Very good indeed, Gary could write a best selling travelogue.
Very good indeed, Gary could write a best selling travelogue.
I respectfully disagree with some of Gillman's suggestions. The SAQ Signature, has a lousy selection of bourbon that is overpriced. (High West American Prairie Reserve at $84, Hancock's President's Reserve at $75) You can get better and cheaper in probably any liquor store in New York. On the other hand if you want French wine, the SAQ has probably the best selection in North America if not the world. If you want to see for yourself
For Bourbon bars, there is Le 5295, which is located at (strangely enough) 5295 Avenue du Parc. It is more of a cocktail lounge than dedicated bourbon bar. Julien is the head bartender and you can tell him that I say he makes a mean Old Fashioned.
I would also recommend Le Boudoir at 85 Mont Royal E. Like all the bars I mention they will have all of the bourbons allowed by the SAQ (depending on the time of year, 15 - 20 different brands). Le Boudoir also has a superior selection of other whiskeys and about a dozen Quebecois beers on tap.
Burgundy Lion at 2496 Notre-Dame O. Probably carries the best selection of scotches in Montreal. Faux Brit pub that is extremely popular with (as you would expect) the anglo crowd.
Sparrow at 5322 St Laurent is also a great place for bourbon, and they have more bourbons than scotches.
Icehouse at 51 Roy E. An attempt at a Texas roadhouse in Montreal. The food is delicious, albeit overpriced. Their spiked lemonade is awesome.
Then to follow Gillman's lead, for Beer, you might want to try the following:
Dieu du Ciel! at 29 Laurier O. Right here, right now, probably the best microbrewery (read: brewpub) in the city.
Benelux at 245 Sherbrooke O and their new location 4026 Wellington. Another microbrewery that focuses on Belgian style beers.
Le Reservoir at 9 Duluth E. Small microbrewery with a great kicthen.
Vices et Versa at 6631 St Laurent. Awesome terrace (read: patio) besides making their own beer, they also have taps from many other brewers in the province. If you want to taste a variety of Quebecois beers, this would be the first place I would suggest.
Brutopia at 1219 Crescent. Another small microbewery. This time focused on American and German style beers. Good and hearty pub grub.
Cheval Blanc at 809 Ontario E. The oldest Quebecois microbrewery. They make some spectacular and spectacularly strange (ever tried elderberry beer?) brews.
I won't disagree with Gillman's suggestion of Mr. Steer (1198 Ste Catherine O). I will disagree with his description of them as "1950s style burgers." The place just had a renovation and went from looking like it was from 1972 looking like it was from 1998. The meat is ground in house, daily and the burgers are shaped like baseballs. There used to be three of them, but there is now only one. And it really strikes me as a Canadian attempt at an American style restaurant.
I respectfully disagree 100%, completely and thoroughly with Gillman's suggestion of Schwartz's and Moishe's. Schwartz's was just bought by a consortium that included Celine Dion's husband. The food has taken a sudden and precipitous drop in quality and now tastes like moist cardboard. Add to that their marketing causes tourists to wait hours and I think avoid at all costs would be a better idea. Similarly Moishe's, while a reasonable steakhouse in Montreal, cannot hold a candle to the worst steakhouse in New York. If you would like I'd be more than happy to suggest some restaurants (and other stuff to do) if you would like. Even better if you were to give me an idea of budget and your tastes.
Finally, the Montreal Pool Room was forced to move and now is a shadow of its former self, and Winnie's clientele is cubicle farm residents who lack the imagination and/or skill set to think beyond the latest advertisement they've seen.
Whatever you end up doing though, I hope you have a great time.
Very good post Zeke though I had to stop midway to make a sandwich.
Thanks. While Montreal isn't exactly the best place to be if you're into bourbon, there are many other reasons why it is an awesome place to live. And I hope it was a good sandwich.
Hey Zeke, viz. SAQ on Ste. Catherine, I said it was a small selection and I meant, it was the best in Montreal that I've seen, not that it was better than anywhere outside Quebec.
As for the rest, that is a matter of opinion and of course you are entitled to yours, fair enough. I mentioned L'Ile Noir because it was relatively in the downtown core, I've been to some of the others you mentioned and didn't mean to exclude any.
I meant by 1950's for Mr. Steer, that the food was 50's, not the decor - Thousand Island Dressing, curly fries, and all. I've been eating it since the 1960's, so I remember..
Smoked ham, on rye of course.
Due to the government monopoly there are only four types of liquor stores here. What are called "SAQ Express" probably fewer than 2,000 skus, and open until 10 o'clock at night. "Classique" pretty much stand issue, generic liquor store with a little of everything. "SAQ Selection" take a Classique add in a bunch of fancy French wines. And then finally, "SAQ Signature." One in Montreal, another in Quebec City, which then adds in whatever the bureaucrats think is "high end." The one you referred to on Saint Catherine is the SAQ Signature here in Montreal.
If you (or anyone else) happens to visit, a very nice, but little known fact is that they will offer tastes of some of the whiskeys if you ask. Mostly with the ones that have green dots on the price tags, as those are "exclusives."
we had the best charcuterie plate of our lives (and we've had a LOT) for brunch at a little butcher shop/cafe in the old quarter. If I remember right it was on Rue St. Paul and St. Francis Xavier St. ; within a block or so either way on St. Paul. Maybe Zeke knows the name. on whichever street, it was on the NE corner of the intersection. well worth a little looking. the sangria was nice too. bummer Queue de Cheval is closed, that was phenomenal (and the location of the incident i referenced above)
I can't think of a butcher shop/cafe that would fit the bill. At the corner of Saint Francois-Xavier and Saint Paul there is Santos, a tapas bar designed for people with more money than brains and Le Bourlingueur, an ersatz Alsatian restaurant that caters to tourists who are too hungry to consult a good guidebook.
However after looking at a map, I would bet dollars to doughnuts you are referring to La Villette on the corner of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul.
And next time you come to town, let me know in advance and I can make some other suggestions where to get awesome homemade charcuterie. There's lots of it around...
Zeke, you are absolutely correct, La Villette is the place. cnybrbnhntr, do yourself a favor and check this out. the various pates are amazing. here's a picture just for fun.Attachment 16506