Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Meal Planning: Montreal

I thought I'd give everyone a little insight into my obsessive travel planning. I am all for spontenaity, but when it comes to visiting a foodie mecca, I like to do my due diligence in a big way to make sure I don't end up eating at a tourist trap. For everyone charming tapas bar I've stumbled upon in Barcelona, there's 10 bland restaurants I'd regret wasting a meal on.

So for our upcoming visit to Montreal, I have spent hours curating a list of possible dining options. Always a stickler for data, I don't just settle for one glowing review either. I prefer to triangulate. Yes, I'm bonkers, but as Mr. AT can attest, I make excellent restaurant choices after all that obsessing, and we're rarely let down.

Here's the actual text from the email I just sent to our travel companions:

Our trip to Montreal is rapidly approaching...hurray! Before I can even think about what we'll see, I have to think about what we eat. I have a one track mind! So I've sent info before, but just as a reminder, here are places that I'm hearing a lot about. I'm not sure if you want to weigh in or if you prefer I pick.

Unless you strongly object, I'd like to suggest that we definitely go to Au Pied de Cochon, preferably on Saturday night. It was recommended in every single source I checked and sounds AMAZING!

Au Pied de Cochon (recommended by NYtimes, Conde Nast, Bon Appetit, F&W, Frommers) - meat centric

As for other options, we need a Friday and Sunday dinner, and perhaps one nice lunch/brunch.I might suggest L'express for a quintessential French bistro vibe for one of the nights, but I'm totally up for suggestions (including ones not on this list) Never sure how much research others want to do!
  1. Club Chasse et Peche (recommended by Nytimes, Conde Nast) - a twist on surf and turf http://www.concierge.com/travelguide/montreal/restaurants/19084
  2. Joe Beef - surf and turf (recommended by Conde Nast, Bon Appetit) http://www.concierge.com/travelguide/montreal/restaurants/19085
  3. L'Express - french bistro ((recommended by Nytimes, Conde Nast, Frommers) http://www.concierge.com/travelguide/montreal/restaurants/19086
  4. McKieran - good for lunch and Saturday brunch, side by side sister restaurant with Joe Beef (recommended by Bon Appetit, F&W) http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2010/12/montreal_travel_guide -or - http://www.foodandwine.com/restaurants/mckiernan
  5. DNA - Italian (recommended by F&W) http://www.foodandwine.com/restaurants/dna
  6. Kitchen Galerie (recommended by Bon Appetite,  F&W) http://www.foodandwine.com/restaurants/kitchen-galerie

Complete lists:
Well researched and a wee bit crazy, right? Lest you think I'm freaking my friends out, I've traveled with this crew before and apparently they like not having to plan it themselves, so I'm happy to oblige!

So anyone been to Montreal? I'm open to suggestions, so let me know if you've tried any of these places out or have other ideas!
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