A Little R&R

Montreal_May 079
Originally uploaded by dutchkat_03.

My dad was in the military and when he was away, he'd get occasional time off in some place nice. They called it R&R.

My wife, The Gotham Gal, and I do the same thing once or twice a year. We get away from NYC, work, family, and go some place nice for a long weekend.

We are doing that this weekend in Montreal.

We got here around noon, had a nice lunch in a bistro that reminded me of Paris, took a long walk around the Old Port, and then I took a long nap (I needed it after yesterday's extended day trip to Austin, Texas).

I don't plan to post much about this long weekend in Montreal, but the Gothal Gal has already started and I expect she will continue.

We are only here for 48 hours and already have dinner reservations both nights, but if there is something you'd like to suggest we do, see, or eat, please let me know in the comments.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Todd Mitchell

    Glad to see that you’re visiting my home town. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling between Montreal and NYC over the years. I know interstate 87 very well.If you’re looking for dinner recommendations, I’d suggest you make reservations at Ferreira Café — http://www.ferreiracafe.com…. One of the truly great Portuguese restaurants in Montreal.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks. We’ve got dinner booked but I’ll add that to my list for future visits

  2. steven epstein

    well I was only there once but chinatown in montreal was fun and the food in the holiday inn was good lol

  3. Solomon Folks

    If you are not already staying there…stop in for a drink at hotel nelligan in old montreal.

    1. fredwilson

      We are going tonight. I can’t wait!

  4. Edward Jordan

    try Orchidee de Chine 2017 Peel Street, Tel: 514 287 1878 Really Good Chinese Food

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks ed. Nice to hear from you!

    1. fredwilson

      Looks great. We’ll have to add it to our ‘next time’ listMontreal is great. We’ll be back for sure

  5. Craig Bromberg

    Hey Fred:Make sure you eat at these restaurants:–Au Pied du Cochon. It’s the best “real Quebecois” food in the city–Schwartz’s, for the smoked meat (corned beef, Montreal style) no one does it better. Great action–L’express: my favorite bistro in N. AmericaOn St Denis also make sure to visit Arthur Quentin and the stores around that section (called The Plateau). It’s a great housewares store, very beautiful and GG will love it. There’s also a terrific French bookstore up St. Denis (Flammarion) you shoudl visist jst to see how much better book retail can be done.Unfortunately,Daniel Langlois’s Ex-Centris cinema has closed (just googled it) but his Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology is still open. You should check out eveyrthing Daniel Langlois is doing. He’s a terrific entrepreneur, started Softimage, digiscreen, and lots of other digital cineman initiatves, owns a hotel and this very beautiful le357, which is a great spa/biz club— http://www.le357c.com/. Btw it’s attached to the Hotel Gault where we stayed last time we were there (4 years ago just before my kids were born–a last hurrah) and had the most amazing pancakes there. (A great hotel too.)Have fun!Also be sure to check out the burgeoning digital cinema empire of Daniel Langlois.

    1. Louis Berlan

      Au Pied du Cochon is awesome! Forgot about that place!Oh and you will need to try some “poutine”…

  6. Louis Berlan

    Montréal (yes, I insist on the accent!) is an awesome city, especially if the weather’s beautiful.You really want to look at the historical aspect of the place. It’s incredibly interesting to see how it’s a mix of European and (North) American influences, how it retains a small town feel, the Native influences, etc. Usual monuments (Cathedral, Jacques Cartier Museum, etc).It might be a little short if you’re going for three days, but I would suggest Québec (the city) as well – beautiful place. It’s the only fortified city in USA + Canada, and its defenses were designed/inspired by Vauban (star forts).Also, I doubt you’ll go for this, but there’s an awesome tavern called Les Deux Pierrots (www.lespierrots.com) where essentially it’s a bunch of live rock (covers of French + American music), cheap beer, etc. It’s got two stories of balconies, which makes it fun. But it’s really a student place, or to go to after a hockey game or something. Definitely not NYC hip 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      Great ideas. Thanks!

      1. Louis Berlan

        A few days later and you could have combined Montréal and last summer’s newfound love for the parisian Velib’:http://greeninc.blogs.nytim

        1. fredwilson

          Holy shit. We were talking about how awesome velib would be in montreal!

