New Yorker planning my first trip to Montreal next week. I've read through many of the threads here and have a running list of your recommendations but need help tailoring my experience. We'll be around Plateau, Mile End, Petite Italie and perhaps Saint-Henri and Ho-Ma.
1) Casual Middle Eastern – I know Saint-Laurent has good boucheries and bakeries, but are there other neighborhoods or specific restaurants worth visiting for Syrian or Lebanese? I know there is also North African in Plateau and will try to visit La Khaima. Is shish taouk in MTL really that good? (FWIW I grew up on Middle Eastern and cook it at home)
2) 5@7 - Are there any good spots I should check out on Thursday or Friday near Plateau or worth traveling for to be near young nightlife or restaurants? Suwu, Baldwin Barmacie, Le Lab and Baracca caught my eye and though we love our cocktails in New York if Montreal is more of a beer town, I’d love recommendations for good Quebec beers.
3) Brunch - Brunch is a big, boozy tradition in New York. Is it the same in Montreal? Any good spots to check out near Notre Dame Basilica? Or just some place with great Caesars?
4) Quebecois food - I know of La Binerie Mont-Royal. Are there any better options? I'm also looking for cretons to bring back home if there is a shop or brand I should be looking for.
5) Jean Talon & Atwater – Do the vendors rotate depending on day or can I expect the market to be the same regardless if I go on a Friday afternoon or a Sunday morning?
6) Nice lunch - I have Le Quartier Général or État-Major down depending on whether we stay in Plateau or Ho-Ma. Are there other restaurants we ought to consider around this price point?
7) Nice dinner – I’m traveling with adventurous diners, but Joe Beef/Au Pied de Cochon may be out of their league. We’re looking a nice Sunday supper under $40pp + tax + tip. We are open to cuisine, but BYO would be a nice perk.
8) Picnics – If we want to picnic on Mont-Royal, do we have to sit at a picnic table in order to open our wine? NY doesn’t really have picnic tables in our parks and we’re not allowed to open wine in public either way.
Thank you all in advance.