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Where is a romantic spot with good steak (Montreal)

Hey! I've shopped around the board, other review sites and the like and I'm still having trouble finding somewhere for a romantic, intimate dinner that includes steak.

I'll be in the city on Saturday, and my girlfriend LOVES steak when she goes out to eat. I'm fond of more adventurous fare, but I do love steak as well.

I have made a reservation at Moishe's, but it doesn't seem intimate at all.

Anyway, my requirements:

Intimate/Private seating
Modern or at least pleasant atmosphere
GOOD to GREAT filet
Budget: $300
Old Montreal, Downtown.

Thanks in advanced!

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  1. Joe Beef?

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    Joe Beef
    2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: SourberryLily

      I had trouble finding reviews of the atmosphere and the like.

      1. re: bdonohue

        Assuming it hasn't changed much in the last couple of years, I don't think Joe Beef meets your atmosphere requirements. It's a casual, bustling, dimly lit place, with most of the tables quite close together (along with a few booths).

        But all this may be moot: it's unlikely you'll get a table for this Saturday, let alone a booth for two. And while their site does describe the fare as "steaks and seafood" I don't think there's any guarantee you'll see filet on the menu.

        Some photos here: http://joebeef.ca/sandbox/photo/main....

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        Joe Beef
        2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

        1. re: Mr F

          Hm okay. I didn't catch that when I looked the first time. Thanks for the link.

    2. I always liked Gibby's in Old Montreal....dark and can be cozy if you get the right table for two.

      14 Replies
      1. re: FrenchPeach

        Okay, I wasn't certain if they were "Mess Hall" style like Moishe's. Thanks for the suggestion.

        1. re: FrenchPeach

          Gibbys has the ambiance but the food is a horrible tourist trap in my opinion.

          Then again, i had the magret de canard and it was so dry and tasteless that i never went back to try anything else.

            1. re: wattacetti

              I guess... Maybe it was a special of the night? I don't know i just know that's what i had a pfffffffff dissapointing

            2. re: SourberryLily

              The "tourist" thing scares me. I hate touristy places. There's always the possibility of The Keg, but seriously, we have that in Ottawa. We have "Steak" here which is modern and... Steak is their focus. Too bad there isn't an equivalent in MTL

              1. re: bdonohue

                We have Kegs in Montreal too, but why bother leaving Ottawa?

                1. re: wattacetti

                  It's a weekend getaway trip, and I have everything nailed down but the food. Well, the "Fine" food. Although I am looking for suggestions for smoked meat and poutine. I was just thinking La Belle for those. Saturday dinner is my "big hole" right now

                  1. re: bdonohue

                    Do not go to La Belle Province for smoked meat or anything else, but especially not smoked meat.

                    If you've never been to Schwartz's, go to Schwartz's.

                    For poutine, most will recommend La Banquise. A good choice.

                    If you must have both at the same meal, go to the Main (across the street from Schwartz's).

                    For your Saturday dinner problem, you might have a hard time finding a table anywhere good only four days out. If you're flexible on the classic romantic ambiance, maybe try one of the better bistros? La Chronique has already been suggested, also consider places such as Leméac and Laloux. Depending on how much you've travelled, any of these will give you a bit of an "almost-in-France" feel that can be romantic without relying on candlelight etc. (Most bistros will have at least one steak on the menu.)

                    1. re: Mr F

                      Mr F, I have 4 reservations out. It might be a crime to reserve and not go, but I wanted hitch free. My "traveling" includes, Winnipeg, Toronto, Halifax, Vegas and Calgary.

                      1. re: bdonohue

                        It's not a "crime"... as long as you give the three you blow off time to fill their table. Simply no-showing is incredibly rude.

                        1. re: Mr F

                          Very fair. I was planning on solidifying my selection tonight.

                          1. re: bdonohue

                            I figured as much. Sorry if that sounded too harsh, but there are people out there who think it's perfectly fine...

                            1. re: Mr F

                              I work service, I understand. I just book many until I decide.

            3. Not a good combo for Montreal (steak + romantic + Old Montreal). Does it have to be steak?

              The steakhouses: Moishe's, Queue de Cheval, Rib & Reef, Gibby's, Aurochs (not really in Montreal). None are particularly "romantic" but Gibby's (as per FrenchPeach's suggestion) still touts its 3 feet thick stone walls and ambiance. It's also located in Old Montreal and of course has free valet parking.

              The places serving large pieces of meat: Joe Beef, APDC. Not steakhouses, not romantic, not in Old Montreal.

              Restaurant du Vieux-Port: does serve steak and is in Old Montreal, bit (a lot?) touristy.

              Club Chasse et Peche might have filet as their chasse et peche option or as part of the chaud et costaud, but best to call. In Old Montreal, not a steak place.

