Last week, IT posted tips sent in from readers responding to our call for "stuff we missed" in the Insiders Montreal story in National Geographic Traveler‘s May/June 2006 issue. There were so many good ideas we had to split their suggestions up into two posts. Here’s the second (all-food) half:
Montreal resident W.F. Howard highly recommends
(The Red Pepper) restaurant. Their Szechuan cuisine is exquisite and the wine list is formidable (in a good way!), and neither requires a second mortgage. My favorite dish is boeuf à l’orange—offering tremendous contrast between sweet and sharp. The beef is crispy, very spicy, and never soggy. Pair this with an old vine Zinfandel or Petite Sirah. While I was dining there once with a colleague, four large men entered and sat at a nearby table. I chanced to look over, and was startled to see Mark McGwire and three of his Cardinals teammates in town to play the Expos.
Heidi Gray’s restaurant of choice is Santropol.
It has a great garden/patio setting in the back, and a homey bohemian decor inside. It is a café with a backbone—associated with a meals-on-wheels program, it also serves some of the best fair-trade, locally roasted coffee in town. Santropol is well-known for its sandwiches, but if you love soup, try one of the choices of the day—always funky and filling."
Rose Barth is a French teacher in Oyster Bay, New York, but she visits Montreal frequently with her husband:
We always make reservations before our trip to make sure we have a spot—it’s such a charming restaurant with a fantastic menu. My husband looks forward to the vanilla-flavored lobster stew. I like the snails and mushrooms in phyllo dough for an appetizer.
Tracy Turnbull from Ottawa
Le Reservoir (9 Ave. Duluth E.; + 1 514 849 7779), a quirky brew pub with awesome pints and an everchanging menu of interesting snacks like chickpea bruschetta and scallop ceviche. It spans two floors with a great balcony on top where you can watch people stroll by on the cobblestones below. Another great bar is Bily Kun
on Mont-Royal, with soaring ceilings and walls decorated with ostrich heads. Lots of Montreal beer on tap at great happy-hour prices between 3 and 8 p.m.—try the Ephemère, Coup de Grisou, or McAuslan Apricot Wheat Ale.
We conclude with a tip from Christine Bowers, who just returned from a trip to Montreal:
A friend and I had lunch at a great place in Montreal’s Chinatown, My Canh (1086 Boul. St-Laurent; +1 514 398 9407). The place is unassuming—bare tables and paper napkins with loads of people taking advantage of the excellent Vietnamese food at very low prices. For about $10, I had a complete meal of Tonkinese soup (amazingly good), and deliciously cooked beef and noodles topped with imperial rolls—a cross between a spring roll and an egg roll, but better than either!