Thanks, Canada, we had a great time!

Sep 1st, 2009, 01:57 PM
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Thanks, Canada, we had a great time!

We recently returned from a three week trip to Canada, six nights in Montreal, eight in Quebec City and a week in Halifax.

We had been to Montreal before but were happy to return. We stayed at the Place d'Armes Hotel, a very nice hotel and a good value considering the complimentary breakfast and evening wine and cheese. One could use the "ticket" and go to the sister hotels, Nelligan and Vieux Port for wine and cheese.

This report will be mainly our opinions of restaurants. We enjoy good food and it is a big part of our trips.

Aix (our hotel restaurant)- We had a nice meal here on our first night.

Bonapart - We booked a window table; we had the menu degustation and everything was great, including the service. It was our favorite meal in Montreal.

Toque- We loved this restaurant when it was in its old location. It has moved to a large soulless location. We were disappointed with the food this time.

ModAvie- We really liked this place and the good entertainment.

St. Sulpice- Nice courtyard setting but the food was just okay.

Jardin Nelson- Our concierge recommended this but we didn't like it at all.

We loved the Jean Talon market.....such beautiful and beautifully presented fruits and vegetables.

The Botanical Gardens were very nice.

We took the VIArail train to Quebec City, leaving at 1PM and arriving at 4:23PM.
Judi is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 02:11 PM
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In Quebec City we stayed at the Dominion 1912 Hotel, well located in the lower town. It is a small boutique hotel, our most expensive hotel on this trip. It also had complimentary breakfast, much like the Place d'Armes....breads, cheeses, yoghurt, cereal, fruit, coffee, tea, juices, but it also had hard boiled eggs.

We found Quebec City to be very cute and charming but it also was very hot and crowded.

Our favorite restaurant was L'Echaude, right around the corner from our hotel. We ended up eating there four times as we knew we would get good food and it was also reasonable. The service was great.

Toast!- was disappointing; the service was very slow and the food did not impress us. The terrace was pretty and the servers were friendly.

Initiale- another touted restaurant that didn't live up to its hype. The food was good but not memorable.

Cafe du Monde- average at best.

Cochon Dingue- not fine dining but I liked the ribs.

Our favorite lunch spot was the Conti Cafe near the Frontenac. We enjoyed the food and the pleasant air conditioned dining room on those hot days.

Pain Beni- nice lunch.

We enjoyed the Image Mill but never made it to the Cirque du Soleil free street show. We took a ninety minute cruise as a way of keeping cool and it was pleasant.

We flew Air Canada from Quebec City to Halifax via Montreal.
Judi is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 02:30 PM
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We had no preconceived ideas of Halifax so were looking forward to getting to know it.

We stayed at the Prince George Hotel. We usually stay at boutique hotels but this large hotel is well located and is linked to the Pedway (Halifax Link) which proved to be very useful. The room cost was less than the others but didn't include breakfast so adding the cost of that into the price made it comparable to Montreal.

The people in Halifax are super friendly and there is a good music scene, something we could not find in Quebec. We ended up liking Halifax the best, mainly because of this.

One doesn't often think that hotel restaurants are particularly good but GIO was our favorite restaurant of all. We ate there twice. The food was nicely presented and the flavors popped. We didn't realize until our final day that they served a very reasonable lunch as well.

Chives- nice atmosphere, good food.

Five Fishermen- good seafood.

Wooden Monkey- not impressed.

Da Mauritzio- This is supposed to be one of the city's best Italian restaurant but we thought it was only average.

The Keg- This is across the street from our hotel so it was convenient for a rainy (thanks to Hurricane Bill) Sunday evening so we ate there. We were pleasantly surprised at the good steaks and sides.

A couple of music venues that we enjoyed were Bearly's Blues Bar and The Old Triangle.
Judi is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 02:42 PM
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I may have sounded a bit harsh on others' favorite restaurants but because we ate out every night we may have had a different slant than someone who goes to a fancy restaurant only for special occasions. We were looking for great meals, especially when spending $200+ but we didn't have many memorable ones. We didn't have any really bad meals either.

We found Canada to be more expensive than other destinations we have visited and more expensive than Atlanta, our home.

Everyone was so friendly. My husband says Canadian women are the sweetest in the world. Well, we haven't been everywhere in the world but we have been to a lot of places. We southerners are known for our manners but we could never out-polite the Canadians!

We had a great trip! Thanks again, Canada.
Judi is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 04:18 PM
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I'm so glad you had a good time, Judi. Come to Toronto next time!

Oh and tell your husband that this sweet Canadian woman sends him a great big hug.
goddesstogo is online now  
Sep 1st, 2009, 05:50 PM
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Thanks for the report, Judi.
SallyCanuck is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 06:58 AM
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Glad that you enjoyed our country.
It really is a land of contrasts - and all of them beautiful.

Thanks for the report.

Mathieu is offline  
Sep 8th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Gtg, he says thanks for the hug.

Sally, you are welcome. It wasn't much of a report as I don't think how we spent our days would be too interesting; we do a lot of walking around the cities. We don't do too many museums but I did like the portions of the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City where there were tour guides in English. I also failed tot mention the interesting ferry to Levis and return after dark to see the lights of Quebec City.

Mathieu, I agree, Canada is a beautiful land of contrasts. We have been to Toronto but it was a few years ago. Last year we went to Victoria and Vancouver which we enjoyed very much.

I hope our next Canada trip will be the Lake Louise and Banff area. Maybe we will take the train across Canada from Toronto.
Judi is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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Good report from my perspective, a fellow foodie, who spends a lot of time in made some good choices, but missing FID and Fleur de Sel means you have to come back!

And you MUST visit Toronto..definitely the best variety for food in Canada.

Yes, it is expensive, compared to the US south, isn't it?
LJ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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Judi - you be sure to visit us here in Toronto on your next trip!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 04:56 AM
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Thanks, we would love to return to Halifax!

We will be back to Toronto as my sister lives in Ontario, an hour west. Liz, we would love to meet up with you again; it was such a fun evening talking with you. What great destination are you going to next?
Judi is offline  

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