Quiet, romantic, not too pricey downtown.
Help me out please. A friend of mine needs a place downtown for dinner, which will be smallish, quaintish, romaticish.
Type of food is not a problem and price should be moderate.
Since I haven't been out to dinner or downtown in a dog's age and then some, I'm not sure what to recommend.
PS: It's for a friday night if that makes a difference.
For smallish, quaintish, romanticish, I would suggest (in order of my personal preference):
1) Grenadine (www.grenadine.ca). French Fusion. The menu is seasonal and the current Table d'Hote ranges from $24 to $50. Dessert is extra. It's on the corner of Hotel de Ville and Ontario though so it's very NEAR downtown but not actually downtown. Bonus: it's a BYOW/B.
2) Pullman's (www.pullman-mtl.com). A really nice, not too big wine bar. Not overly snooty. Small, interesting menu. This place would be great for people who like wine and just want to relax and talk. Low lighting with warm wood and brushed steel accents. The gallery on the website has some good pictures of the place. The only thing is that the menu pretty much consists of small, to-be-shared dishes. Think of a kind of tapas type situation. Which would be annoying for some people...but personally I find it kinda on the sexy side of romantic to share food. Their chocolate truffles are delicious. Price per person is hard to estimate as it depends on how big an eater the person is and what gets ordered as well as how much wine. Located on du Parc and Sherbrooke.
3) Amelios (www.ameliospizza.com). American Italian. Pizza, pasta, subs. Tiny place good, cheap food. I would ballpark a 3-course meal at about $20-$25 depending on what you order. I really like the pasta here. Corner of Milton and St. Famille. Also a BYOB/W. Con: can be a bit of a wait as it's very popular.
As an afterthought I might suggest Bice (I think pronounced Bee-chay) (www.bicemontreal.com) on Sherbrooke and Simpson (between Mackay and Guy). I've never been myself and have heard very conflicting things... at a glance, it seems to be a touch pretentious in the menu design but I've heard both VERY positive and slightly negative comments on the food. I have however passed by it many many times and it's not an overly large place, is right downtown and LOOKS absolutely beautiful. They have this gorgeous fairy lit terrace in the summer too. But yeah....this place meets the more superficial aspect of your requirements...I'm just not sure about the food. Restomontreal.com rating of 4 out of 5 stars though. Pricing is not cheap but not horrendously expensive....so depends on your view of moderate.
If you would consider other areas (Plateau, Westmount, Old montreal) I might have some other suggestions but for the immediate downtown area I think these are good options without getting into the overhyped 'undertasted' restaurants that downtown is innundated with.
Would love to know what your friend decides on and what they thought!
201 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1V5, CA
I went to Bice once ... it was very pretentious. It's a place to see and be seen, but not a place to eat. The food was not so good (they couldn't make a decent risotto and it's an Italian place!) and it was way too expensive for the quality.
My suggestion for romantic downtown would be Bistro Gourmet. It's small, cozy, and has charming service and nice food.
Bistro Gourmet has been under renovation for 6 months; no sign of reopening soon.
Bice is certainly glitzy, but it's lively, not quaint ; I was there twice recently and my experience was excellent , the food was very good.
2100 Rue Saint-Mathieu, Montreal, QC H3H2J4, CA
I'd recommend Robin des bois: delicious food, reasonable prices, nicely decorated, friendliest waitstaff ever because they're volunteers, and it's smallish and (in my opinion) romantic, my first time there was for Valentine's Day and perhaps that notion stuck with me? Anyways, I thought it was charming and the fact that all profit goes to charity is also a touching notion
Robin des bois
4653 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T1R2, CA
With Max, I liked Decca's prix fixe. It's perhaps not smallish quaintish, because it's in an office building... more like cool, urban. But the waitstaff's attentive and the food is creative.
For quaint and quiet, I'm thinking Restaurant Le Caveau, corner of Victoria and President Kennedy, near McGill U. I'm not sure they have a prix fixe. I've been for business lunches, it was cute.
Oooh further edit: Ariel has got a covered courtyard that is super cute and "romanticish"
2072 drummond, Montreal, QC H3G 1W9, CA
Restaurant Le Caveau
2063 Rue Victoria, Montreal, QC H3A2A3, CA