              If you need just cow, La Chronique has Angus three ways. Intimate private seating yes, not in Old Montreal.

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              Joe Beef
              2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: wattacetti

                Great help. *I* enjoy non-steak. The girlfriend tends to... Only order steak? So if it's on the menu that's a plus, otherwise I'll have some convincing to do!

                1. re: wattacetti

                  I second Club Chasse et Peche (for the intimate and romatic), go for the surf &turf. (Chasse et pêche).. It's trully a restaurant for special occasions

                2. Two options come to mind. Neither are steakhouses but steak can be had and I think they meet your other criteria:
                  1. da Emma: very nice Italian food; mostly Roman but they do have bistecca alla fiorentina (giant t-bone) that is very tasty - and preferable to a filet, IMO.
                  2. Bonaparte: they have a couple of steak options as well as many non-steak options for you.
                  I've been very happy with both places. Both have some tables that are more private than others; maybe request a more private one when you reserve.
                  Neither of these places get a lot of "buzz" but i'm not sure why.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: stak

                    Stak, I've read about both and am considering both greatly. I would *adore* da Emma. BYOW, or? That's something "new" to me as well, never brought my own bottle.

                        1. re: bdonohue

                          Be warned, the bistecca at Emma is BIG. Hubby & I usually share one salad, one pasta, one steak, and possibly a dessert...and we're fairly big eaters. I've heard the meatballs (appetizer, i think) are great, too but we've never tried 'cause we always get the steak & that would be meat overload! Oh, I guess we also share potatoes & a veg.

                          1. re: stak

                            Okay stak, you've got me effin' convinced. I was on the fence about it. But as long as she gets her beef in her (at the resto and after), she's happy. Italian is my favourite.

                            1. re: bdonohue

                              Da Emma is very good. It's in Old Montreal, and it also has a lovely outdoor terrasse. Between Da Emma and Club Chasse et Peche, you will do fine, if you can get a reservation at either.

                      1. re: bdonohue

                        BYOW is a nice perk to a good restaurant. Opens up the choices and you can get a much better bottle for a lower price then you would at a restaurant.

                        Just make sure you get your wine from SAQ stores (and time yourself with their opening hours) and NOT convenience or grocery stores. That would be such a waste....

                        1. re: SourberryLily

                          That's a given :-D. There's a specific White Zin and a Rose that she enjoys, so I'd look for either.

                          1. re: SourberryLily

                            OP's from Ottawa, they got cheaper stuff at the LCBO>: D

                            1. re: vanierstudent

                              I always thought QC was cheaper. Oh well, bahaha. I'm excited as hell for this trip, but I wanna cause a "bang" with the food if you know what I mean. Here I've organized with the resto to have wine + private table + flowers all set before we get there, but MTL scares me a bit.

                              1. re: bdonohue

                                I always thought it was the other way around lol.

                                Have fun with that dinner:)

                      2. I just wanted to say, insofar, all of you folks have been godlike.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bdonohue

                          We'll continue to be if you report back on how your evening went. Hope you have fun this weekend.

                          1. re: wattacetti

                            40 westt is great, excellent steak and seafood and I would say a nice romantic atmosphere, in the west island. I went a few times and was never dissapointed...

                            http://www.40westt.com/

                            1. re: humbert

                              Really? I've been there too and my impression has been QdC but with soccer moms. I also recall it's a big industrial space, given that it's in the same building frame that also houses Golf Town.

                        2. You're better off with a hanger steak at one of the smaller and more intimate French bistros than a steakhouse in this city. I'm not sure when a steakhouse is ever 'romantic' though...

                          I'm sure you could get a good piece of meat at places like L'Orignal and others like it in Old Mtl... which happens to have a fun ambiance that could possibly fit the romantic element too.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: OliverB

                            I forgot that she loves hanger steak! And I'm sure that there are some places that serve a little more than a "small" plate, unlike Beckta's Play here in Ottawa... Which is great, I might add.

                            Thanks for the suggestion.

                            1. re: bdonohue

                              If you're looking for someplace to compare to Play (my second-favourite Ottawa restaurant - my favourite is Beckta...), I would suggest Le Filet (although I don't know if they have any form of steak on their menu), otherwise one of the many good bistros around town - Tuck Shop, Le Chien Fumant, La Salle a Manger, Kitchenette, Brasserie T.

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                              Le Chien Fumant
                              4710 Rue de Lanaudière, Montreal, QC H2J 3P7, CA

                              1. re: cherylmtl

                                Never been to Beckta or Play, so I can't compare them but I had a great bavette (steak frites) at Laloux recently. Nice atmosphere, too. If you're not set on Old Montreal or downtown, Laloux could be a good option. The Plateau is a great neighbourhood. I loved Le Filet too, but found it quite noisy & bustling, not super-romantic. I don't remember if there was any steak on the menu but it was mostly small plates for sharing; although there were a couple of "big plates" meant for 2.

