One night in Montreal
I'm looking for a place for dinner in downtown Montreal or old port. We only have one night, so I want to make it good. I'm going to be with someone who has never been to Quebec, so I'm hoping for something different than we'd find in Vancouver. Our budget is mid-range, and we're up for pretty much anything other than a steakhouse. Thanks
Depends what you consider mid-range, but suggestions would be La Montee, Europea, Club Chasse et Peche (might be a little high, budget-wise) for places downtown/old port. There are many other great little places, not too far from downtown - if you do a search of this board, you'll find plenty of recent threads on that topic.
Can you give us an idea of midrange?
For places different that what you might find in Vancouver, here are a few suggestions:
Petit Alep: Great Syrian food. Get the Terbialy sauce on anything, spicy and delicious. This place is a gem, very unique. The atmosphere is somewhat pub-like though, so if you want something more sedate, go next door to Alep.
Bouchonne: Great wine bar with great small plates. You have some great wine bars in Vancouver, but Bouchonne has a great French atmosphere, a "je ne sais quoi" which adds to its many charms. If you like wine and good food, this is a must. But if you are on a budget, be careful about the wine costs, ask carefully for the prices. The food prices are reasonable, and the quality great. The great thing is that even the cheapest wines on the menu are well chosen and interesting. And if they still have the Leon Barral Faugeres Le Jadis, and you want to splurge a little bit - just do it. Or you can try their other resto, La Montee, also excellent, and closer to downtown. ALso great menu and wine list, but I give a small edge to the food at Bouchonne, I like the menu a bit better, and the chef at Bouchonne has a touch.
French Bistro: so many good choices. My preference would be get a good bottle of wine and head to Le P'tit Plateau (Bring your own wine). If you like duck, you must order the duck confit, so damn good. I have also finally tried Au Cinqiueme Peche, and boy, I loved that place, very original, excellent food, excellent wine list, good prices, great atmosphere. But they are not bring your own wine.
N.B. None of Moh's recs are in or walking distance from the old port or downtown.
As noted, it depends what mid-range means, but if you want mains in the upper 20s and 30s, Ferreira (Portugese) and Alexandre (French) on Peel between Sainte-Catherine & Maisonneuve are both great.
Mind you, it ain't fancy, but Schwartz's smoked meat on St. Laurent is as Montreal as it gets.
I would agree that most of my suggestions would likely require a metro or bus trip or cab ride. All these suggestions would be easy to get to from the old port and downtown. And La Montee is downtown. Frankly, on a nice night, you can walk to all these places from the Old port, with the exception of Alep and Petit Alep, and the walk would be a fun one up St. Laurent, a really nice walk that helps you get up an appetite and really enjoy the food. But all these places are easily accessible by bus and metro too if walking is not your thing.
I don't know Alexandre at all, so I won't comment. I am a fan of Ferriera, and if you have a bigger budget, it can be a nice night. But I daresay you could spend less at P'tit Plateau, Alep/Petit Alep, and maybe Bouchonne if you watch the price carefully. So I think it depends on what the OP is willing to spend.