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Sep 30, 2009 09:54 AM

quiet, upscale restaurant in downtown Montreal for a business dinner on a Friday night?

We'll be having one dinner at Renoir in the Sofitel, but I need a second restaurant for a party of 5 the following night. The group ranges in age from 36 to 74, and we need a place where conversation would not challenged by bustling background noise on a Friday night.

I loved the food at La Montee, but the room will be too noisy for this particular dinner. Have also liked meals at Ferreira, but I'd imagine it will also be quite noisy on a Friday night. Not particularly impressed with my last meal at Le Latini. One of the people in the group did not enjoy Europea on a past visit, and I think the menu at Europea might be a little too innovative for this group. L'Aromate isn't upscale or quiet enough for this group.

Continental, French or other European food would work well with this group, although a French or French Canadian menu might be nicer, since all the people attending the dinner are visitors to Montreal.

Preferably a restaurant with some fairly conservative choices, and mains for less than $40, so that means places like Bice and Bronte probably won't work.

Where would you suggest? Does a restaurant that will meet these requirements exist in downtown Montreal?

Or should we take taxis to another part of Montreal (maybe Outremont) to find a restaurant with good food that would be fairly quiet on a Friday night?

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  1. Decca 77 might be a good choice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Maximilien

      thanks Maximilien- the menu at Decca 77 looks promising- it's on my shortlist.

    2. L'Autre Saison would fill the bill, with Le Mas des Oliviers as a fallback.

      1 Reply
      1. re: carswell

        Thanks carswell, I think L'Autre Saison & Le Mas des Oliviers look like great options- these are on my shortlist. Good location for us, as well.

      2. from carswell suggestion thread (


        - Nizza (eastern downtown, near chinatown). Arguably the city's top Provençal resto (not that there's a lot of competition these days). Uneven but when good, very good. Power wine list with prices to match. Lovely terrace on an unlovely and busy street.

        - Le Club Chasse et Pêche (Old Montreal). Should probably be listed under High End. Faux men's club decor. Signature dish is a witty "surf and turf" combo. A few recent reports have been less than glowing but I have nothing but praise for the food and wine. Lunch, especially in the garden of the Château Ramezay, can be fabulous.

        - Ferreira (downtown). Bustling nouvelle Portuguese bistro. Great setting, attractive staff and patrons, seafood-oriented menu. Said to have the largest Port collection in North America, though little of it's available by the glass...

        2 Replies
        1. re: mak2k

          Club Chasse et Peche would definitely be too noisy. I wonder about the upstairs dining room at Newtown - I haven't been there myself, so I don't know, but it might just fit the bill.

          1. re: mak2k

            thanks for your recs.

            I think Nizza is a little farther east preferable, but I'll keep it in mind for another visit.

            I do love Ferreira, but I don't think it's right for this specific dinner.

            Will have to try LCCeP one of these days.

          2. I would go for Newtown. Even though it's on Crescent St, it's quiet but the 2 young chefs might be too innovative for your group. Check out the menu.

            La Coupole might be a more standard choice. This French “Brasserie de luxe” is located inside the new Hotel Crystal. It's quite big and rarely full, so you an ask to be seated in private so you can have a conversation.

            7 Replies
            1. re: eatkat

              Thanks for your recs. I visited Newtown for drinks about 5 years ago, but it seemed like a meat market the night I was there, so I haven't been back. I didn't realize their restaurants was on the quiet side.

              Will keep both your suggestions in mind.

              1. re: phoenikia

                i've heard very negative things so far about Newtown under the new chefs... but there will be growing pains.... especially considering the size of the space....

              2. re: eatkat

                I had a business lunch at La Coupole recently, and was very impressed. There was lots of space between the tables, and some tables are more removed. They have a dinner table d'hote for $40 I believe, which represents excellent value if the lunch table d'hote ($25 for 3 courses) is any indication.

                1. re: nbc_bmw

                  Good to know, thanks for your comments!

                  1. re: phoenikia

                    there is always le caveau for a central restaurant with meeting rooms if that is what you want and I am sure they would discuss menu options for a group . My own experience with downtown restaurants such as ferreira is they get really noisy on weekends so discussions not always easy!
                    I would rather go to a restaurant where I could discuss ahead of time the needs of the group and be sure in that kind of discussion that the attention to the group will be assured. I havent been recently but used to go for lunch there with groups. It was considered one of the more reasonably priced french restaurants.
                    It is near Sherbrooke between University and McGill College

                    1. re: wilmagrace

                      Le Caveau changed ownership about a year or so ago, and the chef left to take over Le Paris, if I'm not mistaken. I haven't heard much about Le Caveau since, so I'd be hesitant to recommend it.

              3. Have decided to reserve a table at L'Autre Saison. Thanks for your help, everyone.

                1 Reply
                1. re: phoenikia

                  L'Autre Saison worked out well for our group. It was quiet, and the table that was reserved for us was nicely situated.

                  The food on the menu was mostly what I would consider old school French classics. Choices at our table included escargots, hearts of palm salad, pepper crusted seared tuna, shrimps Rockefeller (shrimp served with a rich, creamy pernod sauce with spinach), entrecote, creme brulee and tarte tatin. Everything was prepared nicely, the portions were generous and the service was friendly and professional.

                  The mains were mostly under $30, except the steaks which were closer to $40, understandably. The prices were reasonable for downtown Montreal. Good place for a dinner if you need to be able to converse, and if you have some conservative tastes in your group. I liked seeing some dishes on the menu that would have been common in the 70s and 80s in Montreal, that are now fairly rare on contemporary Montreal menus.

                  Thanks for the suggestion of L'Autre Saison, carswell.

                  Also, enjoyed a business dinner at Renoir in the Sofitel the night before my dinner at L'Autre Saison. It was a louder restaurant, as I expected, even at 10 pm. I enjoyed the exotic fruit salad with tempura shrimp, and the eggplant caviar tarte, but wasn't that impressed with the gingerbread mousse with chocolate, or the raspberry clafouti, which looked better than they tasted. Great service, though. The menu at Renoir was on the innovative side for a couple of the people in our group.