  7. Trent

    Hi Fred,I lived in Montreal for almost 10 years and always miss it when it comes to Spring/Summer. I envy you.Two veritable Montreal institutions: – Schwartz’s Hebrew Deli on St. Laurent (3895 Boul Saint-Laurent) – St-Viateur bagels (263 St. Viateur West)Also if you’re down by the old port, be sure to spend some time at the Pointe-a-Calliere museum of archaeology, fascinating insight into culture and archaeological findings of Montreal in the 1600’s http://tinyurl.com/pyowvfTrent

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks trent. Were def heading to deli and bagels.But had not heard about the museum. Great tip. Thanks

  8. Jamie

    Eat:Joe Beef – lobster ravioliL’Express – steak + frites + chateauneuf du papeSt. Viateur Bagel – hot bagel fresh from ovenSchwartz’s – smoked meat sandwichShop:St. LaurentPlateau

  9. max

    It might take a little magic on your end, but Cirque du Soleil just opened their new show this week, called Ovo. Might be interesting for you guys.Enjoy the city, it’s a shame the weather’s not cooperating though.

  10. Shawn Yeager

    I highly recommend ChuChai restaurant on Saint-Denis if you’re game for a bit of (superb) vegetarian fare. The food is Thai — some might say Asian fusion — and they specialize in mock meat dishes that I’ve seen even the most avowed carnivore enjoy. Amazing.http://www.chuchai.com/chu_

  11. Eric

    We live in VT and go to Montreal every summer for the Jazz fest, Fireworks, and great food. I agree with all the suggestions others have made.Last time we were there, we discovered the “little italy” section of Montreal. I had the best cannoli of my life at Pasticceria Alati-Caserta (277 rue Dante Montréal, QC H2S 1K3, Canada). And just down the block I picked up some fantastic cappuccino from a little restaurant on the corner. It’s a fun part of the city to wander around for a few hours… mostly for the food!

  12. William Mougayar

    L’Epicier is a great choice. I second Cochon, Schwartz, St-Viateur Bagels & Joe Beef. Also, consider Beautys Luncheonette for brunch, and Club Chasse & Peche. Food wise, venison or boar if you’re into it. And lots of walking after dinner…

    1. fredwilson

      We ate at l’epicier last night and walked back to the hotel. It was the right call!

      1. William Mougayar

        Cool. A local friend of mine just told me the Botanical Garden is in full bloom. And Shaar Hashomayim in Westmount is the poshiest Synagogue. Bon sejour. Pls ask GG to post more than 1 pic from Pied de Cochon- I love food porn. 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          I’ll make sure she does

  13. Jlix

    Montreal has the BEST bagels ever– I grew up in NYC but Montreal’s are better. The Saint Sulpice hotel smokes their own salmon and it is delicious.

    1. fredwilson

      Headed out for bagels now

    1. fredwilson

      What kind of music is at casa del popolo?

  14. Jlix

    Also Da Emma– italian restaurant in an old woman’s prison! great food and you can eat outside. When they were shooting the Dylan movie in Montreal a few summers ago I saw the cast there all the time–Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and Cate Blanchette etc!

  15. Mark Essel

    Now here’s a resource management opinion I can fully comprehend, and fully endorse. Have a great weekend.

  16. jhalickman

    There are so many great things to do in Montreal, but because I love to eat I will give you few good food suggestions. It may be late notice but if you can get into Toque(http://www.restaurant-toque… I highly suggest it, I think it is the best restaurant in Montreal. On the other spectrum is Fairmount Bagel(http://www.fairmountbagel.c… where you can get some of the best Montreal Bagels around, and if you want to bring back a dozen to NYC I would take happily them off your hands. There are so many more great spots, wilensky’s, Snowdon Deli, Schwartz’s, etc…Enjoy the R&R

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks. I think we are going to do a bagel tasteoff today

  17. JL

    Montreal’s Chinatown has the BEST chinese food in the western hemisphere. There’s a wonton noodle shop that makes their own noodles from scratch…don’t remember the name, but it’s a “must try” place. Cheers-J

    1. fredwilson

      Hearing a lot about chinatown. Might do dim sum sunday morning!

  18. Paul Rivera

    can’t visit montreal without a visit or two to au pied de cochon – which should really be called the house that foie gras built

    1. fredwilson

      We are eating there tonight. Can’t wait

  19. Paul Rivera

    toque! is also amazing. look for fabian who i think is the head concierge / waiter. after a 2.5 hr dining experience, he took us on a tour of the wine cellar and the entire kitchen. the food was on par with anything i’ve had at sf or nyc.

