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Where to eat Ottawa and Montreal

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We will be making 2 back to back business trips to your lovely country. In Ottawa I think we are staying at the Lord Elgin. In Montreal we will be at the Le Centre Sheraton. We will be celebrating my birthday in Montreal and our anniversary in Ottawa. Suggestions for special places to eat in each city would be most welcome. We will eat anything that won't bite us first with the exception of sushi. Hubby does not like to get dressed up. We prefer local eateries to chains, and will have a car, so we can go most anywhere.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Price ? Style ? Ethnicity (other than not liking sushi) ? Wine important ? hip ? loud ? traditional/modern ?

    Help us help you.

    Max.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      We love Chinese and Italian, Brazillian Steak houses, classic French, Nuveau anything, but will pretty much try anything that doesn't bite us first. Would like something quiet, but music is okay, just really loud. Fine dining is great, but hubby does not like to dress up much. Does this help?

      1. re: Maximilien

        I should probably also mention that I am disabled and use a scooter to get around, so restaurant needs to be accessible i.e. can enter without stairs, or need some nice strong folks to lift my scooter into the restaurant. I will not leave it outside as some have suggested. BTW, we loved Pied de Cochon last itme we were in town, but it was crazy busy and we needed to wait an hour even with reservations. Is this typical?

        1. re: mrsphud

          PDC is always busy, though its incredibly uncommon that you'd have to wait an hour with reservations. I've had to wait before for 15-20mins, but an hour is completely unacceptable. I hope they offered you some drinks (or the meal) on the house..

          Lawrence which has three steps so it maybe out of the question. As I recall Lemeac has a ramp, which could be useful. Filet has one small step, I believe, as does LaLoux. Joe Beef can often be quite loud, though if you can get a table outside it is very peaceful. To navigate tight corners they may even be able to open the back gate for you to get in/out?

      2. You're in luck! Relatively speaking, there are few chain restaurants in Montreal, even fewer restaurants for which you'd have to dress up, and sushi in our town is (for the most part) terrible. However, Max is right that we need some more info about your price range, style of restaurant, etc.
        General recommendations:
        More modern and upscale: DNA, Club Chasse et Peche, Le Filet
        Mid-range and "casual": 400 Coups, Garde Manger, Kitchenette, Chien Fumant, Lawrence, Laloux, Tuck Shop, Cinquieme Peche, 3 Petit Bouchons
        Montreal specials: Pied de Cochon, Joe Beef
        Lower end (though not exactly cheap dives): Dominion Square Taverne, Kazu, Icehouse, Nouveau Palais, SAT Foodlab, Sardine
        Bring your own wines: Smoking vallee, Monsieur B, P'tit Plateau, Les Heritiers

        If I had to pick a birthday dinner I'd maybe aim for Lawrence or Filet for the incredibly attentive service. If it will be warm during your trip, a place with a terrace or at least opening windows would be nice (Laloux, Lemeac, Joe Beef, Filet - you could request to reserve a table outside if it will be late May-onwards. Most of these terraces are covered.)
        Leave your car at the hotel for this trip. It will only get in the way. The metro will get you within a 10 minute walk of all places I've suggested and taxis are cheap if necessary.

        For info on Ottawa you'd be wise to try the Ontario message boards. I personally like Town, Murray Street, and l'Atelier, but some of these will likely not suit your fancy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Fintastic

          We moved some good Ottawa discussion over the Ontario board, here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/847455 Check it out if you've got more Ottawa suggestions. Thanks!

        2. One of my favorite restaurants is not too far from the Lord Elgin in Ottawa: Whalesbone (http://www.thewhalesbone.com/). Place is tiny, so make sure to place a reservation. The bar is a great place to sit.