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Best birthday BYOB?

tonbo Nov 19, 2009 06:01 AM

I know this topic has probably been done to death, but anyway: my birthday is on Nov. 28 and my wife and I were planning to have a few friends (maybe a max party of 6) come along to Basi, a really nice Italian place near JT market. Everyone would pay their own way.

But then I thought (or rather, my wallet did) that with the wines flowing liberally, the night would probably top $120 per couple -- or more. So I thought, if I could find a somewhat classy BYOB (any cuisine) we could save on the marked-up booze and bring along some nice, cheap bottles of bubbly & maybe some dep wines (we're not wine snobs) and make up for it with the food.

Any suggestions? I was thinking Eduardo's but it's too cramped. The places in Little India are too downscale, as are the Vietnamese places.

Pretty much any cuisine is good . . . just needs a hint of classiness for my esteemed birthday-hood!

Thanks in advance!

  1. carswell Nov 25, 2009 06:43 PM

    Not a recco since I've never eaten there, but Bitoque -- www.bitoque.ca -- would meet a lot of your criteria. And you could take along some of the great QPR Portuguese wines on offer at the SAQ (e.g. the red 2008 Vinho regional Estremadura from Quinta de Bons-Ventos @ $12.10).

    1 Reply
    1. re: carswell
      Chocolatine Nov 26, 2009 06:18 AM

      I had a good time at Bitoque a while ago, we shared a couple of plates and enjoyed the food and the decor.

      Another idea would be Macao on St-Denis near Ontario, which I think fits your criteria:
      The prices seem to have risen slightly since my last visit about a year ago, but I remember the food to be good and satisfying.

    2. j
      JadeMyst Nov 24, 2009 05:59 PM

      I went to an Italian byow on a Sunday which is their day for large groups doing celebrations. They may take large parties on other evenings. My friends and I had a great time and very good food. I had a very tasty veal marsala and I opted for the vegetables rather than the pasta side as I really like Italian braised then roasted potatoes' the other side veggies were still crisp broccoli, not overcooked from sitting on a steam table, carrots, a bit of swede, a piece of corn on the cob and mushrooms which were incorporated into the marsala sauce. Another friend had the sausage risotto, the risotto was good, but I'm not fond of sausage in risotto, and another friend had the pasta with shrimp in fra diablo sauce. The shrimp were large and plentiful on top of made-on-the-premises pasta. I didn't taste any of his as I was already tucking into my dish. The bread basket came with 3 homemade Italian rustic mini baguettes and a jar of room temperature butter. The bread was so lovely that I asked to put the half loaf left into my doggie bag. He left without taking the bread and returned with a bag that had another whole mini loaf in it for me. I took the half loaf remaining in the basket as well.

      My friends said they would definitely return to the resataurant again with our other friends who didn't make it on this dinner date.

      La Campagnola 1708-1714 Avenue Dollard Lasalle 514-363-4066

      street parking... there is a strip mall across the street with parking but I'm not sure if one can get away with parking there then sneaking across the road to the restaurant.

      The Lasalle branch of the Pushap is diagonally across the street in the strip mall.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JadeMyst
        kpzoo Nov 24, 2009 07:38 PM

        There's a Lasalle branch of Pushap?! This I did not know - thank you!

        1. re: JadeMyst
          Andria Mar 4, 2010 04:26 PM

          I too like La Campagnola. I tried it last year with my very picky Italian mother. The food was good and abundant. Except for a little glitch in the service (but they were very busy), it was a wonderful evening. and we all vowed to return. Bonus, they cure some of their own meats. The staff were very nice and helpful.

        2. j
          johnnyboy Nov 22, 2009 12:01 PM

          I don't know any italian BYOB. If you don't insist on italian, you could try au Au Tarot - friendly BYOB couscous place, pretty decent, and if you go for the table d'hote it can also be pretty cheap.

          1 Reply
          1. re: johnnyboy
            KSC02 Nov 24, 2009 05:35 AM

            As SnackHappy mentions above, you may be hard-pressed to find a good meal out for under $60 per person, even with a BYOW. However, a recent thread, "Recommendations for good BYOs (and good restaurants with great wine lists) in Montreal and Quebec City" supplies a lot of information you're looking for and some pretty good posts.

          2. thehotplate Nov 20, 2009 01:00 PM

            As a student my friends were big into L'Academie, I personally think that the food is revolting (not to be a negative nancy). Here are some of my favorite alternatives

            Greek - Jardin de Panos (duluth)
            Algerian - Aux Coins Berbere (duluth)
            French - La Colombe (duluth)
            Sushi - Uchi (the village)
            Meat Lovers - A L'os
            Gourmet - Monsieur B (and any other restos this brilliant man owns) and Au Cinquieme Peche
            Steak or Confit - Steak et Frites

            these are a great starter list and offer an array of prices and styles of cuisine. If you want a bit more of an upscale birthday then i highly recommend monsieur b or au cinquieme peche! they have phenomenal table d'hote menus to help keep costs reasonable for a special birthday

            3 Replies
            1. re: thehotplate
              SnackHappy Nov 20, 2009 01:28 PM

              Just to clear things up...

