Montreal's best-known French bistro enters the 21st century with its reputation firmly intact: flawless cuisine, imperturbable if somewhat Parisian ... More
Montreal's best-known French bistro enters the 21st century with its reputation firmly intact: flawless cuisine, imperturbable if somewhat Parisian service and a smoky, some would say loud, atmosphere. The menu rotates somewhat, and there are always daily specials, but l'Express is best known for the standards: pâte, foie gras and bouillabaisse appetizers (CAD6-CAD12); steak tartare, steak-frites and veal kidney main courses (CAD13-CAD22); and crème caramel or chocolate mousse desserts (CAD5-CAD8). The exclusively French wine list is a reasonably-priced gem, and offers many by the glass (CAD6-CAD12).
I can't believe that in such a wonderful food city like Montréal L'Express is still full each night. I went there for the first time a few months ago and was extremely disappointed : the food was so bad! Everything was bland , from the tasteless foie gras terrine to the bad baguette, from the wine served way too cold to the mushy tartare. I was expecting it to be conservative (it's a bistro : you wouldn't expect too much originality)but I tought it would be high quality food. Instead I came out of the restaurant with the impression of having been riped off. To the tourists : there are hundreds of restaurants bettter then this one in Montréal!
To the hick from NYC...
Perhaps you haven't travelled enough, but a 'bistro' is not know for SERVICE, that is not what they're selling... Bistros are like parisian brasseries- casual service, moderately priced, good food. And I was astounded to hear your wife actually ordered a ham & cheese sandwich while in Montreal, how sad.
If you are looking for top notch service - head to the Beaver Club or Toque even... but not a bistro like l'Express.
I was born and raised in NYC and I say the service still stinks. We had a 9:30 reservatioon and were seated at 10. The waiter refused to give us a tomato He missed our salad order. The food and wine were great. I enjoyed the hangar steak and my wife had a great ham and cheese sandwich. The goat cheese salad was ok -- too mild on the cheese
Anyone that doesn't appreciate this place has to be some hick from Montana! You have to expect certain nuiances, especially when you're a visitor in another country. Yes, Montreal is not considered apart of the States so don't expect Big Macs, Filot O Fishe's. L' Express is perfect for people who expect great French cuisine, untarnished by sell outs wanting to attract tourist!
When you walk into L'Express, you feel as if you are in a Paris Brasserie. While a bit crowded, and always very busy, everyone is friendly and helpful. The food is wonderful, French brasserie cuisine mixed with Canadian specialities. We always try to go there when we go to Montreal.
On one of my favorite streets in Montreal is the quintessential French bistro. Bustling yet comfortable, the decor and ambience instantly let us know that we were in for a bistro experience. The duck pate was perfect as an appetizer. Wine list was short, but reasonably priced.
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