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Nov 17, 2011 01:29 PM

Restos for solo weekend dinner: near downtown MTL

Hi all,
I'm visiting from New York, staying downtown for a conference, and find myself with a bad cold, so I won't be joining big groups for dinners and late nights, but I still want to eat well. I'd really love recommendations of places that would be friendly and delicious nearby (I'm happy taking the metro or bus to nearby neighborhoods - I'm on rene-levesque and l'hotel-de-ville). Specifications:
-A place that's good for a singleton - nice counter/bar service would be great
-Quieter places are welcome
-Any cuisine, but some ideas are Montreal cuisine, Japanese, Portuguese, French
-Elegant, not touristy
-Price point up to $20/entree
-Good wine is a plus

Thanks so much.

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  1. Are you, by chance, an anthropologist?

    I'm replying, but as I'm relatively new to town, I can't think of a place that will satisfy all your points above. I'll leave that to someone more seasoned.... but I'll give you my thoughts anyhow.

    I would not call any of these places "elegant."

    - If you have a cold and want soup: well, it's touristy but worth it - head over to St Laurent, across from Schwartz's is the Main... you're also not too far from Chinatown - try Pho Bac 97.

    - somewhere you can sit for dinner and wine: again, not elegant, I'd say laid-back. Try Sparrow on St Laurent (further north)... while just a cafe, I like Toi, Moi et Cafe on Fairmount - modestly priced light dinners, wine list. Both places are not far from either St Viateur or Fairmount bagels, open late.

    - I haven't tried any of these places, but they look nice! Heading south-west, you'll hit Notre Dame - between Guy and Atwater there are several places that l walk past all the time that look really good - Restaurant Jane (bistro), pub food=Burgundy Lion, Joe Beef (steak)... there's an italian place as well.... I'd try Jane if I were headed out for dinner.

    - Never been here for dinner but lunch is awesome: Kafein, on Bishop near Concordia. Their menu is on the website - cocktails, antipasto.

    Hope that's a little helpful! Maybe someone else can offer suggestions meeting all your requirements.

    4 Replies
    1. re: deadchildstar

      Busted! I'm an academic, and my field is anthropology-adjacent, which is why I'm in town. Thank you so much for your recommendations - I've read a lot of good stuff on here about Burgundy Lion, and Holder looks very good also and seems to be on the same block. Sparrow seems up my alley as well.

      As for elegance, I just don't want a place that's bare-bones or cheesy since I'm visiting... doesn't have to be fancypants.

      Again thanks and if you're going to the anthro conference too, have a great one!

      1. re: exalt

        Well, I'm only sneaking into a few panels... PhD student, which is why I have a handle on cheaper eats.

        Don't know anything about Holder, but it appears to be closer to Old Montreal, and closer to the Palais - the places I mentioned are on Notre Dame but further west.

        Good luck - and yeah, enjoy the conference.

        1. re: exalt

          Would skip the food at Burgundy Lion, as a bar it is fine but the food is nothing special, have been disappointed every time I ate there. On the other hand, never had a bad meal at Jane so I can heartily endorse that recommendation. Holder is solid as well.

          1. re: exalt

            I would personally not recommend Holder. I wasn't impressed with taste and presentation of food that was literally cold. Also very noisy place. In the same area

            There's a fish and chip place on McGill at St-Maurice I think. not to far from holders.
            It's called Brit and fish.

            enjoy your stay

            Brit & Chips
            433 McGill St, Montreal, QC H2Y 2G5, CA

        2. yeah also would avoid holder.

          There are some decent byob rewstaurants nearby you. Most of the endtrees are in the mid 20 range but you could bring your own wine so what you save on that makes up for it.

          Id search the threads here for good byobs but can also recommend o'thyme which isnt that far, and has a bar id believe. Some of the other good ones like bleu raising and ptit plateau dont so maybe call ahead. (These are all french btw)

          Kazu (Japanese) is awesome for a montreal place in that price range. Just be prepared to wait in line for about 20-30 minutes cause the place is small and is quite popular now. Still, its about as un touristy as you can get

          And id hit up icehouse for some good bbq style food, although you guys do it so much better in the states it might not be worth it. still, its a good scene and conducive to sitting and eating at the bar and talking to some people.

          1862 Sainte-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H3H 1M1, CA

          1. ...wondering where the original poster wound up dining, and if it was a good experience.... Exalt? Reports?