Well, with only(!) 110 days left before the next trip to Montreal, and our sixth holiday spent in the city, our restaurant plan is beginning to take shape. Readers of this blog know that food matters a lot to us, and on a vacation where the goal is to relax and do little or nothing, planning meals takes center stage.
Each year, we choose a mix of old favorites, as well as new restaurants to try, and for our 8 dinners this winter, here are the 10 restaurants that have made the first cut:
- Le Club Chasse et Peche
- Mas Cuisine
- Au Pied de Cochon
- Restaurant La Chronique
Laloux is now helmed by Eric Gonzalez, and the initial reviews are good, as expected. We ate his food at Cube in 2006. We went to Laloux twice in 2008 and loved it.
Newtown is where you now find Marc-André Jetté and Patrice Demers, lately from Laloux. Their review in the Gazette in July was more guarded, but we were so impressed at Laloux that we’ll head to Newtown.
DNA is impressive; we had an excellent meal there in 2008, and our friends enjoyed it again in May of this year. Plus it’s kind of fun to sit in a space that looks like a Borg cube and watch the holiday fireworks over the Old Port.
Toque has had its ups and downs with reviewers, but we’ve had two excellent dinners here in 2007 and 2008, so we’ll return. The wine list is also quite good.
Au Pied de Cochon – well, what can we say that hasn’t been said? A dinner here is de rigeur.
La Chronique has floated around the planning list for a couple years now, and I think this will be the year when we give the bistro a try.
Le Club Chasse et Peche is another restaurant that’s landed on our restaurant list at least twice, only to drop off. Not a statement about the quality of its food, but more the result of difficult choices.
Mas Cuisine is run by the former chef from Bruinoise, which was a restaurant we loved in 2006, now just a memory. Brunoise is still fresh in our minds, so we’ll hope for a repeat at Mas Cuisine.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Night: These two days present their own challenges, since so many restaurants close for one or both days. Hotel/Auberge dining options are usually reliable, and while Bonaparte and the W Hotel’s Otto aren’t what I would call stunning, each is reliably good. And as I’ve said so many times here, Bonaparte is kind of special on Christmas Eve, with its traditional, beautifully cooked, French/Quebecois food.
I’ll say more as we get closer and start working the list against our calendar and each restaurant’s plans around the holidays.