Les Beaux Jeudis
Les Beaux Jeudis Drink Menu
Les Beaux Jeudis Apple Tart
Les Beaux Jeudis Profiteroles
Montreal Great Eats!
Montreal is a serious eating city! Being large, established, cosmopolitan and the most European city in North America pays big dividends to the hungry visitor or local.
I can’t say I’ve eaten in a lot of restaurants in Montreal (there are just too many to make a dent) but I’ll list some of my favorites and give ideas of must tries while you here. As always it will have a frugal bend. Even at the expensive joints I like to leave feeling full and that I attempted to maximize value.
Let’s start off with a couple of steak houses. Montreal has a OK reputation for beef being the former financial capital of Canada. These are places that any other big city may have but not a chain (Morton’s, Ruth Chris etc.)
Queue de Cheval
You’d think with Horse (Cheval in French) in its name you might be cautious about what you order here. Really the only thing you have to guard here is your wallet. This is expensive stuff and I can certainly not recommend anything here based on value. It’s the kind of place where they show you the meat first and then you pick a cut and how you like it done. The place is beautiful and wants to attract people who can pay or look like they can pay the bill. The atmosphere is high end all the way and a servers are just snooty enough to make you feel like you worked hard to deserve a seat there. To give you an example of maintaining their high end image I asked for water and the waiter began to pour Evian. When I said tap was fine he told me they don’t pour tap water and that the Evian was complementary. They certainly make up for it in the other pricing though as even the waiter seemed to suggest. Steaks are good but astronomical pricing dulls the
flavor of this frugal reviewer pallet. Go as I did if someone else is paying and even that may make you feel guilty.
This Montreal institution has been here since 1928. Expensive but a notch (or 2) down from Queue. If meat is on your mind the I can recommend this place giving some hints and caveats. First, they don’t skip on the free starters. Excellent bread with a french stick that was warm and fresh. I asked for two refills which were gladly given. Then comes the coleslaw and pickles. I love all three of these free starters so in my mind no need to order an appetizer. The Latkes($8 potato pancakes) were good though. Now comes times to
order and most dishes are in the $30 -50 range. You could stick to the $39 rib steak and that with the Monte Carlo(stuffed) baked potato you’d be seriously full. If not some more pickles, slaw and bread will take care of any gaps. Desert looked good at $7 for in house pastries(could share a piece of cheesecake). I’d pass on signature Valrhona molten chocolate cake. I was either too full or it wasn’t that great. Not a cheap meal but if you choose wisely, just get an entree and share a desert and get a taste of the good life for a treat meal at a not outrageous price!
Schwartz Hebrew Deli
At the other spectrum (and just a few doors down from Moishes) is another 1928 institution and brings us to our first must try Montreal specialty ‘Smoked Meat’.
Smoked meat for the non-initiated is a try of deli meat similar to pastrami. The freshness is what makes this place special. The atmosphere is non-existent and unless you have a large group you’ll be seated at the counter or share long communal tables.
For your first time smoked meat is it. They’ll ask you A large platter is the best deal at 10.95. You’ll get nearly pound (best guess) with rye bread, mustard at the table and that’s it! Fries are OK. Pickles are good but kinda expensive($1.50) and coleslaw if you are that way inclined. Finish it off with a signature Black Cherry soda and you have the quintessential Montreal smoked meat meal. Dinner for 2 will cost around $25 so it pairs well with a splurge meal for another night.
The other Montreal must try is their bagel. Different than other places, many people say their the best in the world(hard core New Yorkers may disagree) but they definitely taste great fresh out of the oven and have a slightly sweet flavor. Boiled first which makes them unique they are also an edible souvenir to take home. I like the sesame seed variety but they have poppy seed as well. Last time I was in Montreal, I grabbed 6 hot and 6 to go for co-workers who couldn’t make the trip. $6.70 for the dozen. Throw in some cream cheese and you’ll be the office hero on Monday morning.
Thursdays/Les Beaux Jeudis (Shown)
A bar/restaurant upstairs(quieter/more complete menu) that has been there for more than 25 years. It is on Crescent St which is famous for being lined with such establishments \
and is always busy. The concierge at a nearby hotel told me that many people say if you haven’t been to Thursday you haven’t experienced Montreal. Somewhat suspicious recommendation as he works for the Hotel which has the same owners. It has since become the default, if I’m with a group and can’t decide on a place then we usually end of here. French/continental dishes with few surprises. Good if not outstanding with plenty of selection and reasonable price. Most dishes in the high teens/low twenties
range. Again cornichons pickles, bread and cheese to start (not as good as Moishe’s though). Lunch specials as Table D’hote (fixed priced three course are decent values) and you’ll never leave hungry as portions are reasonable for this type of Cuisine. On our last outing we had a variety of different dish. Rack of lamb was nice if a tad overdone. I liked my Escargot appetizer and liver main. A Pepper steak got good reviews and a dining companion said it was the best Caesar salad he has had in a long time as it was packed with Anchovies. Dessert was well received (apple tart and profiteroles) and the group left happy, even me grudgingly had to admit it was pretty good having wanted to go somewhere different instead of an old standard. All in all a good default if you’re this hub of the Montreal dining/drinking area.