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jeudi, 16 novembre, 2006
We had a lovely meal at Fondissimo recently with our family. The atmosphere was very romantic & intimate - a little dimly lit for dinner with the grandparents, but certainly perfect for a date or a night out with friends. The menu has some really interesting fondue options (especially the various cheese fondues) and the one I selected was delicious. It had leeks, dark beer and cheddar (Welsh themed), and the flavours married spectacularly with the rosemary roast potatoes that came with the dish. There was a really great variety of things to dip in the fondue; bread, roast potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet peppers, and possibly other fresh veggies - can't remember them all. There were also sweet, crunchy pickles to cut the richness, and a fresh mixed salad with a tangy dressing. All-in-all a very well balanced meal. My only complaint is that for the cheese fondues they use ceramic pots over a candle (presumably to make clean-up easier) which means the cheese can get very lukewarm. However, our server very quickly and pleasantly took it away to be reheated in the kitchen straight away upon request. On that note, our server was very charming; perfectly bilingual, knowledgeable about the menu and attentive. It was a world away from the average service you get in the city. The pricing was reasonable, with cheese fondues coming in at around $23. Since this is a BYOW restaurant, the prices are even better - and what better to splurge on a nice wine for than a decadent cheese fondue? The rest of my family ordered the Chinese fondue - some had seafood & beef and one had beef and chicken, but there are quite a few different arrangements which allow for some flexibility. My father said the scallops were some of the best he's ever had, and the sauces that came with the fondue were very original and delicious. I would highly recommend this restaurant - it would be a great place to linger with a group of friends over a few bottles of wine; just remember to designate a driver for the trek home! It was totally worth the drive from Montreal though; our compliments to both the kitchen and front-of-house staff.
I've been to Suite 701 for brunch two or three times, and have always really enjoyed it. The food is delicious - they have an asparagus & riopelle cheese omelet which is to die for, with great home fries and nice hot toast. Service has always been very nice and discreet. I brought my little cousin there (8 years old) for brunch one morning as a treat, and they couldn't have been nicer to her; there wasn't a hint of disapproval about taking a child in (she's well-behaved, but some places still don't like it), and they were accommodating to the fact that her appetite is both smaller than a grownup's and a little picky. It's a stunning room, with all the atmosphere of the old bank building perfectly blended with modern decor. The price vs. quality ratio is amazing - for such a beautiful setting and good food, the prices are just so reasonable - especially for Old Montreal! I can't speak about the night-time atmosphere or menu, but for brunch at least it's highly recommended.
We had unremarkable food at Ganges, and the worst service in town. The server dropped cutlery onto my lap and didn't so much as apologize - he just left it there for me to set my place with. He also treated one of our fellow dining companions with extreme contempt when she asked if the kitchen prepared a certain Sri Lankan specialty, as she had heard they did upon request. I wouldn't go back to Ganges even if someone else was paying; terrible place - dark, dingy and unfriendly. There are countless excellent Indian restaurants in Montreal, and many nearby that far exceed Ganges. Ganges somehow got a good reputation in the neighbourhood when it first opened, and is coasting on that.
Always a good time at Hurley's - the few food items I've tried were tasty bar food, and the drinks are always poured or mixed well. The service is always, without exception, friendly, efficient and helpful. I like the atmosphere too... humming with life but never aggressive or pushy, and the live music is a blast! The patio out front is fun too in the summer.
I've only ever been to Boustan after bar-hopping, and I think many of its clients would say the same. It is lit by fluorescent lighting, like another reviewer said, and their food is nothing to write home about despite the rabid loyalty shown to this place by many Montrealers. I've definitely had better for the same price. Boustan is one of those things people get really passionate about like Mac vs. PC - in the end it's just a social preference. The food I've had from Boustan has always been fine, but last time I was there it was kind of soggy and messy, more than tasty and hot. The service was strange; his wife was kind of aggressive behind the counter and we had some odd comments. I found it lacking in flavour - the emphasis was on stuffing it with sauce and lettuce and ignoring the falafel component.
