Restaurants & Bars 21

Steer me through Mtl -- all of it; winding small passageways; obscure back alleys?

aliris | Aug 19, 2009 08:48 PM

Hi Chiens! (Is that right?? Maybe I shouldn't bandy about words I'm not thoroughly familiar with -- please forgive me if that's got some unintended connotation other than "hound"...)

I'm newly arrived in your fair city and absolutely loving it. We have eaten out many times in the last couple days and each and every time has been fabulous; I can't imagine being happier! It is dh's observation that people just seem _content_ in this city. Perhaps it's the health insurance? Or could it really just be the food?? Whatever ... I confess to intimidation at the prospect of asking for a list of must-visits because I think that list will be really, really long.

Still, I'd love to ask for some directions. It sounds as if this market, Jean Talon, is unique. I have yet to figure out where it is -- might I ask for pointers as for a rank visitating virgin? I figured out where the old part of Mtl was today and even used the metro. But that's about as advanced as we are.

I would love pointers to good, "natural", organic, imaginatively-prepared local food. Especially markets or restaurants that prepare (or sell in the case of "whole" foods) same. We aren't hugely wealthy and anyway, my own pleasure from a restaurant meal is leavened by value as well. It has to be really *really* incredible food to overcome a huge price tag; in the end it's easier to come up to that height by fiddling with the cost: when it's cheap I please easier. Ethnicity matters not: we love it all. My family includes a couple puppies that eat most anything though it is true that surrogates for the proverbial forbidden fruit of macaroni and cheese attain the greatest accolades (e.g. today's cheese quiche and cheese ravioli in cheese sauce were quintessential in that regard). Because I cook a lot, for me the definition of a good restaurant starts with the proposition that if I can make it probably I don't want to order it out -- ordering from a menu means the selection must be comprised of food I cannot make better and/or cheaper at home. Directions or at least listing the neighborhood would be really helpful!

We don't shun meat though one of us eats only (some) fish; steakhouses are probably of less interest therefore. Something more interesting than straight-up cheese or lettuce for a vegetarian option would be appreciated. Good bread is well-appreciated. Any integration of history or cultural information would be lapped right up. Mention of markets of interest for raw materials would be hugely valued as well (cf Jean Talon, I think -- but where is it?? Also, I heard tell that there is a reenacted market in the old quarter toward the end of the month -- is that true? neat? hokey?)

Anyway, thanks for sharing highlights of your city. I think one could eat out every night for the rest of one's life here and still not get through it all.

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