Looking for honest SIMPLE restaurant for our first night in Montreal
Staying at the Intercontinental on Rue Ste-Antoine Ouest (close to Old Montreal?). I'm a foodie. And have ambitions over our long weekend visit, to hit the farmers markets, Joe Beef, taste all the poutine in the city, sample the bagels, Swartz's, etc.etc.etc.... (basically, eat my way through the city!!!!!)
BUT, for our first night in Montreal, (after a LONG day of travel), I want to take it easy. Sit back with a cocktail or a nice bottle (or two) of wine and some very unpretentious yummy food. And not feel like I'm being rushed. We're just looking for a very simple a restaurant that is (hopefully):
1. Walking distance to the hotel
2. That serves good food that's not heavy and greasy.... bistro-ish, maybe?
3. Not expensive
4. Not a tourist place or a "hot spot".
5. Nice ambience (not too noisy, so we can talk to our friends)
And maybe also a good bar close by that we can get some really yummy and interesting (different) cocktails before or after.
If you like italian (that's what I think when I think great and simple food), the Old Montreal as one of the best italian restaurant in town : Osteria Venti. Not far from there, on the same street, there's Philémon Bar for drinks.
There's also the new Bistro-Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises. Simple bistro food and good selection of beers.
I also think that Osteria Venti could be great, though it is certainly not cheap. Holder and Boris terrasse would also be less expensive options.
Instead of these you could try Dominion Square Taverne. I suggest this place often, but it really covers a lot of dining needs. Its beautiful, fairly inexpensive, and has great wine. Unfortunately it can be a bit loud as the space is quite large. I find its actually quieter as the night goes on, which is different from many downtown/old montreal restaurants. 17 minute walk from your hotel.
Chez Delmo, 275 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest is 4 minutes walking distance from your hotel according to Google. One of the best seafood restaurants in the city. Caters mainly to business lunches.
Kitchen Galerie Poisson, 399 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, another very good seafood restaurant (albeit, not as tradition bound as Delmo's) might be a tad loud, but not noisy. Conversation will still be possible. Also 4 minutes.
Pub Victoria, 698 rue Notre-Dame Ouest. Reasonable Pub Grub, honest and not expensive. Drink the beer, not the wine. 5 minutes.
Les Accords, 212 Notre-Dame Ouest, Very good wine cellar, good chef, has pairings for just about every dish, most "bisto-ish." Also has a reasonable terrace if the weather is nice. Would be my second choice following your requests after Chez Delmo. 5 minutes.
And while I haven't heard anyone rave about the restaurant at the Intercontinenal, Osco, I also have not heard anyone complain about it either.
As for the bar, the Sarah B. in the Intercontinental is a very good bar, specializing in Absinthe, and L'Assommoir, 211 Notre-Dame O is not bad either.