Hi Fellow Chows - thank you for the wonderful suggestions for both Ottawa and Montreal. Our Ottawa experiences are on the Ontario board. Here is what we did in Montreal. Turned out we had two oranized dinners, so only had time for two big meals. On Sunday we had a fabulous dinner at Pied de Cuchon. Appetizers were two mini sandwhiches in Chinese style steamed buns with thick sliced bacon, slaw and cheddar sauce. We practically licked the plate! Second app was a salad of arugula, fiddlehead ferns, smoked meat, sea snails and cheddar sauce. We really didn`t need our mains, but had the bison ribs (enormous bone with lots of meat and much too sweet barbecue sauce) and the lobster roll (okay but the bread was cold and it was under seasoned) loaded with fresh claw and tail meat. Service was great, informative and attentive.
Last night we discoverd Là Aberge Saint Gabriel in the old port area. First it was handicap accessible which is terribly hard to find in Montreal. Dinner started with 2 amuse bouche - chorizo baked into crisp bread, and a cold corn soup with tomato salsa and crouton. For an appetizer we had charcuterie. Chef`s choice included pate, rillete, chorizo, rabbit, mixed fruit chutney as well as an excellent lentil salad and potatoe salad. Did I mention the bread? A nice chewy french, rosemary and olive, and a nice rustic farm loaf. Mains were interesting takes on tangine (braised lamb shoulder with an au jus reduction with apricots and bulgar) and paella (a bead of safron rice with chunks of lobster, a huge scallop, rabbit, chorizo, mussels and chicken beautifully composed). We were too full for dessert, but the check came with house made chocolate crisps and a nicely wrapped brownie take with us. Service was outstanding.
We checked out both bagel places and found them interesting. In future, do warn visitors from the USA that you must take your bagels with you and not expect to sit with coffee and a long menu of bagel sandwiches.
Again it was all wonderful. Thank you for the suggestions!