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Nov 15, 2006 12:51 AM

communal dining experience?

We are a young couple about to move to Montreal and we are looking for places that serve fixed price suppers at communal tables so we can also meet some like-minded people. Any suggestions? Thanks

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  1. Like-minded in what way?

    I've never heard of such a concept. The closest thing to it might be Chinatown on a friday night.

    3 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy

      Well, like minded is just a way of saying it. We don't know actually. We just want to have more friends outside "work" and food is the best place to start since most of our lives revolve around it. Supper clubs are very common in France and in some parts of US (I know a few in NY, Oakland and Portland). Some are "legitimate" restaurants, while there are also underground dining clubs that operate without a license. You basically order a fixed-price menu and eat it around a communal table with other people. Most of the time, you bring your own wine. I heard with the established BYOB culture in Montreal there might be some opportunity to experience this. Thanks again.

      1. re: emerilcantcook

        I just saw an episode on FoodNetwork about Portland where they mentioned that communal restaurant. Maviris mentioned organizing a chowhound when you're settled in Montreal. I think someone did try to organize a ChowHounders dinner @ Niu KEE but it didn't come to fruition. If u do plan something just post it on this board, I for one would be interested in attending!

    2. We call it basque food here in Calif. Lunch is served at one seating, dinner at two. They seat you by groups at big long tables and than the food begins, salads, breads, soups, sides and usually 2 main dishes, and always pickled tongue. The food changes every night. All the food is served family style, (all the food is set in the middle of the table) and all the wine you can drink is included in your bill and right on the table for you. Everyone is real friendly and by the end of dinner you feel as if you've made a couple new frieds

      1. If you're looking for an intimate, relaxed place to meet locals, I would highly recommend Fuchsia, a tiny storefront/cafe located in the Plateau. The owner, Binky (who herself is incredibly warm and friendly) was exploring this very idea of communal dinners just for the sake of meeting new people a while ago, so you should give her a call and see if that's still happening. She runs a catering business as well as cooking in her cafe wholesome food and pastries with edible flowers. It's a very small space, with only two picnic-style tables and benches, so it's very condusive to getting to know your neighbours (which has been the case the many times I've been there for breakfasts and lunch). Fushcia is also available for private dinners if you book your group in advance, but like I said, you should check and see if she's doing public dinners. Or go for breakfast on a weekend!

        Binky Holleran is the chef and owner of Fuchsia, located at 54 Duluth St., Montréal, Québec. Tel: 514-487-3155

        Her description from a website:
        I use an assortment of edible flowers and flower salts in my cooking, such as pansies, nasturtiums, dianthus, lavender and roses. There are no real menu choices – there is a hot vegetarian meal of the day and in summer I usually make a salad or two as well. I heard someone tell another while explaining the place, “When you go home, you don’t tell your mom what you want to eat, you eat what she serves you.” That seems to sum up the feeling at the restaurant. It feels like home. Time passes more slowly and is more relaxed.

        Article for the Hour a while ago:

        1. It sounds like a fun and interesting concept, but I don't know of anything like it.

          Maybe when you settle in you can organize a chowdown to meet others from this board at a resto.

          1. Le Cartet on rue McGill....big wooden tables that everyone sits around. Also have a great brunch there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: thegolferbitch

              Oh yeah! a great place for Sunday brunch!
              really yummy anc creative eggs....yogourt...meat lovers paradise...there are two big main tables in the front, where different groups can sit, however they also have tables at the back for a more intimate brunch.

              1. re: thegolferbitch

                I was at le cartet just the other day, and though the brunch was delicious, I did not notice people making friends with strangers.