Authentic Montreal resto recs with veg options
A group of us are heading up to Montreal for a bachelorette party over 4th of July weekend and I'm having a hard time finding a fabulous restaurant. Looking for something fun and upscale (great cocktails a bonus) but we also have a strict vegetarian (e.g. no meat/fish stock, etc.) eater in our group so many of the places I've already checked (Garde Manger, Koko, Au Pied de Cochon, etc.. you get the idea of the type of venue i'm looking for) do not really have vegetarian options (beyond a salad appetizer). Would love to get a recommendation that has it all-- fun atmosphere/good crowd, strong drinks, GREAT food, a plus if it's more on the frenchie side versus Asian, Spanish, etc. (we ARE in montreal for the first time after all...) but will take any and all suggestions at this point. Also planning on hitting up the Rue St Laurent afterwards so somewhere kind of close by to that area would be great (or a quick cab ride away).
We're from NYC so used to good eats... hoping to find an amazing resto in Montreal that the bride will remember fondly (and that will cater to a veg eater)!
Thanks in advance!!
10 Sherbrooke Rue West, Montreal, QC H2X 4C9, CA
Au Cinquième Péché meets all your criteria except maybe one. Typically Montreal, fun, excellent food and drink -- mostly modern French (the owners hail from a village near Lille) but with Quebec and fusion elements -- and always at least one purely vegetarian option (often a twist on sweet potato gnocchi, e.g. with chestnuts, roasted tomatoes and local cheese). The exception is possibly "upscale (great cocktails a bonus)" since the decor is more bistro-like with tile floors, wood chairs and no tablecloths and since they're more wine- than cocktail-oriented. Service, presentation, cooking and the rest are all first-rate, however. Also, since they no longer post their menu on their website, you'd best mention your vegetarian requirements when making a reservation. www.aucinquiemepeche.com
Upscaler Laloux looks like it may have a vegetarian main on today's menu. You could always call and ask what they could do for you. Forewarned, they're almost certain to be able to treat a vegetarian right. www.laloux.com
aaah amazing!! and love a bistro-decor, that totally works. do you have any idea how close either of these places are to the rue st laurent by chance? And the first one (too long to spell out!) you recommended, any idea if it is similar in price to Laloux? THANK YOU!! i knew i could count on chowhound readers!
What Max said.
Pricewise, Au Cinquième Péché ("the fifth sin," often abbreviated a5p) runs less than Laloux. Mains typically are in the C$20-35 range. Appetizers are $8 to $15+. Desserts are $7 or $8, IIRC. For $13 added to the price of your main, you get your choice of soup or salad (both far from standard issue) and any of the often trippy desserts.
While a5p's vibe is small, casual, neighbourhood bistro, Laloux is bigger, fancier (tablecloths, extensive wine list, pastry chef, etc.) and set in one of the city's great public spaces.
I do think a vegetarian could be happy with a tarte de tomates and an endive, apple, blue cheese salad at Au Pied de Cochon which allows everyone to have a fun and exciting time. Otherwise, maybe L'Express would work. And my friends really enjoyed the martinis and tartare bar at Marché 27 which is very close to St-Laurent (if it is still around, website seems to be gone). There's also a lot of vegetarian choice on the menu at Robin des Bois which is not necessarily GREAT food or great service but it has a cool concept, being run by volunteers, profits go to charity, and the ambiance can be really nice. Just some extra ideas for you.
3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA
My vegetarian husband I went to Au Pied de Cochon (with his very carnivorous father) and he was thrilled with salad and tart mentioned above. A number of places will make a special vegetarian option on request (some need notice)- I know Le Locale, Montee de Lait, Kitchen Galerie have all been willing when I have contacted them in the past.
60 Rue Jean-Talon E, Montreal, QC H2R1S5, CA
Just be aware: Montreal is not a cocktail town, so don't expect fancy mixology in restaurants and bistros. We tend to run more to wines (and beer). This is due to the limitations set by a province-wide liquor board.
Perhaps in some bars will offer better choices. When I complained that I had to go to Manhanttan for good cocktails, a buddy recommended I try Chien Fumant for cocktails and said the bartender knows his stuff. I've yet to take him up on that recc.
But I will echo the reccs for Cinquième Péché. Very much worth visiting.