Adding to the fact that many bloggers visited Montreal lately, Holly from decor*8 requested suggestions on where to eat and to shop in Montreal. So this is the right time to publish my list of favorite restaurants in town.
Most of them are fine restaurants. They are reasonably priced for a night out. I added a few suggestions for lunches and breakfasts. My list is ordered by neighborhood. I select three neighborhoods that are popular and fun to explore for travelers.
Olive & Gourmando – 351 Saint-Paul West 514.350.1083
This bakery shop is the spot for a quick breakfast, a lunch or to simply enjoy an excellent coffee with baked goodies while you are visiting Old Montreal. Everybody raved about their soups and sandwiches. Do not forget to get one of their delicious breads. Olive and Gourmando is open from 8 am to 6 pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Le Club Chasse et Peche - 423 Saint Claude 514.861.1112
I ate there a few times since their opening. I am always delighted by my entire meal. This is a fine dining restaurant with a more masculine, rustic décor. The menu is inspired by the name of the restaurant which means Hunting and Fishing Club.
Expect $110 per person at night but it is money well spent. The wine list is impressive. We were invited last month for a dinner party by one of our clients and let say that we got a feast of cocktails, food and fine wines. It was a long night to remember. The staff was professional but friendly.
Notice that the restaurant is closed for lunches from July 14 to until August 13, 2007. Because the restaurant wants to operate only one kitchen team to insure the same quality level all the times, they are closed on Sunday and Monday.
Version Laurent Godbout – 295 Saint-Paul East 514.871.9135
Opened in 2005 by the chef of the popular and excellent restaurant Chez L’Epicier (311 Saint-Paul East 514.878.2232), Version Laurent Godbout proposes an interesting Iberian-based cuisine. The terrace is absolutely stunning. It is no secret that Laurent Godbout is a well viewed and loved chef in Montreal.
The décor, the way the dishes are plated and the recipes themselves are quite imaginative. Each dish is based on a theme. You are encouraged to share plates between guests at the table, like you see in the Iberian culture. If you are a group of 12, there is a charming private room at the front where you can watch the pedestrian crowd of Old Montreal.
Cafe Melies - 3536 Saint Laurent 514.847.9218
This is the bar and restaurant of Ex-Centris, the most stylish Cinema and New Media Complex in Montreal. Just from an architectural and design point of view, the place is worth a trip. Just look at the street lights in front of the building. They depart from the rest of the street because Daniel Langlois wanted something more design than the basic city lights in front of his building.
I suggest you go for breakfast or lunch at Café Melies. The décor is quite special. This is a mix of art deco, futuristic and last century steamships integrated with references of movie gears.
Jano - 3883 Saint Laurent 514.849.0646
This is an inexpensive family own restaurant where you eat succulent Portuguese Grill food. If you go on the week-end, expect a huge line. I suggest you make a reservation. The restaurant Coco Rico also belongs to the Castanheiro family. You do not go at Jano for the décor, you go there to eat good simple food.
Primadonna Ristorante & Bar Sushi – 3479 Saint Laurent 514.282.6644
The Primadonna is on my top 3 list. In a cool stylish décor, you eat exceptional Italian cuisine and great sushi. The food quality is the same whether I am going on a Tuesday night or during the week-end. One thing I appreciate is that they try to assign their regular guests to one waitress. The wine list is pricier.
If you are looking for large dishes and a more crowded lively place, you may prefer the Buona Notte across the street.
Pullman – 3424 Avenue Du Parc 514.288.7779
This wine bar carries mostly special importations. The selection is always in movement. On the menu, you get innovative and nicely plated tapas. So you can go to get a bite or for a full meal. I suggest you get wine by the glass to match it to the food. You can order them in 2 or 4 ounces wine glass.
Tri Express – 1650 Laurier East 514.528.5641
Formerly of Kaizen and Le Petit Treehouse (now closed), Tri Du is a sushi chef of the highest quality. You will discover that Tri is an adorable guy. Go there for lunch to eat his amazing sushi. He is a creative chef that does not always stick to traditional Japanese recipes. The place is small and you can order for take-out.
CLOSED : Zumaia – 3712 Saint Laurent 514.288.8729
This Spain-Portugal small restaurant is a wonderful addition to our town. I suggest you try the Degustation menu. You will get the full meal except the dessert for $29 CAD. And leave room for dessert. The molten chocolate cake with a dash of olive oil, fleur de sel and espelette pepper (if I am not mistaken) is a divine pleasure. Honestly, it is to die for. You get many wines around $30 a bottle.
If you are looking for a great bar after dinner, try the groovy GoGo Lounge. But be sure to dress cool if you want to get in on weekends; the place is packed. 3682 Saint Laurent 514.286.0882
Restaurant Alloro – 160 Laurier West 514.270.6003
This restaurant was designed by one of Montreal’s most prolific restaurant designers, Jean-Pierre Viau. You go there for the eating at the beautiful terrace. Alloro proposes simple Italian cooking. You just have to cross the street for drinks before or after the dinner at Barmacie Baldwin 115 Laurier W., 514.276.4282
Chez Leveque – 1030 Laurier West 514.279.7355
You go Chez Leveque to eat authentic, traditional French cuisine. With the current trend for French cuisine that I see in English Canada and the USA, I thought you will appreciate this restaurant. Their wine list is reasonably priced.
I got more of my list. But I will let you enjoy my first compilation of the best restaurants right now in Montreal. Have fun visiting us.
Cafe Melies (1st row of middle montage): from their Web site
Alloro (bottom): Andre Pichette, La Presse
Club Chasse et Peche (top pictures) + Pullman: Kim Vallee