A Note from the Local Liaison, Dr. Raphael Garofalo
As an endodontist born and raised in Montréal, I am both proud and excited to be the local liaison for the AAE’s 2019 annual session held right here in my hometown. I am not only excited for myself and my city, but I am thrilled for you first-time visitors. Montréal is a special place and a perfect venue to host an AAE meeting.
Every year, whenever I meet people at the annual session and tell them where I am from, the response from them is the same. “Montréal!” they say, “I hear it is awesome up there. I’d love to visit someday.” Well, the wait is over!
Montréal is a lot like every other major metropolitan city in North America, except for one elusive little thing we call the “je ne sais quoi.” The French culture and European flavor give Montréal a very different feel, with a charm and vibe that is unmatched anywhere else this side of the Atlantic.
While spring may not have sprung by mid-April, there is so much Montréal has to offer. Here is what you can expect to see and enjoy:
- Old Montréal is a unique area steeped in history, which allows visitors to experience a small piece of Europe without having to actually go there. You’ll find beautiful architecture along cobblestone roads, great restaurants and countless shops and art galleries.
- Downtown Montréal, as well as historic neighborhoods like The Plateau, The Main, and Griffintown, has some of the best restaurants in North America. The culinary scene is so diverse that there is something for everyone here. Here’s my advice: leave your diet plans at home.
- Montréal is a fashion hub with an array of shops and boutiques where you can find the latest style trends. Be sure to visit Ogilvy’s on Ste. Catherine’s Street, as well as the various connecting shopping malls downtown, otherwise known as the Underground City.
- No town knows how to party like Montréal does. If you like to stay out all night, you will have come to the mecca of amazing bars, clubs and live music.
While you are here, you will have the chance to practice your French, too. But don’t worry, we speak English here as well, in addition to countless other languages. Montréal is a diverse, extremely safe and very welcoming city that embraces its visitors. I look forward to seeing you all in April. Au plaisir de vous voir à Montréal. À bientôt!
In addition to Dr. Garofalo’s personal restaurant recommendations below, we encourage you to check out Tourisme Montréal’s welcome website for more ideas on how to spend your free time!
Raphael’s Restaurant List
Favorite Fine Dining
Damas – Maybe the best and hottest restaurant in Montréal. Syrian cuisine. This place is a true triple threat: delicious food, beautiful ambiance and impeccable service. My top pick hands-down.
Ferreira – Fine Portuguese cuisine in a charming Mediterranean setting. They have a full menu but specialize in fish and seafood. One of the city’s best restaurants.
Gibby’s – Landmark restaurant in an 18th-century stable located in Old Montréal. Everything on the menu is good.
Favorite French Bistro
Leméac – Sophisticated classic bistro without the arrogance. Excellent food, great wine and incredible service. Short drive from downtown, but well worth the effort.
L'Entrecôte Saint-Jean – Parisian-style bistro serving classic steak and fries. Feels just like France.
Ristorante Bis – Fine Italian dining. Their barbaresco spaghetti and osso bucco are out of this world.
Notre-Boeuf-de-Grace – Great gourmet burgers and awesome fries in a trendy atmosphere. Save room for the deep-fried Oreo cookies drizzled in chocolate sauce.
Prato – Located on “The Main,” this cozy restaurant serves delicious thin crust brick oven pizza.
Bottega – Not to be missed if you want to visit Little Italy.
Montréal is famous for its food, most notably its smoked meat, bagels and poutine. If you can, stop in at the following establishments to see what all the buzz is about: