Saturday Night Group Dinner For 12
I have to plan a group dinner in Montreal for Saturday April14th for a group of 12 guys on a bachelor party weekend. The group has is a mixed crowd of adventurous foodies and picky eaters. The picky attendees however are willing eat anywhere as long as the menu isn't 95% pork and offal. I have a backup res at Bar & Boeuf but I was kinda hoping to upgrade that to something else. I've been looking at:
Les Trois Petits Bouchons
La Salle A Manger
Some (most) of these places don't publish menus online so it's hard to get a read on whether or not the food will go over well with this crowd. Any advice/opinions on these places or new suggestions would be very helpful. We're all from NYC so we'd like to avoid what we can get at home. We're already doing places like Joe Beef, Liverpool House, and APDC in optional smaller groups on Friday and Sunday. Thanks for your help!
I think this depends much more on how you expect your rather large group to behave. That's not meant to sound pretentious, but bachelor parties obviously invite a certain degree of raucousness.
For instance, I would feel uncomfortable bringing a rowdy group to Laloux, Trois Petits Bouchons, and maybe Lemeac (though at Lemeac they would likely stick you in a back booth at the rear of the restaurant). I find that APDC, Joe Beef, and Salle a Manger are far better for this sort of group.
DNA tends to have something for everybody, but it offers far more unusual items than any other place you've mentioned. Basically, there might not be a wide selection for the pickier eaters. Holder is good for a group, but the food is not particularly special. I suspect you could find similar in NYC.
Although Salle a Manger isn't my favourite restaurant in the city, I might push for that given the group. Or move you APDC reservation to Saturday night (everyone will find something good to eat there) and try one of the quieter places on Friday. Or if on Friday you'll have a group of <8 you could book something like Garde Manger.
I wonder if Lemeac will have its side terrace open by then, I think it is heated and enclosed if weather inclement...many restos in centre city set up their patios the past week as weather so warm. I would call Lemeac to see if they would accommodate a bachelors party and ask if covered terrace will be available then, I think it would be easier for you to enjoy yourselves out on their patio. Holders does groups well but food not main reason to go there.
If you like your wine you might consider one of the many BYOB restos in this city, bringing you own can really cut down the costs. Theres also Dominion Tavern downtown that could accomodate large table at back and you can see the menu online. Though I think Lemeac gives you more French experience, you can go pick up bagels after as in that area.
The Lemeac terrasse seems to be open almost all year (with covered walls). In fact, it was covered yesterday when we were hoping to have brunch outside.
Taverne is definitely a good option - I forgot about it. The food isn't spectacular, but its a cool place. In case it was unclear to the OP, this isn't a BYO.
I second some of the thoughts already voiced here...La Salle A Manger is fine in terms of size/atmosphere and you would likely not be too loud and bothersome -places like Lemeac or Laloux i think might be too small.
The thing about LSAM is that if you've just been to Joe Beef or ADPC, it's really a step down. DNA on the other hand is amazing and could easily accommodate a group of twelve -there are different spaces in the restaurant each with its own vibe so, if you do go that route, discuss over the phone where you should sit...
The Dominion could also be very cool - the food is relaxed and the place is stunning and has a great vibe. you are also right downtown, in case you guys decide to partake in *ahem* usual bachelor party activities...
PDC can usually be pretty good about booking in 2 tables side-by-side (i.e. 2 reservations of 6).
However I think you'll be happy at DNA. Its different from most other restaurants in Montreal. Pricier than PDC, and much more modern decor - its actually a bit weird looking, but the glass walls and ceilings do wonders for noise. We were stuck right next to a very large table on Tuesday night (maybe 16 people) but we could barely hear them. Also I've found their wine prices have come down dramatically recently. We paid just 2x markup ($70 there, $37.50 at the SAQ) on a great bottle from BC.