Just got back from a weekend trip to Montreal from NYC and would like to post my dining experiences. I reviewed this board to get some recommendations for places to go, so would like to give some feedback for future travellers:
Friday night: Ferriera (sp) Cafe Trattoria on Peel Street: We just dropped into this place w/o a reservation or reading reviews and were very happy. A bit spendy, but the food and presentation was excellent. We had a grilled veggie & goat cheese salad, plus a sardine-on-toast appetizer, the sardines were interesting a spectacularly presented. Entrees were the house special seafood & rice, which was very good, and a grilled pork dish. The almond tart desert was excellent. It was expensive, I believe the total cost was about $150 or so, including cocktail + a bottle of wine.
Saturday Night: La Passe-Partout: Phenomenal! A gourmand's delight. It's almost like it's a local secret. Bring the address, our hotel Concierge and Taxi driver had no idea where it was. It's hidden next to a bakery/cheese shop, you enter through the bakery. Decor is simple, nice. We had the home-smoked salmon appetizer, as well as a homemade pork pate. Both were fabulous. Also had the Quenelle of Dory in a crawfish sauce. The entrees were great. One was a halibut with red pepper coulis and anchovy puree. The salty anchovy and the sweet peppers were nice with the fish. The other was a grilled leg of lamb, which had a nice demi-glace sauce. The owner/hostess recommended several wines from the fairly short winelist in the $40 range, the one we had was very nice. The cheese selection was great, as were the deserts. I think we had a chocolate mousse apple in puff pastry. Total cost was around $200 or so, including a cocktail.
Sunday: We had reservations at La Maree. We sat down and were sufficiently unimpressed with the service, menu, and winelist that we got up and left. The waiter didn't know the "Market Fish" of the day, went to check and didn't return. The wine list was pathetic and expensive ($50+). For that kind of money I expect more. We went down the street to someplace else and had a decent meal for less. Next time back I think I'll avoid the restaurants in the Vieux Port.
Overall we had a nice time. Thanks to this board for giving me some good suggestions!