Great eats in Montreal
Without knowing what you consider moderately expensive, here are personal faves of someone who lives in the west end of the city....
Classic french bistro, supper is approx. C$90, for two w/o wine or tip : l'Express or Continental, both on St-Denis. Be advised: tables are close together, cheek by jowl. Makes for a very lively environment, but not to everyone's liking.
Interesting variation on Bistro: Monkland Tavern in the west end of city. No reservations, so get there early. same price range as above.
Italian, also cheek by jowl: la Cuccina de la Nonna, on St-Denis (also on St-Viateur or Fairmount, I forget). Supper is approx. C$60 for two w/o wine or tip. Small, intimate, very pleasant and... Italian, (much) more expensive, Da Emma in Old Montreal. Spacious, excellent cooking and good wine list.
Ethnic: variety, as in all cities, is frightening. Suggestions:
Indian: Hello India on Stanley Street, fairly standard menu, but they do the classics quite well.
Mexican: Not central, but v. good: La Hacienda on Van Horne in Outremont. Supper for two approx. C$60 w/o wine or tip.
Sushi: Best Sushi in the City is a topic of ongoing debate, if not violent argument. Oft-mentioned names include Kaizen (on Ste-Catherine Street in the West) Soto (on St-Laurent?) and Katsura (on Mountain - de la Montagne ?).
I leave other countries/regions to those better informed than I.
Enjoy your visit.
For Japanese try Isakaya @ 3469 Park ave. The menu is a chalk board of specials and the place is like a bistro. Friendly and casual ( little ambience), they take extreme pride in finding unusual fresh fishes. Just choose a medley of sashimis and appetizers for around $ 70.00 CDN for 2.
For Indian try Malhi Sweet @ 880 Jarry St West. It is a real dive with the best Punjabi food in Montreal, very inexpensive. The best channa samosa this side of Amritsar. About $ 20.00 for 2.
An interesting Beirut Style bakery for Zaatar, Lahmajoun and 100 other flatbread varieties, served rolled up with fresh tomatoes, mint, onion, olives and lemon juice is Andalos Bakery @ 266 Lebeau in Ville St. Laurent. Great as a standup lunch but it is a mob scene. Well worth it. Under $ 10.00 for 2.
Portugese, Le Roi de Plateau, charcoal grilled sardines, octopus, squid, chicken, salt cod, ordinary veg and salads, good cheap wines @ 51 Rachel West. The TV is turned on to soccer but the waiter is sweet and caring. About $60.00 for 2 with wine.
Avoid expensive restaurants here as they are generally 5 years behind New York or L.A. If you really want to spend try Toque or Cube which people here rave about but we find pricey, rehashed versions of upscale trendyness. L'Express ( previously mentioned) is fun at the long zinc bar with fantastic waiters and a great wine list at realistic prices.