The restaurants that I will cover will represent my preferences. Occasionally, there may be a bad review of an establishment that has really disappointed me but that will not be the focus. The selection will not only include sit down restaurants but the occasional fast food restaurant that really appeals to me. Good examples are FCO, a small pizza place on Viger Street and Notre-Dame de Boeuf as there are days when nothing beats a good hamburger. Both are in Montreal.
Don’t trust Trip Advisor, Google, Yelp, or guide books when picking restaurants. I have tried a couple of places recommended by Rick Steeves – both were absolutely brutal! If in Montreal, trust my recommendations. I am fussy. In London, check The Guardian food section. When in New York City, rely on the New York Times! There is one guide that I do use, the Michelin in Europe. After looking for suspects, check the restaurant web sites to see the menu. Many great restaurants have short menus and there are days that I don’t like what is on offer. This doesn’t mean that the food isn’t exquisite. Check available pictures for an indication of ambiance and appearance of cleanliness.
To get good, attentive service in restaurants, I trust the professionals to manage the food. I don’t tell them how to cook or present. Kitchen output will never be as balanced if client directed and I have watched service go downhill at neighbouring tables as diners send detailed instructions to the kitchen. I always ask advice about the wine list and the menu. The waiters and the sommeliers will always know the restaurant’s best offerings. There are always hidden gems on the wine list or on the cheese cart and sometimes one or two servings of something special so I try to be that guest that everyone wants to spoil.
123 Avenue Donegani – Valois Pointe-Claire, QC, H9S 4P8 1-(514)-694-6161 I am a big supporter of local retail. However, the owners have to get it right. Les Délices have done just that! They opened in a spot ideal for success but that had seen failure after failure . Predecessor cafés never opened at the same […]
Since I don’t have a category for things I don’t like, I am sticking this here. I hate Tim Horton’s! Why do so many Canadians like this horror show of a – ummm – I am not sure. Is it a coffee and donuts shop? A sandwich place! Oh, I think they now have all-day […]
I love really good Indian food! When I visit the United Kingdom, I have to get my fix. My cousin lives a five-minute walk from Akash Tandoori at 500 A Edgeware Road (Maida Vale), London. A small restaurant with a really good neighbourhood feel, Akash delivers big on taste. Chakra at 33 C Holland Avenue, […]
I can’t remember when I first ate at Primo & Secondo, but it was a memorable occasion. Probably, it was just before Canadian Open tennis matches at nearby Jarry Park. The tennis was nice but I thought dinner the highlight of the evening. I have gone back many times – before watching tennis matches; with my […]
Pierre-Louis Duval, a Parisian butcher, created the “bouillon” concept in 1855. His inspiration came from a soup vendor, M. Boulanger. Legend has it that Boulanger went on to open the first restaurant in Paris in 1765. To feed market hall workers, Duval would make a single meat dish to be served with a soup or […]
Le Gourmand in a circa 1850 stone house registered in the Québec National Archives as “La Maison Pierre-Demers”
I have an hour to eat between meetings in Old Montréal. The weather is beautiful and I head for FCO di Fiumicino. The Pizza Montréal has many good pizza places but this is my personal favourite. I stand in line and order at the counter from a good selection of pizza by the slice. I […]
Restaurant Graziella is my favourite place for lunch in Old Montreal. I really enjoy the atmosphere. I relax immediately whether I am alone or with a larger number of people. Pranzo The lunch menu is kept to four or five appetizers, a similar number of mains, and a couple of choices for desert. The basic […]
La Botte Piena is one of my favourite restaurants anywhere. In May 2011, we had rented an apartment for a week in the little Tuscan village of Montefollonico. The drive from Florence took longer than expected. We arrived at about 1:30 pm and the shops had closed for the afternoon and would only re-open at […]