EDIT: I took my parents to Taverne for their anniversary this year, and was just as impressed as the first time I dined there in 2008 (and again last year with a friend). All 3 visits have been impeccable from beginning to end. I want to stress that I am on a student budget - I don't have millions to throw around, and I'm not usually to be found in very pricey restaurants. However, Taverne is WELL worth a little saving. Their ingredients are truly top-notch and I have never had a single thing to eat there that wasn't totally scrumptious, from the bread to the desserts. The service is always warm and competent. The wine list is full of great picks, and the ambiance is so lively! This is absolutely my favourite resto in Montreal. On the anniversary visit, my father was floored by the liver - something he was tempted to order but dubious about any restaurant preparation (expecting a leathery, sad strip). It far, far exceeded his expectations, served with sugar-cured bacon and delicious spinach and potatoes. He said it was better than any filet mignon he's had in recent years - high praise from a true carnivore. My mother had roast chicken, which doesn't sound exciting but was mouth-watering; same for my porcini pasta dish. Everything we ate was just stunning. *** (2008 Review) I was taken to Taverne on the Square for my birthday last night - the experience was unforgettable. My meal was perfect from beginning to end - it helped that we happened to know two of the staff, so we got some great recommendations. I started with a bellini and a beautiful salad with warm goat's cheese & poached pears - outstanding! Light but bursting with flavour. Continued with a pasta dish I'll be remembering for years; made with porcini stock which kicked the complexity of the dish up considerably from a simple mushroom pasta to something that could stand shoulder to shoulder with any meat dish. Was graciously offered port & a birthday dessert (a decadent, melting, freshly baked cookie with ice cream; sinful!) complete with a candle. Overall I felt completely spoiled and very welcome. The food far exceeded my expectations and the service was perfect (and not just because of the friends working there). The atmosphere was lively and warm, and the prices reflected the quality of the ingredients (only the best) and the highly professional ambience. Don't go for a cheap meal; go for a treat and forget about the numbers! You will not be disappointed.
Very nice restaurant overall; service was good and friendly (just a minor mishap with the wine which was happily rectified). My food was nice (vegetarian selection v. limited obviously, wasn't expecting anything wild) - a pasta primavera with Alfredo sauce... bit of a yawn but certainly well executed. The steaks and seafood ordered by my dining companions were excellent, as was the dessert (creme brulee). The house wine was quite good for the price and we really enjoyed the ambiance. It's very relaxed and yet bright and lively. The booths are comfortable and private, but the tables are open if you prefer to be in the center of it all. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for steak lovers - the meat is done to perfection and of the highest quality. There are great starters to choose from and the place would be suitable for a romantic date or a large gathering - very flexible setup. Oh and one last thing - amazing martinis! Bucket-sized and very strong.
This restaurant was a letdown. It had a nice ambiance, and promised live jazz which initially was quite nice but unfortunately finished long before the end of the evening (on a Saturday). Our reserved table for 10 was not ready when we arrived, but the waitstaff were pleasant enough. Little things made me unenthused about the place; for a table of 10, only one wine list was placed on the table and was mistaken for a menu, as they look exactly the same. One dish was forgotten and arrived 10 minutes after everyone else was served their mains. Most people seemed to enjoy their food, but the pastas were unanimously described as 'blah' - my sauce had the consistency of chef boyardee sauce; syrupy and very very sweet. I also found the wine hugely overpriced and unimaginatively selected; the whole list blurred together. For the price of the food, this was a real let down; had it been in the 12$ range for pasta it would have been acceptable but $20 is really pushing it for a bland, uninspired dish (that they forget to place the order for). I don't know if I'd go back; there are a lot of great restaurants in Montreal that have character, ambiance and amazing music that doesn't stop at 10:30.
We went on a Tuesday night, so I can't comment on weekend waits or ambiance, however... We loved the place! The staff were lovely, and didn't bat an eyelash when 1 of 3 was just having dessert and coffee. Very friendly and helpful. The food was delicious - one of us had the mechant burger which was juicy, perfectly cooked and had great toppings. The fries were hot, crisp and flavourful. One had ziti with meatballs/meatsauce which was equally flavourful and had beautiful & generous shavings of parmesan to garnish. My creme brulee was smooth and perfumed with grand marnier - delicate but devilishly good. I also had a Spanish coffee that was heavenly. The bills were very reasonable, but some of the mains were quite pricey (once you got into the steaks or other 'fancier' mains). I'd heartily recommend this place for a late night dessert & drink if you're on a budget. If not, go for the food; it was great! Atmosphere was very romantic; although there were TVs on near the bar, we couldn't hear any of them, just the music on the speakers overhead. It was candlelit and very relaxed, with comfortable chairs.