                          2. Also, I'm sure it's been noted in the 37 previous responses but Moishe's is a terrible choice... unless you're over sixty and eat dinner at five-thirty in the afternoon, or an American tourist on business treating clients. It fits none of your prerequisites... no ambience, no intimacy, and most importantly- for what's supposedly Montreal's best steakhouse, the food is not very good.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: OliverB

                              Well, rumors (and not) have it that they revamped the decor and the menu recently.

                              1. re: Maximilien

                                I wouldn't trust that... they're doing a lunch special now from what I've heard. Why anyone would want to go to Moishe's for lunch though, special or not, is beyond me. I really don't think they'll last much longer.

                                Back to the topic... I had a fantastic hanger at Lemeac on Monday night! $25 on the after 10pm menu with a huge app of grilled squid and zucchini Not really a romantic atmosphere though, if eating int he dining room. If you're set on eating in Old Montreal, Chez l'Épicier does a good filet. On St-Denis, Les Trois Petits Bouchons as well, though the menu is seasonal and I'm not sure what's currently offered. On the same street, there's another french bistro, Justine Bistro A Vin , also serving filet in a cozy little space. Pyrus Bistronomique on St-Laurent has good hanger steak and filet as well. Any of the finer dining restaurants in Old Montreal like XO, Aix, etc. will probably serve a good steak too.

                                1. re: OliverB

                                  While I too would prefer a hangar steak in a bistro setting, I have to say that my worst meal at Moishe's was far more enjoyable than my best meal at Chez L'Epicier.

                                  1. re: eat2much

                                    Been a long time since I've been to Chez L'Epicier so it's certainly possible, but I have to say that my worst meal at Moishe's was... well, I'm not sure what to compare it with but certainly not better than anything else mentioned so far! French bistros aren't particularly 'romantic' I don't think, but you'll definitely get a better hanger steak at L'Express or anywhere similar and a better value. Even if the food at Moishe's wasn't terrible though, it's definitely not an appropriate place for a romantic dinner date - renovations or not. If the OP makes reservations for the terrasse at Lemeac on a nice evening than perhaps it could work. Romantic and steak dinner usually aren't associated for me though and I'd sooner go for something regional, Greek, Spanish, even Italian, ett. if good food and intimate setting were important factors.

                                  2. re: OliverB

                                    Slight correction, Pyrus Bistronomique is on Laurier not St-Laurent

                                    As for the Old Montreal options, I wouldn't recomment Aix to anyone, went with the family for my mom's bday a few weeks ago, horrible service, food was not better than OK, definitly not a place i would want to go again anytime soon.

                              2. Ok guys

                                Moishes has a new chef, renovated and has a 3 hours to midnight menu

                                their food is fantastic. So please quit knocking it as a reaction because unless you've been recently, you have no idea what you are talking about.

                                Check out today's mirror for a review

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: celfie

                                  That's possible, but as someone who's spent nearly every other Sunday evening of his childhood in this diningroom... I think my criticisms are valid. The last time I was there, I sent my steak back twice and still never got it right. Everything was just awful. Did they revamp the menu with this new chef? Remember they tried this with their more stylish and modernized Toronto restaurant too (even had a cigar lounge and cocktail bar) which didn't quite work out... Great if they've fixed things though, but there's still no doubt that the food and atmosphere have been terrible for at least the past 15 years. I still think I'll wait until a grandparent drags me back for family dinner some night before reassessing though, as I feel little incentive to try it out on my own.

                                  1. re: OliverB

                                    It's basically the same menu, except added a couple of items(like a Kobe burger(probably the same Kobe patty as M:Brgr) & crab cake). They cut some of their prices, but reducing the portion size(for their lunch menu & '3 hours to midnight menu'). They held a media event last month for their re-launch(Lesley Chesterman was there, & wrote about them recently in The Gazoo).

                                2. It's too late, but heck, in case someone else looks this thread up later on, here's my suggestion.

                                  It's not in Old Montreal, it's perhaps not the most romantic spot (but cozy and fun), but it's where I've had the biggest, scariest, tastiest steak in town: the beef rib plate for two at Kitchen Galerie. Epic.

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                                  Kitchen Galerie
                                  60 Rue Jean-Talon E, Montreal, QC H2R1S5, CA

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: TheSnowpea

                                    Oh yes, that côte de bœuf at Kitchen Galerie is one fantastic piece of meat.

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                                    Kitchen Galerie
                                    60 Rue Jean-Talon E, Montreal, QC H2R1S5, CA

                                  2. For good atmosphere, beautiful decor, great food and good service, I suggest you go to the Bonaparte.
                                    www.restaurantbonaparte.ca