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solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

Raleigh, North...
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solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

Only in town for a handful of days. Looking forward to experiencing a class food town.

Can anyone give me a shortlist of worthy bistros and/or brasseries. Looking for at least one quality bistro experience one meal and another night, a lively brasserie. Although I would like a hint of a old Paris and the bistro and brasserie experiences we had so many years ago on our Honeymoon, I am tying to avoid tourist traps and establishments done up with posters to feel like something else. I hope that makes sense.

but we really wont be straying too far from Le Main, St Denis, where we will be staying. and want to be able to walk wherever. So that is a delimiter.

Any thoughts are appreciated. I think at the end of the day, we can't go wrong in Montreal.

Santé!

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1. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

If you don't mind noisy.. then L'Express on St-Denis St (North of Roy St.) is the bistro for you. Even their website is noisy!!! (turn on your speakers) http://restaurantlexpress.ca/#/table/

otherwise, you have high end French fare on Laurier St... (Chez Levesque or Lemeac)

http://www.chezleveque.ca/

http://restaurantlemeac.com/

BTW...In Montreal, it is "LA" Main...

Edited: 9:58 am, April 26, 2013
Raleigh, North...
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2. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

cool. l'Express looks good.

and thanks for the heads up on La Main. My 8 years of French in school have clearly worn off....but I plan to give it a shot....

Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

L'Express as already mentioned. It is really the epitome of a French bistro in North-America. Located on Saint-Denis Strret smack in the Plateau.

Also on the Plateau Laloux is more high class but still a bistro. Let's call it a white tablecloth bistro.

Brasserie can be a bit confusing for Montrealers. Historically there were taverns, the only places that served draught beer where only men were allowed then, with the changing of society, some opened to the ladies too and became brasseries but had nothing to do with the French / Alsacian brasseries. Finally every bar and restaurants with a licence were allowed to serve draught beers and brasseries dissapeared except for a few like Magnan. This kind of brasseries serve regular North-American fare and some québécois specialties.

For the real Brasserie Parisienne there are a few restaurants that fits the bill except for two things: 1- They udually don't serve saurkraut or other Alsatian specialties; 2- no Plateaux de Fruits de Mer neither.

So two of this kind can be found on the same stretch of street that changes name: Côte du Beaver Hall becoming McGill down the hill. Holder is the most authentic (minus above mentioned) and is located at the western limit of Old Montréal and Beaver Hall in a very business oriented part of downtown but are less than a 5 minute walk from each other.

So none really in The Plateau or the Mile-End but that's about it as other similar option are not so well regarded by the DE and regular contributor on this forum.

Oh one oddity in the Plateau, Brasserie Cherrier is one of the few Canadian style brasserie but they have given their food concession to a second party, Restaurant Flammée which, indeed serve flammées, or flammekuche, the Alsatian pizza if you want. You get one server from the Brasserie for your drinks and one server from Flammée for meals!

Raleigh, North...
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4. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

very helpful. thanks

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5. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

"Brasserie can be a bit confusing for Montrealers"

Wow, it's like rickb was in my head. When i first read this post i was also confused by brasserie. I know what a brasserie is but i don't really know what restaurants would actually figure into that category, aside from the obvious ones (most with brasserie in the name). It's not a common category for restaurants, kind of abstract in our minds. We'd just translate it to "pub" food which is probably not what you want.

All that aside, i like Lemeac a lot.

------------------------------------

"BTW...In Montreal, it is "LA" Main..."

Ahh I love these fun cultural conversations sometimes :)

Well ACTUALLY, it depends on what the OP was saying. First off, Main is an english term, so we're all wrong here, so to speak.

LE Main refers to the smoke meat restaurant on Saint-Laurent, across from Schwartz. We say LE because it's a "restaurant", and restaurant is masculin. It has nothing to do with the name Main.

LA Main is because the Saint-Laurent street, long ago, was refered to "La Main". As it the main street. "la rue principale". La Main. "Rue", the word for street, is feminine, thus we use "La". Nothing to do with Main again, its a name and does not have a gender.

So in this case, it depends if the OP was referring to the restaurant or the street. If the later, then madferit actually spoke like a true quebecois.

Edited: 3:58 pm, April 26, 2013
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6. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

Well as much as we (the regulars on the Mtl forum) can divide the «french restaurants» requests by categories, like bistro, haute cuisine, etc there is one kind, well actually two close cousins, that we don't really understand well. Those are the Grands Cafés and the Brasseries Parisiennes. The latter are also often called Brasseries Alsatiennes, they are the restaurants in France where draught beer is served since Alsace is the beer producing area over there. The brasseries are also offering very large menus that can include many Alsatian specialties beside the eponymous saurkraut. The Grands Cafés have a similar look: large restaurants with lots of mirrors, cut glass and brass with an old fashioned look but awash in light at night. The Grands Cafés are not offering the Alsatian things but usually also feature extensive menus and have the «plateau de fruits de mer» as their signature feature. Mind you some brasseries are also offering it.

So a French person or one that has travelled over there will find our brasseris and some of our cafés quite different from what they are looking for.

Raleigh, North...
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7. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

what places would you recommend in the "Grands Cafés" class? thanks again for all the advice. although I look forward to meandering through your lovely city and discovering whatever comes, I want to have some info in the "back pocket" to help guide or decision making.

merci,

Montreal
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8. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

Chez Victoire on Mont-Royal Est in Plateau is a fun bistro. More lively than Leméac, and less conservative than L'Express.

http://chezvictoire.com

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9. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

Wow.....Chez Victoire looks like a great place--thanks for recommending. Any more like it with a similar vibe??...I found Griffintown Cafe--any good?

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10. Re: solid bistro and brasserie picks (Plateau, MileEnd area)

You're welcome. Griffintown Café is smaller, more cosy, less sleek ..I would go when there is live music.

A lovely, popular place with fine food and a very appealing decor (IMO) is Les 400 Coups.

http://www.les400coups.ca