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Quebecois restaurants near Le Square

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We're a family of 5 visiting Montreal for first time for one weekend only (beginning December) We would like great local food; somewhere a little bit special (it's my son's 21st birthday), with a good atmosphere but not too formal. We're staying in LeSquare but happy to take a taxi if necessary. Our budget is about $50 per head max. I would welcome any suggestions. Thank you.

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    1. re: kpzoo

      probably Le Square Phillips .... center of downtown

      1. re: kpzoo

        Probably Le Square Phillips (on Phillip Square), and there actually is a restaurant on Prince Arthur called Le Square, 162, rue Prince Arthur Est..

        1. re: EaterBob

          Maybe one of the restaurants in Old Montreal, not too far by taxi. There are several listed elsewhere on site here are a couple which are not formal as per your request: le bremner for seafood (chuck hughs new resto); http://restaurantlorignal.com/menu-20...

          There is Lemeac further afield in Outremont but probably too sedate for celebrating a 21st birthday. Other options that could be of interest are BYOB restaurants usually in plateau area. What kind of food does your son like....

          The APDC resto is kind of unique but is rather plain and crowded to celebrate a birthday, here is menu and there is seafood option

          http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.c...

          1. re: mangoannie

            These are good recs, but I find your description of APDC as being plain a little odd. In fact, if one is looking for Quebecois cuisine in a festive atmosphere, I can't imagine anywhere better (unless there are unadventurous eaters attending).

            1. re: Fintastic

              its plain in decor for my tastes and in fact I have gone with guests from out of town (sat both at tables and bar and not impressed with decor nor hustle and bustle) and I certainly would not take them there to celebrate a birthday. It is not a great choice for everybody-I have to drag my family there as not interested in most of menu offerings. Unadventuresome is narrow term as people can have interest in variety, exotic fare but not necessarily foie gras, pigs parts etc and yes I know they have fish. .. Festive no, chaotic, noisy yes!

              1. re: mangoannie

                I've actually discussed this point before on this board. The interiors of PDC are now more than a decade old.. What initially made them interesting and groundbreaking has now been duplicated and elaborated on by dozens of restaurant in Montreal and elsewhere. It is also chaotic, especially if seated in the alley by the kitchen. These points get no argument from me.

                My reasons for recommending PDC in this specific instance are the following:
                1) To me, quebecois cooking/dining is about chaos: its not refined, its not apologetic, and its not good for you. Nor does it try to be revolutionary and exotic: it consists of readily available ingredients prepared with a heavy hand (and by this i refer both to dishes served and interior design)
                2) If I were once again a 21 year old man and coming from out of town, this is exactly the kind of place I'd like to spend my birthday. At my first visit to PDC I was not much older than this, and it changed my whole perspective on dining (although it was a very different dining environment back then).
                3) This WAS a revolutionary restaurant. It changed our dining scene. More importantly, it is one of few "fine dining" restaurant in the city that serves quebecois food, especially with a price tag of <$50 pp. Even with a beer each or a shared bottle of wine, this family should have no problems coming in under this budget before tip.

                My purpose in mentioning adventurousness was not to stir debate, only to highlight the fact that finding "plain" food at PDC is not always easy for those who prefer standard dishes (or who come from places where eating pig parts is less common). I understand that adventurousness can consist of things other than foie gras and organ meat. However, this restaurant is a place where I have consumed still living, squirming seafood, seal meat, and animal parts I've seen listed on few other menus anywhere in the world.

      2. Québecois Restaurant ?!? hmmmm. Traditional cuisine I guess would be APDC

        If you want something traditional to Québec, A smoke meat sandwich indeed a schwartz or main. A poutine but this is such fast food.

        If not I would maybe suggest for entertainment a medieval style restaurant called L'auberge du Dragon Rouge.

        http://www.oyez.ca/

        use google web page translate if you don't understand 'Le French"

        have fun in Montreal

        -----
        Auberge Du Dragon Rouge
        8870 Rue Lajeunesse, Montreal, QC H2M1R6, CA