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Nov 19, 2009 06:01 AM

Best birthday BYOB?

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!

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  1. 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.

    1. 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

        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

          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

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: cherylmtl

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

            1. re: davidpg

              "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

                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. 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

              Just to clear things up...

              I'm guessing that by Steak et Frites you mean Steak Frites St-Paul?

              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

                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

                  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. 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

                  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.