Looking for 2 restaurants for large group dinners over Grand Prix weekend
Good morning, all. This is a re-run of a question I posed two years ago (to great effect).
I'm coming up to Montreal (my favorite city in North America) from New England for the Grand Prix in June, with a very large group of fellow enthusiasts. I need to find two restaurants for dinner, probably on Fri and Sat nights (though it could be Thu and Sat).
Have done this a few times in the past, with some great and not so great results. I love the restaurant scene in MTL, but sometimes it doesn't work well with such a large group, even when we've taken over the place entirely. Biggest problem is that the kitchen is overwhelmed with 40-50 orders, even with a limited menu.
We're staying downtown at the Hyatt (Jeanne Mance at Complexe Desjardin). Would like at least one place to be close, and happy to travel a bit to the other.
Saturday night will be 60-80 folks
Friday night (could be Thurs) will be 30-60 folks
Promise that people won't starve waiting for food
Genuinely good food, but recognize that these many folks having a dinner party is not condusive.
$60-80, including tax and gratuity, but not including wine
Wine & drinks would be purchased individually, or happy to bring our own wine if permitted
Need not be a famous place, especially since it's GP weekend. A nice family place that could support us would be great.
Any and all recommendations appreciated!!!
--Dennis (or email, BigHeadDennis using gmail dot com)
Ariel on Drummond does a great job of groups. They even can block of a large room that looks like an outdoor courtyard but is in fact inside ( good for that time of the year) You can order from the menu or create a three choice table d'hote that is easier for the kitchen to handle with that size of group. Ariel has a nice Montreal bistro feel with good attention to service. Check it out: http://www.arielrestaurant.com/
I organized a dinner for between 40-50 people a couple of summers ago, at le Steak Frites St-Paul (www.steakfrites.ca, the St-Antoine location, not far from your hotel). They offered a more limited prix fixe with about 3-4 choices by service, but price was very reasonnable, it's a BYOB, and I remember them going a good job with the service, no one ate cold or had to wait very long. And food was good (especially considering they were serving a little under 50 people).
With that amount of people I do not suggest a sit-down dinner, unless you organize something in an hotel where they can handle that quantity of people (in the kitchen and the wait staff)
You should do a cocktail/tapas kind of thing.
For example "Le Local" in old-montreal have a room that could fit you. (http://resto-lelocal.com/) and I'm certain they could do something nice.