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Quiet, romantic, not too pricey downtown.

maisonbistro Apr 27, 2010 08:13 AM

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.

  1. d
    danaelife Sep 23, 2010 06:49 PM

    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

    4 Replies
    1. re: danaelife
      kpaxonite Sep 23, 2010 06:52 PM

      Pullmans is sexy but at the very upper limit of moderate pricing. Every time Ive been for drinks and a couple little bites to eat its been 100 for two (not close to a full meal)

      1. re: danaelife
        eoj Sep 24, 2010 12:38 AM

        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.

        1. re: eoj
          superbossmom Sep 24, 2010 04:07 AM

          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.

          Bistro Gourmet
          2100 Rue Saint-Mathieu, Montreal, QC H3H2J4, CA

          1. re: superbossmom
            eoj Sep 24, 2010 10:03 AM

            According to the Bistro Gourmet website, they had a major fire. There's an email listed that will notify people when they re-open.


            Bistro Gourmet
            2100 Rue Saint-Mathieu, Montreal, QC H3H2J4, CA

      2. k
        kpaxonite Sep 23, 2010 04:31 PM

        I think a good solution very close to downtown is Pintxo. Excellent food and value.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kpaxonite
          danaelife Sep 23, 2010 06:59 PM

          Pinxto is also really good. You can have a tapas style meal or a normal main plate + tapas appetizers. Small place but they cram in quite a few tables.

          1. re: danaelife
            kpaxonite Sep 23, 2010 07:33 PM

            I just want to point out that the restaurant is called PINTXO (no offence to you...)

            It is almost always misspelled on chowhound for some reason.


            1. re: kpaxonite
              carswell Sep 23, 2010 07:46 PM

              «It is almost always misspelled on chowhound for some reason.»

              Probably because "tx" is an unnatural letter combination in English. My mnemonic is that the resto is pint-sized.

        2. w
          WestIslandian Sep 23, 2010 04:27 PM

          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

          1 Reply
          1. re: WestIslandian
            carswell Sep 23, 2010 07:51 PM

            Not to be a party pooper, but maisonbistro posted her query in April. Chances are good that her friend has already made and acted on his or her decision.

          2. TheSnowpea Apr 27, 2010 03:23 PM

            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

            1 Reply
            1. re: TheSnowpea
              danaelife Sep 23, 2010 06:55 PM

              Le Caveau is pretty good. They offer both an evening Table d'Hote and an open menu.

            2. m
              Maximilien Apr 27, 2010 09:32 AM

              Decca 77 ?
              Newtown ? (is it still in renovation ?)

              Decca 77
              1077, rue Drummond, Montréal, QC H3B 4X4, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maximilien
                kpaxonite Sep 23, 2010 04:29 PM

                Newtown nor decca 77 are smallish/quaint.

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