texture.
All in all I think we would have enjoyed Toque and L'Express more if our expectations had been a little lower.
We finished off on a bang though - we had our last meal at Schwartz's with a terrific smoked meat sandwich. it lives up to its reputation. not humongous, but flavorful and very tasty and inexpensive to boot!
only regret is not trying fries made in horse fat and Brunoise! well there's always next time.
Merci beaucoup & thanks again for all the advice!!