    1. fredwilson

      Missed this one. We’ll just have to come back

  20. Alex B

    Hi Fred,I’ve been living in Montréal for a few years, so hopefully I can provide a few helpful suggestions.As a bunch of other posters mentioned, definitely head to St-Viateur for bagels and Schwartz’s for smoked meat, although Dunn’s is equally great. Other restaurant favorites are Primadonna on St-Laurent for sushi and Queue de Cheval for steak. You should definitely try poutine (french fries & gravy) which you can pretty much get anywhere, although I personally like La Belle Province (fast-food chain) for late-night. If you’re looking for a place to grab drinks before dinner, Whiskey Café is fun.As for things to do / see, there are plenty. Here’s a short-list of some of the more touristy items: Notre-Dame Cathedral, Olympic Stadium, Botanical Gardens, Musée des Beaux Arts, Jean-Talon Market, St-Joseph’s Oratory, and Parc Mont-Royal. If you can find tickets, Cirque-du-Soleil has a new show playing, too.If you’re still in the Old Port, just walking around there is fun and you’ll run into things like Marché Bonsecours and the wharfs. If you’re downtown, there are plenty of places to sit / eat outside and relax. McGill has a beautiful campus to see downtown, as well.Hope you have fun!AB

    1. fredwilson

      Headed to the market right now. Thanks for all of these tips

  21. Roosevelt Islander

    After NYC, Montreal is my favorite city. During previous summers I’ve gone to Montreal for the Jazz festival and then to Quebec City for the Summer Festival.A fun, though strenuous outing in Montreal is to go to Mont Royal (Montreal’s Central Park) and climb the staircase to the top where you will be rewarded with a fantastic panoramic view of the Montreal skyline.After that, you’r ready for a hearty breakfast meal, served at any time during the day, at Eggspectations on Maisonneuve I think. Try to sit in the upper level by a window. It’s a good time.Enjoy!

    1. fredwilson

      Heard about eggspectations fro my friend sandy. Sounds like my kind of place

  22. Yule Heibel

    Well, if I were in Montreal I’d try to eat at the places suggested so far, but I’d also really want to hie myself over to the Canadian Centre for Architecture – for example, to catch a current exhibition called “Total Environnement: Montréal, 1965-1975” (see http://www.cca.qc.ca/pages/…. Could be cool to revisit the late 60s/early70s: QUOTE“Today everything is environment” proclaimed a Montréal newspaper at the beginning of the 1970s. The word “environment” had dominated the discourses and practices of artists, architects, social activists and intellectuals during the previous decade. (see http://tinyurl.com/p9c6eu)UNQUOTE“Today everything is environment” – that sounds so contemporary, does it not?

    1. fredwilson

      Great idea Yule. Thanks

  23. great_mind20

    Enjoy your stay

  24. Bruce Cahan

    Enjoy Old Montreal, and the Gibby’s Steakhouse there.

    1. fredwilson


  25. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

    Sounds nice! Next time you are in Austin, let me know…would love to meet up for coffee, but it sounds like this time was a short, fully packed day.Tell Gotham Gal Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks. Will do

  26. alexkrupp

    I realize you already have dinner reservations, but for future visits I’d recommend La Moulerie. Basically it’s PEI mussels in your choice of 25ish sauces. If you like mussels it’s great. (Although I haven’t been there in five years, so no promises.)

    1. fredwilson

      I had mussels and fries for lunch yesterday. They were awesome!

  27. mikenolan99

    My wife’s blog post (and subsequently printed article in Women’s Inc) details a heck of a night in Montreal.We ended up at dinner with some folks straight out of the Sopranos, and their, uh, “dates.”http://www.julesnolan.com/2…

    1. fredwilson

      That is a great story!Thanks for sharing it

  28. Allan Golden

    I was going to recommend Au Pied du Cochon as well, but see that a few people already beat to me it…how about stopping in at my Mom’s place and wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day??!!!

  29. Nataly

    The best bakery we’ve EVER been to in North America is Olive and Groumando, in the old city: http://www.oliveetgourmando.comFor breakfast, amazing fresh pastries. For lunch, flavorful soups and amazing, Paris-like cheeses and fresh salads.

    1. fredwilson

      Maybe we’ll head over there for breakfast todayThanks

    2. fredwilson

      Maybe we’ll head over there for breakfast todayThanks

  30. Vancouverite

    You will have to come to the West coast of Canada one of these days, I will have you and the family up to the cottage in Vancouver’s version of the Hamptons, the Sunshine Coast! Here is the view from the lawn: http://www.necstasea.com

    1. fredwilson

      I’m coming to seattle this summer but probably can’t make it up to vancouver on that trip

  31. Chef Deck

    I hope you enjoyed your time in Montreal as much as I enjoy living here.You received many great suggestions of places to eat (au pied de cochon, Schwartz’s, Joe Beef) so I will not add anymore. But, when you return please feel free to msg me or email for some suggestions if you need some ideas. I write reviews for a local montreal food blog, so you may also want to take a look before making reservations on your next trip (http://eatwellmontreal.com)