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Aug 15, 2008 11:18 AM

Parental Unit Visiting Montreal

My parents (late 60s almost 70) are visiting me for the first time here in Montreal from Los Angeles for 5 days. This poses some dining challenges. They wouldn't be interested in too loud, too boisterous, or too small and crowded. We will all be on a bit of a budget, not skimpy, but no need for extravagance. They like good food, are well-traveled, etc. but have gotten a bit less adventurous as they have gotten older. And to top it all off, my mother is (perpetually) on Weight Watchers. She is fine eating out, but will need to keep track of her food, so simple is probably better.

So here's what I'm thinking:
-my dad will get a huge kick out of Au Pied de Cochon, so I won't deprive him of that experience even if my mom struggles a bit there.
Lemeac is an easy one for parents.
And then maybe La Colombe or another dependable BYO -- suggestions? Has any been to Le Poisson Rouge recently?-- fish seems like a safe bet. A BYO, Table d'Hote with too few options would likely be hard for them.

In need of a fourth and, if possible slightly different than the above, dinner venue. Here are some ideas, please weigh in!
-Rumi on Hutchison (love the location)
-Joe Beef (never been and truthfully don't have a good sense of it-- is it a lot more expensive?)
-another BYO that has a different feel??
-Greek? Where to go besides Milos?
-open to other suggestions!

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  1. I was not impressed the last couple of time I had dinner at Le Poisson Rouge and it is
    quite loud and cramped.I would recommend Le Margaux, delicious food,very good value,
    some nice wines around $25 and it is not as loud as many others, a note :it is closed
    sunday.monday and tuesday

    1. Joe Beef is good, but it is quite pricey. It's also quite small and crowded. And the portions are very large, which is fine if you want to split meals, but if your mom's on Weight Watchers, it might not be the best choice.
      How about Le Jolifou - I don't recall it being that pricey, and it's certainly different from the other places you've chosen.

      1. If you are looking for a BYOB I would urge you to consider La Christophe, I recently went there and left very impressed. They seem to favour local sources - the theme of the tasting menu when I visited was wild mushrooms so it might prove interesting to someone from out of town. The highlight of the meal was milk fed pork that was extraordinary. While the restaurant is small it didn't feel crowded and not particularly loud.

        1. Hey Picklebird!

          For Greek, Milos is really expensive. For slightly more reasonable, I am always a fan of Philinos on Parc. The food is always well-prepared and delicious, the portions are huge and good for sharing, there are good healthy choices for your mom, nice atmosphere. It is really easy to over-order food, so order less to start, and add as you need. I really love the octopus appetizer, the fried saganaki cheese, they do a lovely greek salad, grilled lamb chops are wonderful, fish is very nice as well.

          For BYOB, a lot of BYOB's are very hard for diets, the food is very rich. But I just had a nice meal at La Zeste du Folie, and I really liked the fact that the menu has some nice light summer dishes on it. We had a lovely amuse bouche of roasted pepper soup, I had a very light grilled corn and asparagus salad, and a main of perfectly grilled scallops in a citrus marinade (but the side of watercress salad was less successful). I think your mom would be able to find something reasonable there, and the selection of dishes is a bit different from the other BYOBs. They have their menu online if you want to check it out. And it is so much less expensive to drink wine when it is BYOB. When we went for dinner, we had a friend whose diet was quite limited, and the resto was very accomodating and helpful. So they can accommodate your mom's needs as well.

          For something a little different, I would strongly recommend Petit Alep (Syrian) or Byblos (Persian) on Laurier. Both are very reasonably priced, the food is outstanding, the spicing makes for a nice change from French based cuisine, and there are a lot of nice light choices for your mom. The chiche taouk terbialy at Petit Alep is an outstanding meal! Very fresh, very unique. As for Byblos, there are so many wonderful dips and egg dishes, and the cost is very inexpensive for the quality of food you get. I think either place would make an excellent 4th choice.

          I hope they have a nice visit!

          1. My parents loved Au Petit Extra.