Restaurant Suggestions for Montreal
My family and I are planning a trip to Montreal in August. There will be a group of 6-8 people, ages 30-60, and none of us have ever been to Montreal. We are staying at Le Westin and will not have a car. We are not picky eaters and are willing to try new cuisine, however, two people in the group are allergic to seafood. Are there any good restaurants within walking distance to our hotel? Is our hotel in a good location? Any suggestions would be appreciated!
I think this may hinge primarily on the style of restaurant everyone enjoys and the budget. All of the above recommendations are great (especially Cluny for the interiors, Chasse et Peche for the food), but a few can be a bit loud and casual or too formal for some people's tastes.
For instance, I think Club Chasse et Peche is great, but some find it very formal. Similarly, I once brought my parents (in their mid-60s) and grandmother (mid-80s) to Toque, and I'm confident that they all disliked it (the food is excellent, but it can come off as pretentious). Both of these options are rather pricey. They are truly fine-dining restaurants.
Garde Manger is also well liked, but again one has to be careful - this turns from restaurant into a kind of bar/club in the later evenings (i.e. after 10), so it can be very loud. They also don't take groups of 8+, as I recall.
I'm not trying to disuade you from choosing these places, they're all excellent - they just aren't for everybody.
Also within walking distance, or a short cab/metro ride, is 400 Coups (French dinners and Friday lunch), DNA (this is for the more adventurous: it has a lot of unusual preparations of uncommon meat cuts, like heart, tripe, blood, etc etc), and T! (toque's little brother) and F! (the little brother of notable portuguese restaurant Ferreira). I might push for DNA if you really aren't picky eaters and have a generous budget. Food is affordable, but the winelist is all-Canadian (unheard of in Montreal) and very expensive.
Also, keep in mind that while the Westin is directly across from Toque, it is also right beside the orange line metro, which will take you to most of the best food in the city. West will bring you to the Joe Beef/Liverpool House empire, while East/North will bring you to everything in the Plateau, Mile End, and beyond! It will almost certainly be super hot and humid when you're in town, so walking long distances during the day might not be your friend (although the metro is not really any cooler).
I would suggest some new restos not yet reviewed here (microbrasserie soeurs grises 32 mcgill street near les ecluses/locks in old montreal where you can sample some quebec beers, game food and Restaurant Helena a few blocks up at mcgill and st Maurice which will open in February by ownerchef Helena Loureiro who has a successful parent restaurant Portus Calle . Mcgill street is in old Montreal not to be confused with McGill College a main street in downtown area. Also near this area for weekend brunch try l`arrivage on upper floor of archeology museum with table on small patio or near window for view of old port-reservations needed August is peak patio/terrace season but dont be tempted by touristy restos in Old Montreal, with their beckoning hostesses, rather check out lists for best terraces --some are in courtyards, on rooftops as well as streetside. Jardin Nelson is nice for brunch or lunch because it is located off of main square (the courtyard is in back & there is a lineup at side of resto but usually goes fast), has nice ambiance and trio of musicians. The Club de Chasse et Peche adopts the terrace/back garden area of Chateau Ramsay museum just off of main square on same side. Be sure to check ahead re opening times as some restos close down in August period for summer vacation. I would also go to developing festival site, place/quartier des spectacles, to enjoy the terrace at Bistro T in evening as you can experience another area of Montreal. It is the sister restaurant of Toque, not fancy but reasonable in price http://www.brasserie-t.com/index-en.html This site is busy with festivals til August when festival season.winds down except for some film festivals. If you want to save money on wine costs there is a myriade of BYOB across Montreal with no corking fees. If you end up on ste Catherine street the main shopping street then Dominion Square taverne is good place to eat, just next to Peel St. near tourist office. People eat late in Montreal and many restaurants have discount menus after 9 or 10pm (late night deal sections)
Other suggestions :
Accords, for lunch (on weekdays) and dinner.
Cluny, for lunch on weekdays
Le Cartet, for lunch or brunch on weekends
Commuion (new, so you will not find a lot of comments here)
Le Gros Jambon, for lunch and brunch (new too)
Bar & Boeuf
And the list could go on I think... Basically, you're in one of the best neighbourhood for restaurants... and the best one for lunch.
I'm sorry to say there are no good restaurants within walking distance. There are restaurants, but they're all seafood. No, the hotel is in a bad location.
I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
You're on the edge of historic Old Montreal. Although touristy, there are a few places that get traffic on this board. Perhaps look up places like
Garde Manger (abode of Montreal celebrity chef Chuck Hughes)
Olive & Garmando (desserts)
In the same neck of the woods, but a bit further afield,
Club Chasse et Peche
Chinatown is not far away