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“A brunch gem in downtown Montreal” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Birks Cafe par Europea

Birks Cafe par Europea
1240 Square Phillips, Montreal, Quebec H3B 3H4, Canada (Centre-Ville (Downtown))
(514) 397-2468
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Ranked #796 of 4,678 Restaurants in Montreal
Price range: $25 - $41
Cuisines: Continental
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Centre-Ville (Downtown)
Cross street: Ste Catherine
Transit: McGill Metro
Description: Whether you're from here ... or abroad, we hope that the moments spent at the Birks Cafe feel like a journey - a journey of discovery of culinary sweetness and pleasure. Enjoy your time at the Cafe, take in the surroundings and enjoy a moment of relaxation.
Mahwah, New Jersey
Top Contributor
231 reviews 231 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
“A brunch gem in downtown Montreal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

A friend and I visited Birks for brunch one Saturday afternoon in late April. We had a lovely multi-course interesting brunch served in a white tableclothed dining room on the mezzanine of the jewelry store.

The service was expectedly formal but friendly and very attentive. The menu for brunch isn't your typical eggs benedict, etc. The brunch is a mulit-coursed affair, with fresh breads, homemade jam, a kiwi half in an egg cup, a poached egg with bernaise and rosemary potatoes, roast beef with horseradish and wasabi remoulade, salmon spread, pain perdu and really good coffee and mimosas. We spent a relaxing three hours eating and chatting. We even considered staying for the afternoon tea that was beginning as we were leaving.

Based on this one experience, next time we're in Montreal we'll definitely be sure to stop by again for tea time, brunch, or lunch.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    35
    24
    17
    4
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
“A very average place”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

I visited Birks on a Monday for lunch beginning of April. In summery I found it a very average place with its own special feel that is only for a certain age. Here's my experience:

1- Location
Located on the corner of Phillips Square and St Catherine, it is easily accessible on foot and from the many subway stations all around the area. It is also accessible on foot from Rene Levesque as it is located within a building that stretches from exactly from the Rene L;Evesque to St Catherine
Birks holds the name of the famous jewelry shop in Montreal. It is part of it and you have to walk the jewelry floor before getting to it
I would say it is in a very good location both from the outside and the inside

2- The restaurant itself
It is definitely a very luxurious place, as it follows the style of the jewelry shop it is located in. From a size perspective it is not large and has a few number of tables that might not go beyond 12 or 15. But even with its small size, it is still a pleasant and does not bother in terms of privacy on each table. In other words you can easily have a conversation without having the neighbors listening to what you are saying or discussing
The drawback of all this is that it does not offer anything extra and tens to be somewhat boring. Looking at how it decorated and contingent upon its locations, it is more of a place when an older generation of customers would gather for tea and light snacks. It is definitely not your place if you are on tourism in Montreal, or want to enjoy some time with friends. It is mainly suitable if you are shopping at Birks Jewelry and want to have a coffee break or recuperation after seeing the bill on the diamond you just bough

3- Menu
Well it is not a large one and mainly oriented towards simple stuff whether it is through its starters, main dishes and desserts. Don't expect to have a full stomach if you visit this place,

4- Service
It is somewhat uptight, so definitely not your casual place to be dining at.

I would only recommend it if you are shopping at Birks or can;t find another place open around town (as this was my case and had a business acquaintance to show around and Birks was the only open place)
There are many more interesting places around town

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Montreal, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Wonderful Afternoon Tea”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

A delightful experience in terms of food and service. The Earl Grey tea was flavorful accompanied with delicious scones, jam, cream, small sandwiches - all very fresh and innovative tastes.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Relais & Châteaux now accepting membership from jewelry shop ?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

I could not believe the story : having lunch and tea in a jewelry shop. It is not any jewelry shop : Birks in downtown Montreal. It is not any lunch as the restaurant is operated by Europea and a French Chef who seems to have the Relais & Châteaux membership – I guess it helps when you want to put logos on the menu to impress the customer by your communication more than by your cooking.

My recommendation is to visit the shop. The atmosphere and the ceiling decoration make the experience quite unique. It reminded me of some old episode of Twilight Zone (The After Hours) as I was looking everywhere for the “13th floor “.

I found Birks Café instead with at the entrance a champagne bucket, nice red design but empty. A very professional staff came to greet us. The girls was dressed in this boring black uniform very Relais & Chateaux but dull. It reminded me I was not here to have fun. We enjoyed various hot beverages which were average. In some Relais & Châteaux, I have seen the making of a hot chocolate a true event: white gloves, braking the chocolate, pouring the hot milk, etc. No magic here. There was no information on the chocolate. I asked if the pastry Chef was available. There were lot of managers and staff passing by but he was not available. I wanted also to discover why the mousse was so sweet – maybe locals in Montreal like it that way. The scones were uninspiring, looked like they had been done a few days earlier. We wanted to test other deserts but they were no longer available which indicate a very limited stock of products.

So we had tea and we enjoyed the atmosphere of a true Twilight Episode. As for Relais & Châteaux, we discussed trying Europea, Chef Jerome Ferrer’s other restaurant with a very impressive wine list. But after this journey we concluded against it, afraid that the menu might be another collection of nice names and logos rather than fresh and inspiring food.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Montreal, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We stopped at Birks Cafe for a dessert and a coffee.
Our verrines and coffees were delicious, very refined and the service was excellent.
It is a very nice place, quite relaxing.
I highly recommend this Cafe, one of the best in Montreal!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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