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two nights Que. city and two in montreal - looking for casual option & something special

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We will be in Quebec City two nights and then heading to Montreal for two nights late August - we are staying at the Auberge St. Antoine so we will be having dinner at Panache one evening, we are looking for a more casual (less expensive)option for our first evening, can be in lower or upper part of town.
We are thinking L'Echaude possibly or Yuzu. We may try Laurie Raphael or Initiale for lunch, but it would have to be the same day as our meal at Panache and my husband feels it may be too much rich food for one day. Can you suggest a market with good breads, cheese, beers & wine for a DIY picnic?
Montreal- we will be celebrating our anniversary here so want something special for the Saturday night - we are thinking Toque or Cube but are open for other suggestions. We are also looking for a more casual option for the Friday - a bar with a great by the glass wine selection and tapas offerings perhaps?
thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions.

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  1. For something special in Montreal try Au Pied de Couchon in the Plateau section and for something casual try L'Express on St. Dennis.

    1. L'Échaudé is a good choice for a more casual dinner in Québec. Good wine list, good food and lots of locals. As for your idea of going to lunch at Laurie Raphaël or L'Initiale, I would suggest Laurie Raphaël at first. Not everything they serve is very rich and the food is worth trying. If you want to go picnic, go to Le Marché du Vieux-Port, in the Old Port, about 10 minutes from your hotel, walking distance. You'll find everything you need to go picnic either on the docks or on the plains of Abraham. Enjoy!

      1. For casual I suggest FAROS. It Greek seafood (big Greek population in Montreal) and its great!. It up on St Laurent a few miles from Avenue Rene Levesque

        2 Replies
        1. re: Big Fat Moe

          Is this the place you're thinking of?

          Faros Restaurant
          514-270-8437
          362, avenue Fairmount Ouest, [near Parc, not St-Laurent]
          Montréal, QC H2V 2G4

          Haven't been yet (though I have been meaning to try it), but it does not seem especially casual to me, at least not by Montreal standards. It also isn't cheap: judging by the menu posted outside, I think it would be easy to spend $50+ per person, possibly much more.

          1. re: Mr F

            You're right on all counts, especially the price. The food is quite good.

        2. Anise is where you go for an anniversary. Bronte would be a good second choice. I'm a huge fan of Toque! but it's not where I'd spend a romantic night. Just trust me.

          1. I second the Anise recommendation. It's a great place to make a loved one feel cherished. The atmosphere is elegant, yet warm and soothing. The food is subtle and refined. The place is just magic.

            1. One of the highlights of my recent Quebec City visit was Le 48 (sharp-trendy atmosphere, fantastic food, reasonable prices).

              For casual yet romantic in Montreal, try Le Jardin Nelson in the old port. They have a beautiful, flowered outdoor terrasse with live music (jazz or classical). Their specialty is crepes. The crepe Argentuil (with ham, cheese and asparagus) is very tasty, and they have the best french onion soup (with gruyere cheese, makes all the difference) I've tasted in the city.

              Enjoy your trip!