Looking for a place with "personality"
A friend is coming up from NYC for a few days and we're using her as an excuse to go out. Being as how it's just after Christmas the higher end places are beyond our means (we've done a few of them in any case).
I'd like to go somewhere with a "thing" -- your meat comes around on a sword, the owner tells you what to order and talks to you as it's cooking... not sure how clear I'm making this. I don't mean something like O noir but something fun would be nice.
We'll be three adults and two teens so I need to find a place that will appeal to all of us but won't cost a fortune.
I was about to recommend La Bete Humaine, where you cook your meat on a hot stone, but they're still closed due to a gas leak - too bad.
For something along the same lines, there's Japanese fondue (shabu shabu), where you cook your meat / veggies in an infused broth. Hanashima in Chinatown offers this - haven't tried it yet:
Something fun could be to take a group cooking class - I've done a few with Atelier et Saveurs in Old Montreal and liked it, either during lunch (1h30) or for diner (2-3h). It's not too expensive considering your meal is covered, and you can learn a few tricks while having a good time. Groups are usually between 12-15 people. The courses are in French, but they translate in English if needed as we go along. They have food, wine and bar courses, with a detailed agenda on-line: http://www.ateliersetsaveurs.com/en/home
Let us know where you end up going!
How about a Middle Eastern place that offers a shisha lounge or North African with belly dancing? Jounieh comes to mind for the shisha...it is an Egyptian place on Cote Vertu. For the belly dancing, Menara (moroccan in Old Mtl) or Couscoussiere Ali Baba (tunisian in the Village).
Edited since wattacetti posted while I wrote.
Le Milsa on Bishop for Brezilian meat on a sword is fun, although not unique to Mtl. All you can eat for a fixed price ($30) the grilled meat keeps coming until you tell them to stop. They also have dancers performing throughout the evening. www.lemilsa.com
A few other ideas come to mind... Why not dim sum in China town? Perhaps some Korean BBQ? Oooh... maybe Pintxo for interesting and delicious tapas.
I would also recommend le cantine, but they are closed this week. If your friends stay longer, it may be good place to take them.
"Meat on a sword" makes me think of Le Milsa but you don't need to come here to eat there.
The owner talks/suggests could be either Navarette at Raza (nice but outside your stated price range) or Kitchen Galerie (talks/suggest/cook/serve).
Is there a reason to need "personality" for your dining experience?
I wanted to take her somewhere really different. She's been up here often enough that we've hit most of the mainstays.
When we go there we do stuff like the Jeckyll and Hyde club or family-style in Little Italy and the "sword" thing is something we keep meaning to do but never manage.