We're back with Restaurant Roundup for 2015! This year's theme: Where To Eat This Weekend. Every other week we'll be profiling a different city in Canada with a list of great dining recommendations for you to check out - from fancy to hole in the wall and everything in between! Today The Montreal Food Divas take us on a tour of Montreal restaurants to check out this weekend in this cosmopolitan city!
Whether it’s your first time in Montreal or you keep coming back, a weekend doesn’t give you enough time to experience the city. Montreal is a veritable cornucopia for anyone who loves to eat! But if you’re only in town for a weekend, be sure to check out these Diva-approved spots; they’re guaranteed to make you fall in love with our city.
Where To Eat Brunch or Lunch in Montreal
If you’re anything like us, waking up early for brunch is a challenge and sometimes waking up for lunch is tough too. We’re definitely creatures of the night. If we’re going to set our alarm on the weekend, we need to be sure that we’re going to a fabulous spot.
Located in Outremont, Brasserie Bernard serves the usual brunch fare like pancakes and eggs Benedict. Their specialty is French bistro standards with a twist. Their pain doré with caramelized banana, chocolate nut ganache and salted butter caramel is a must-have if you have a sweet tooth. Our personal favourite is their black pudding, egg and cheddar sandwich, with caramelized onions on grilled fig bread. If you’re in the mood for something French you can’t go wrong with their beef tartare. And if you’re looking for something decadent, their veal ravioli in a mushroom and port sauce or their lobster ravioli in a white butter and truffle oil are drool worthy.
La Récolte Espace Local
In our opinion, La Récolte Espace Local doesn’t get enough love. Their mantra is “bio-local-responsible” and we’re definitely buying what they’re selling. All-local, -organic produce creates beautiful dishes that change depending on market-fresh ingredients. Their gourmet grilled cheese with local Quebec Matane shrimp, béchamel and squash is mouth-watering. You need to try their homemade porchetta ravioli with a soft boiled egg and fried Brussels sprouts in a butter sage sauce. La Récolte Espace Local has a very short chalkboard menu that changes frequently, so no matter how often you go, you’re trying something new each time.
Dinette Triple Crown
This little gem has some of the best southern food in the city. And that’s not even the best part! Dinette Triple Crown offers picnic baskets stuffed with food and a red checkered table cloth which you can take across the street to the park and have a picnic. Their Big Nasty Sandwich is stuffed with deep fried chicken and topped with gravy on a buttermilk biscuit. You have to try their succulent brisket sandwich, their creamy mac n’ cheese, and don’t forget to order a side of hush puppies. Dinette Triple Crown is the perfect lunch spot for a picnic on a sunny day in Montreal, but fret not, if the weather isn’t cooperating, they offer indoor seating as well.
Where to Go For Dinner in Montreal
Your options for dinner in Montreal are infinite but we have our favourites that stand out from the crowd and should be on your must-eat-at-immediately list!
Tripes & Caviar
Located in Verdun, Tripes & Caviar offers unique dishes that are not for the faint of heart. They specialize in racier dishes heavy on innards and other rare delicacies. Dishes like duck heart tartare with shredded foie gras torchon, and bone marrow with escargots will win you over. Tripes & Caviar’s veal tongue on a cauliflower purée with shimeji mushrooms and hazelnuts is an intense combination of flavours. Lovingly referred to as The Castle, be sure to check out this Sud-Ouest restaurant -- we promise you’ll leave satisfied.
Le Serpent is another successful addition to the Old Montreal restaurant scene. From the team behind Le Club Chasse & Pêche and Le Filet, Le Serpent offers a creative and memorable meal. If you love raw like we do, have the “kit” which includes three types of raw fish, one more delicious than the last. And don’t leave without having their rabbit tart that’s stuffed with porcinis and fontina cheese, or one of their divine pasta dishes. One of our favourites is their chestnut ravioli with Jerusalem artichoke and a pomegranate molasses; not your typical ravioli filling. And throw in a dozen oysters for good measure because you’ll love Le Serpent’s maple mignonette.
L’Express is the classic Montreal French bistro, serving patrons since 1980, complete with white tablecloths and a jar of gherkins on every table. It’s hard to argue with tradition, serving such classic French fare as duck confit salad, Croque Monsieur and meaty ravioli in an au jus mushroom sauce. The steak tartare is one of the best in the city, simple and perfect, and their desserts are perfection. Their evening specials are always changing and their kitchen is open until 2 a.m. on Monday to Saturday, and until 1 a.m. on Sunday, perfect for gourmet late-night eats too. L’Express has a real Parisian bistro feel without ever leaving Montreal.
Where to Eat (or Drink!) Something Fun In Montreal
Montreal has something for everyone, whether it’s French pastries from a bakery, late-night menus for night owls, or perfect cocktails.
Maison Christian Faure
Maison Christian Faure is the real deal French Patisserie, from Christian Faure, M.O.F. (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France). In the heart of Old Montreal, it’s both an upscale brunch or lunch spot and a bakery. Our favourite is their foie gras brioche, and their lobster and royal crab served in a chou pastry with green apple. You can also indulge in their baked goods or pastries with a coffee, or you can take them to go. Our favourite pastries at Maison Christian Faure include their praline brest, macarons and their creamy mille feuille.
Le Chien Fumant
If you prefer late-night dinner plans, check out Le Chien Fumant, a favourite amongst chefs since the kitchen is open until 2 a.m. when many of them are done their shifts at midnight. We loved their take on calamari, served with a sweet and sour Asian sauce that makes you forget about the traditional marinara. Duck breast with fried pickle chips? Yes please! Known for their charcuterie platter, this is the spot to go to if you love cured meats. With fun dishes such as tripe and a chalkboard menu that changes frequently, it’s the perfect spot for gourmet late-night eats. If you’re in the Plateau, check out Le Chien Fumant.
Big in Japan Bar
There’s always time for a quick drink, or a few slow ones, and a Diva favourite is Big in Japan Bar on St. Laurent Blvd in the Plateau. Jazzy music in a relaxed atmosphere and their rule that if there isn’t a seat, you won’t be let in, often result in a line up outside. It’s tough to get a coveted seat on their busier nights from Thursday to Saturday. The cocktails are meticulously crafted and the service is very professional. You may love one type of gin, but they’ll open your eyes to gins that you’ve never even heard of as well as cocktails with interesting ingredients. They don’t have bartenders behind the bar but rather mixologists and artisans. Oh, and good luck, they don’t have a sign so you really have to know where Big in Japan Bar is located to find the discreet door.
Where Else To Eat This Weekend
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Vancouver Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Edmonton Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Toronto Edition
- Where To Eat This Weekend: Calgary Edition
The Montreal Food Divas have been frequenting Montreal restaurants on Thursdays since November 2011. In some (most) circles, we’re known for causing trouble, therefore our Thursday nights are reserved for plotting (bitching), drinking (getting tipsy) and eating great food (gluttonous indulgence) with great company (an unholy alliance). We just love food and want to share our Montreal dining experiences.
Follow the Divas on Social Media