              I'm guessing that by Steak et Frites you mean Steak Frites St-Paul? http://www.steakfrites.ca/

              Also, Au Cinquième Péché is not a BYO and will certainly bust the OPs budget. Actually I'm pretty sure that Le P'tit Plateau, A L'Os, Les Infidèles, O'thym or any of those fine dining BYOs would be out of the OP's price range. Trying to eat out for under $60 pp including, wine, tax and tip at a white tablecloth place or bistro, even if it is a BYO, is pretty close to impossible.

              1. re: thehotplate
                MTLinNYC Nov 21, 2009 09:44 AM

                Yup, L'Academie is truly disgusting. I haven't been to L'Os but looks promising. I must also add Pizzeria Napoletana, it is my fav birthday spot because 1) it's the best pizza in town and 2) totally solves the wallet issues. Wine lovers can bring a great bottle but everyone can feel comfortable. Plus, it's a fun vibe!

                1. re: MTLinNYC
                  cricri7 Nov 22, 2009 11:18 AM

                  There is an Italian BYOW downtown on Maisonneuve called Ennio. I haven't been there in a while but I loved it. It is around 25$ for the table d'hôte that is quite complete, 2 appetizers, plus the entree plus a salad and dessert, coffee. If you love veal, it is the place to go.

              2. cherylmtl Nov 19, 2009 01:52 PM

                Given the choice, I'd go with Le P'tit Plateau. Great food, and it's BYOB.

                3 Replies
                1. re: cherylmtl
                  davidpg Nov 20, 2009 12:34 PM

                  This. And share a glass of wine with Alain in the kitchen.

                  1. re: davidpg
                    moh Nov 24, 2009 02:52 PM

                    "This. And share a glass of wine with Alain in the kitchen."

                    umm, not if it's dep wine! He's pretty picky about his wine! It's gotta be pretty good plonk.

                    1. re: moh
                      KSC02 Mar 4, 2010 10:59 AM

                      Reading your post, moh, reminded me of a recent experience we had sa month or so ago at Le P'tit Plateau. A small group of us went there for dinner and, during the course of an otherwise great evening, decided to send a pour of 1997 Peter Michael Les Pavots for Alain. Never heard a word about it. I suppose it wasn't up to his palate. I made a mental note that it would be the last time I sent back a pour of fine Cabernet.

                2. m
                  Maximilien Nov 19, 2009 08:40 AM

                  I went to Les Infidèles last week-end and had a good time; they do good proper french food, nothing too fancy, but well prepared; and good service.

                  Restaurant Les Infideles
                  771 Rue Rachel E, Montreal, QC H2J2H4, CA

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Maximilien
                    Foie Gras Lover Nov 19, 2009 09:20 AM

                    You can go to O'Thym. For me, it's like Les Infidèles. Good food & good service.


                    Restaurant O Thym
                    1112 Boul De Maisonneuve E, Montreal, QC H2L1Z5, CA

                    1. re: Foie Gras Lover
                      tonbo Nov 19, 2009 01:58 PM

                      Maximilien and Foie…

                      Yes, the two restaurants seem very much alike, but I'll have to admit I'm a bit burned out on bistro/French. But I'll show the menus to my wife and see what she thinks. Gotta admit, I DO get into that "L'Express mood" every so often and it's great to know that there are good bistros around that are BYOB. I think there's a steak-frites or magret waiting for me at each one sometimes in the future.

                      But I was thinking more like . . . maybe an Italian place that has no pizzas and no waiters in tuxedos and no anything "Fra Diavolo" or "Amitriciana".

                      But really, any cuisine will do (too bad Keir Fatou went bye-bye), just that it can't be a hole in the wall.

                      But those two are now in my radar. Great suggestions! Thanks!

                    2. re: Maximilien
                      blond_america Nov 26, 2009 09:16 AM

                      I just went for a fifteen person birthday dinner at Les Infideles two weekends ago and everything was really great. They took care of us really well. It was a combination of people who were foodies and people who mainly eat chicken when they go out but everybody found something they liked. Nothing on the menu was that innovative but what they did was pretty good. My only regret was not getting a chance to try the sweetbread that my friend had ordered. By the time i got around to asking for a bite it was already gone :(

                    3. l
                      lagatta Nov 19, 2009 08:26 AM

                      Hi tonbo, please see the thread about no decent wines at dépanneurs. You'll find much better cheap plonk at SAQ for less money and under better storage conditions.

                      What kind of food do you like? There are no really top Italian BYOW places near Jean-Talon market, sadly.

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