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“Napoleon would be pleased” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bonaparte

443 Rue St. Francois Xavier, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2T1, Canada (Vieux-Montreal (Old Montreal))
+1 514-844-4368
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Ranked #38 of 4,416 Restaurants in Montreal
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $25 - $49
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Doing business, Romantic, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dessert, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Vieux-Montreal (Old Montreal)
Cross street: Notre-Dame
Transit: Station de metro Place d'Armes Place D'Armers Metro station
Description: Four star French classic restaurant located in Old Montreal.
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Napoleon would be pleased”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013 via mobile

We wanted a delicious, elegant dinner in Montreal, and we found it. After visiting Notre Dame we headed just around the corner to Bonaparte. We opted for the 6 course price fixe menu for $68. There were less expensive options and a la carte portions, but we wanted to try a little of everything. Our waiter, Louis, was a bit too cheeky for my taste, but the food is what counts and it was delicious. Duck fois gras, filet, lobster bisque, and a symphonie of desserts... lovely meal with the girl I love.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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668 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Arrogance Abounds”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

This place was probably very good at some point. So good in fact that it went to their heads and it’s been downhill ever since.

I've eaten at some rather fantastic French restaurants in Paris, Lyon, Beaune and throughout the South of France in my life, not to mention restaurants in many of the other great cities of the world. None of them had the level of arrogance in their manner of service and treatment of clients that this place had. I've seen it a few times before, to a lesser degree, at those pretend French restaurants (the type where the waiters speak with a French accent, but actually can't speak French -- happened to me in Beverly Hills, California) where they try to bluff their way through. And on rare occasion you encounter it at restaurants that had once been great and had lost it, and were left simply to trade on their former reputation.

I noticed it the first time we tried to eat at Bonaparte and they sent us away because the kitchen had just closed. It is not that I don't understand the kitchen being closed and thus the inability for them to serve us, but rather it's the manner in which it was done.

I noticed it the second time on the amazed face of our concierge when she tried to make a dinner reservation. She was astonished at how they treated her, the concierge of one of Old Montreal's top hotels. Still, she was a professional and maintained her calm manner and managed to get us a reservation.

And we experienced it in such full force when we arrived for dinner that we had to leave, never having ordered. It was just such an unwelcoming dismissive arrogance that comes from the restaurant staff thinking the customer is not a customer but a mark who should count himself lucky to be in their presence, totally forgetting that actually they are there to welcome, serve, and make us, the customer, feel special.

The crowning moment was when the waitress told us how we should not speak French because if we did she would then answer in French and we of course could not understand French. Quelle surprise, given that my family is French and I speak fluent French having lived and gone to school in France, and my wife speaks more than passable French. It just blew us away and was the final straw that popped the bubble of high hopes for dinner at Bonaparte.

The sad truth is the motto of this restaurant has become "Bonaparte, where the customer is always wrong."

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guelph, canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Classic French done right”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

Not a very inventive menu, but the classic French dishes are done well. My filet au poivre was perfect. The lobster bisque was delicious, but sadly lacked even a single piece of lobster meat. My dining companions ordered a la carte, but were given sorbets at the same time as my sorbet course (I had ordered from one of the menus), which was a considerate touch. Desserts were delicious as well. Overall, you won't find the fun or creativity of a place like Garde Manger (across the street), but this is a wonderful place for a traditional French meal in a classic environment.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSalle, Ontario
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Terribly disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Went here on a recommendation by the concierge at St.Sulpice.
Very nice atmosphere but the service was terrible.
Slow, inattentive, and unapologetic. Our server did not even say goodbye or wish us well when we were leaving. May be the worst service I have ever experienced at a fine dining establishment.
Food was average. Nothing spectacular, and for the price it was disappointing.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mbbonaparte, Owner at Bonaparte, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
Dear FEUO,

We are taking your review really seriously. We would like to thank you for taking the time to write this review. Our establishment has been opened for more than 29 years. We are know for our high quality, warm service and constancy. Our main goal is to please customers, so we can assure you that we will do our best so that situation does not occur again.

It would be helpful if you could tell us more details on your experience in our dining room (where you were sitting, who was your waiter, when did you have dinner and the name under the reservation was made for). We would be grateful to hear from you, so we can improve our service.

Sincerely yours,

from a restaurateur who cares for his clientele.

Martin Bédard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carleton Place, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Still superb!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

This is our second review and the food, service and ambiance are still first rate. Onion soup was superb, the fois gras creme brulee app is devine and our mains were also delicious, with attention to detail and a symphony of flavours present. Service is attentive, knowledgeable and professional. Prices are very reasonable for the quality of food and service, anyone who thinks Bonaparte is expensive must not have dined at many other high end Montreal restaurants. In fact, we consider this restaurant a deal in Montreal fine dining! Wine list is also deep, though not overly expensive. The restaurant is also quiet, no problem having a conversation without shouting over the noise, unlike some of the more trendy places. Window tables are a little bit tight, but very romantic and private. Highly recommended!

  • Visited July 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.

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