Excuse the long-winded saga: I am a Boston foodie going to Montreal in early August with my wife and two children (ages 12 and 16). We will be staying downtown at the Square Philips but are all willing to go far out of our way for great food. I have little clue about the distances/travel time from downtown to many of the restaurants I have already identified. I am planning for dinner on Sunday, all meals on Monday and Tuesday, and breakfast on Wednesday before we hit the road back home. My kids are adventurous eaters so there is no need to restrict options; although menus that have more rather than fewer options are desired. We will spend $$$$ but we value great food over atmosphere. None of us speak French. We will have a car. Based on research, here's what I have so far, and please offer your comments on what I have and/or any additional suggestions:
3 DINNERS -- I would like diversity between classic French, Quebecois, or eclectic fusion. With 3 dinners, I'm assuming 1 Big Splurge and 2 others a bit more reasonably priced.
1 Big Splurge Dinner: Looking at Toque, Club Chasse et Peche, La Chronique, Joe Beef, Ferreira. I'm concerned that Toque may be too precious, small portions, haughty and unwelcoming. I don't have a great feel for Joe Beef between seafood and beef, but they may be closed for vacation. I'm getting good vibes about La Chronique but their website is under construction. Not sure if Club Chasse would be welcoming to children and worry about duplication with APDC for another one of my dinners. Ferreira is different cuisine altogether, and sounds intriguing but is it really something that is unique to the Montreal area?
2 Other Dinners: Looking at Lemeac, Au Pied De Cochon, Brunoise, L'Express, Holder, Au Petit Extra, Au Cinquieme Peche. APDC sounds unique but with exceptionally heavy food that could dampen appetite for the next day. Brunoise sounds great but menu is possibly very limited. Ditto for Au Cinquieme Peche. L'Express/Holder/Au Petit Extra sound fairly similar to one another.
2 Lunches: Looking at Olive & Gourmando, Basha, Boustan, Schwartz's, or perhaps grazing at JTM. As I have had great smoked meat deli many times in NYC and also sometimes in Boston, is Schwartz's worth going to for one of my two lunches? Also, perhaps consider something from my dinners list for a lunch alternative.
3 Breakfasts: I'm assuming that with all my eating at lunch and dinner, that this could be fairly simple. All I require is strong coffee. Suggestions welcome for fantastic breakfast pastries and my children adore Eggs Benedict. I will voyage to St. Viateur/Fairmont to compare bagels and to get in bulk to bring home. Friends have brought these to me for gifts in the past and I loved them, but don't know which of the two placed they came from.
In terms of "walking around snack food," I believe that it's my duty to visit Bibloquet for ice cream and I'm also curious about Juliette & Chocolate for dessert crepes (my children love chocolate so figure this is a can't-miss). Somehow, I also want to squeeze in great frites and have heard of Frites Alors, but figure I may be able to satisfy this urge at one of my lunches or dinners (heard that Holder had great frites). If we go to APDC for dinner, I figure I'd use that event to try poutaine as it could be too heavy for a between-meal snack.
So.....am I way off base here? Any suggestions?
Also, for a reality check, please let me know if any of the places I'm thinking about are a ridiculously long distance from downtown. Happy to take cabs, metro, etc.
Thanks very much in advance for any of your help.