UPDATE: Went again and was so disappointed! Obviously this place is hit & miss, not something I'm willing to put up with in a city like Montreal. The service was laughably bad, and the food was subpar. The owners need to do something about their staff; the first time we were here it was excellent & professional, the second time the waiter couldn't have cared less. He ignored our table, refused to ask the kitchen any questions we had (it wasn't busy at all, so no excuse), and got our orders wrong with no apology. My companion's soup was stone cold, and when it was pointed out and she asked for it to be heated up, he took it away grudgingly and then brought her back a new bowl that was just as cold as the first one. Ridiculous! ______________________________ Just went last night for a spontaneous bite to eat; I'm always leery of Old Montreal because of the high prices and often very boring food (seems like everyone has the same menu sometimes, with the token trends). Holder, however, absolutely wowed me. Their wine list was extensive and VERY reasonably priced - I was stunned! The service was impeccable, fast and very sincere. We only ordered mains, so I can't comment on starters or desserts (though they looked very good) but my main course salad was to die for. Buffalo mozarella that was so perfect in texture I'm already missing it, a balsamic reduction of pure perfection, and excellent shaved parmesan made for a memorable vegetarian option. We waited about 30 mins for a table, but were able to grab a seat at a bar table and enjoy some wine there with exquisite calamari. The decor is great, the atmosphere is hopping and I love the high ceilings - it has a real New York feel in my opinion. This place is a must-visit!
Kashima is my favourite Japanese restaurant in Montreal! The service couldn't be better in my opinion; friendly without being intrusive, efficient without rushing you, and discrete without ignoring you! The food is just fabulous; the maki-sushi (asparagus tempura and avocado, are my favourites) is fresh and beautifully presented. The combos are a large amount of food, but just delicious - the tempura vegetables are to die for, as is their deep-fried tofu in broth. I would highly reccommend this restaurant to anyone - great spot for a first date, a family dinner, special occasion, business lunch... really anything other than a huge rowdy party (unless you booked out the whole place, in which case it could be great!). You're guaranteed to get a nice intimate meal with all the extras in place - excellent warm saké, and everything I've ever tried that has exceeded expectations. Ask for a table by the window if you want a nice view of Green avenue.
Great food - hard to beat for the price! Their fries are really nice (don't know if they're still like this, but they used to be potato slices instead of the trad. julienne or wedge), and they use good feta & veggies! Hard chairs, informal place, but it doesn't matter when the food is so good.
Chuchai has to be the best vegetarian restaurant in Montreal. The duck dishes are so good you'll want to beg the chef for the recipe! I have never tried anything there that I didn't love - the crispy seaweed dish is to die for. I would highly recommend trying a few appetizers - they're well worth it. The shrimps are the weakest link - I would much more strongly recommend the beef or duck dishes. Ask the server for suggestions if you're not sure; the're great for ideas. It's not a cheap resto, especially if you're a student (like moi), but it is WELL worth the price.
First of all, if you're go to restaurants solely to see your friends, going to a concept restaurant that is all about DARKNESS is probably not very wise... Therefore, do your homework first. This restaurant has an excellent website where you can see the menu, and find any other info you need. Everyone has different reactions to being immersed in darkness; personally I thought I would be fine with it, but when I got there, I had a really strong reaction. It took me about 5 minutes to get over the claustrophobia. However, after that, it was such a strangely good experience! The food itself was at the low end of mediocre. I'm vegetarian and they do have veggie options, but they were less than appealing. The appetizers were fine, but the main was sub-par. However, the shrimp/chicken dishes we could smell at other tables smelled divine - I'm sure the other choices are very good. Price wise, it's very expensive for what I felt was a small amount of food (and in our case not great food). The absolute saving grace of our experience was our waiter - he was attentive, friendly, and warm. He made us feel comfortable and safe in such a strange environment, and made the whole dinner worthwhile in my opinion. This is a place than can get very noisy, very overwhelming and might put some people off, but also has it's one-of-a-kind benefits. Try at your discretion! It's not for everyone.