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Mar 20, 2007 09:23 AM

Anniversary in Montreal

My boyfriend and I are going to Montreal for the first time for our anniversary this weekend. We both love funky out of the way places with great food. We are staying in Old Montreal.
Any recomendations would be really appreciated.

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    1. re: carswell

      Did I just go on a VERY off night? I kid you not when I say our meal way beyond bad. What do you think happened?

      1. re: foodismyfriend

        Joe Beef is a bit overrated and for an anniversary dinner, far from romantic or quiet. There are so many other places that I would go to before that place. I too have have good and terrible experiences and wouldn't want to take the risk on a special occasion

        1. re: swissfoodie

          The OP asked for funky and out of the way, not romantic and quiet. While I agree that Joe Beef can be uneven, when it's good, it's great. The consensus on this and that other board is that it's not overrated at all.

          1. re: carswell

            I wouldn't go so far as to say that the general consensus is that it's great - seems to me like lately people have been reporting bad experiences. But I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion... As for funky places, what about Raza?

            1. re: swissfoodie

              Am not about to inventory earlier posts on this and other boards, but my impression is that the majority, even the vast majority, of reports have been positive, and that even some of the original doubting Thomases -- or should I say thomaseins? -- have recanted after a second visit.

              Funky for me means unconventionally stylish with an unsophisticated edge. Fits Joe Beef to a tee (provided you stick a "self-consciously" before the "unsophisticated") but not Raza, and Laurier West isn't what I'd call out of the way. Which is not to say that Raza wouldn't be worth considering as a venue for an anniversary dinner.

              1. re: carswell

                Here is the description of the epiphany that lead to my recantation.

                The first time that I went to Joe Beef I was somewhat unimpressed. While I thought the food was okay I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Simply put I didn't get it.

                However, I returned last fall when they were serving truffles and requested a truffle tasting menu. I will not describe the whole meal, which was fabulous, but only the main plate. It was chicken roasted with black truffles with a vin jaune sauce. While not a huge fan of chicken this was probably the best chicken I ever had in my life and I am a huge fan of truffles, and it was one of the best truffle dishes I ever had. The meat was infused, throughout, with a truffle flavour that was exquisite. That it was paired with an excellent Domaine Bart only added to the experience. For me it is rare that I conjure past flavours, but this one stays with me to be awakened at will.

                I think the key to Joe Beef is that it is a place that one must engage, as opposed to a more passive approach. The more you can interact and engage in a conversation with the restaurant the greater will be your experience.

    2. As you mention that it's for your anniversary, one place jumps in my head :
      The XO, of the St.James Hotel in Old Montreal, 355 St-Jacques. Great food and the place is a splendor. It's opulent without that snobish attitude. My boy friend invited me for my birthday, and I felt as a queen.

      I also recommend my favorites ones : AREA, on Amherst Street. (Great food, great chef) And La Montée de lait. Great new trendy place. Inventive food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: epicurienne67

        La Montee de Lait is not a new place, but I agree that the food is great. Have the tasting menu for sure if you select this place. However, reserve now - it's a tough table to get. You might also want to check out Pintxo -it's a great place for tasty Spanish and the wines are always good.

        1. Respectfully DISAGREE on Joe Beef!!! (If my first experience there wasn't such an utter and total disappointment, I might think about a second chance, but it was just BAD!). AREA, Halte Urbaine, Pinxto, Toqué, all highly recommended.

          2 Replies
          1. re: foodismyfriend

            On taste and colors...

            I do strongly agree with you on TOQUE, Area same experience than yours at JB

            I believe that JB it is for a specific crowd (not mine,I admit) and Thats why the hype, beside of David and Fred , I went few times on Wed I think best day but if you go and in the ever changing menu you do not find anything that interest you. I agree it can be, not such a good experience.

            best of luck and what do you think about Europea

            1. re: jsoifMtl

              Well, since reviews seem so great, we will likely try it again--at least this time our expectations will be incredibly low. Bummer about Area--every time we go I like it more than the last. Europea--next on the list of to try.

          2. First of all Happy Anniversary! And I hope you are staying at Auberge du Vieux Port. It doesn't get any more romantic than that! (Ask for a room w/double jacuzzi!)
            Have them call a cab for you and go to Les Indifeles in the Plateau. But be sure to stop at a SAQ store first for some wine, as it's a BYO. You won't be disappointed.