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A question to those with experience

  • t
  • 6

Hello.

I've never been to Montreal before, but I'm visiting in two weeks. While I am there, I will be taking a girl out on a date. Hence my predicament.

Can anyone suggest a nice restaurant to take her to? I'd like to go to The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal with her, so if the restaurant is in the same vicinity, that's even better.

Thanks for the help!

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  1. Hmmm. The museum is part of the Place des Arts complex, which means it's both centrally located and sitting on the Number 2 subway line. There's a restaurant in the museum's rotunda and another, bistroish, on the second floor of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, diagonally across St-Urbain Street. Chinatown is a block and a half away. A cheap ten-minute taxi or even cheaper bus/metro ride will put you in the heart of the Latin Quarter, Old Montreal, downtown, Outremont, the Plateau, the see-and-be-scenery of the St-Laurent strip, etc. In other words, the possibilities are nearly endless. Why don't you help us help by giving us a bit more information: What time of day? What kind of cuisine? What ambience/energy level? What's your budget?

    5 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      That's a good idea about China Town, I didn't think about that.

      Let's see...we'll probably end up eating a late lunch, in the early afternoon. I'm open to all sorts of cuisine - it being my first trip to Quebec, I wouldn't mind something traditionally local, but that's not a priority. As for ambiance/energy level, I'd like something quiet and calm...nothing too loud and boisterous - I can get plenty of that here in the States! As for budget...being a university student, I can't afford anything crazy, but I would like it to be nice. Maybe around 50 to 60 Canadian dollars for the entire meal?

      I was reading about L'Express...how do you think that would be?

      I'm pretty much flying blind here, so I truly appreciate your help.

      1. re: tanuki

        L`express might not be your best option if you want something calm and quiet...especially if you plan on being there on peak during the weekend. I actually had a lovely meal at Via Roma on St. Laurent in Little Italy that was in your price range for a salad and a nice veal milanese with a mountain of fresh chopped tomatos and arugala dressed lightly in olive oil. I`m sure that Carswell will have some ideas too. If I think of anything else, I`ll post. Take care!

        O`Malley

        1. re: OMalley

          Hmm, Little Italy, there's another option I hadn't considered. The more I read, the more I realize the scope and immensity of Montreal!

          We'll probably be dining on a Wednesday, so L'Express wouldn't be as loud as on the weekends, I'd assume. If I do decide on L'Express, would you recommend I make reservations, or would that be unneeded for a late lunch on a Wednesday?

          Thanks so much for your help.

          1. re: tanuki

            If you go to L`Express be sure to make reservations!

        2. re: tanuki

          Sorry for the delay in replying, T. Work has been overwhelming this week, and I haven't had time for luxuries like sleeping let alone Web surfing.

          If there's a problem with your plans, it's the hour. Many nicer restaurants don't open for lunch and the ones that do tend to offer it between, say, 11:30 and 2:00, at which point they close up shop until dinnertime. So a late lunch is going to rule out a lot of places. Have you thought about doing your outing the other way around (lunch first, then the museum)? Or how about a late afternoon visit to the museum followed by an early dinner (5:30 is the usual opening time)?

          Anyway, here are a few suggestions that would meet most of your criteria, especially price. You'll have to do the legwork to find out which are actually open in the afternoon (I've asterisked the ones I think are likely to be).

          Nearby:
          - Le Petit Istambul (On Bleury near Ste-Catherine, a couple of blocks from Place des Arts. A tiny place. Nothing fancy but the spice-scented food is good and the prices are very reasonable.)
          - Café du TNM* (The second floor of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde building, on the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine and St-Urbain, cater-cornered from PDA. Straightforward bistro cooking, pleasant space, affordable.)
          - Chinatown*

          Downtown:
          - Le Paris (Reasonably priced and very good cuisine bourgeoise on Ste-Catherine a bit west of Guy. Subway to Guy/Concordia and a ten-minute walk.)

          Av. du Parc (except as noted, you'll probably want to take a taxi or the 80 bus, which leaves from the northwest corner of PDA):
          - La Petite Ardoise* (Laurier a couple of blocks east of Park. Cozy cafe with a short lunch/dinner menu and some lovely desserts.)
          - Frite Alors!* (Belgian bistro known for their fries but with hot and cold sandwiches, salads, stews, horsemeat steaks and good beer. There are a few outlets around town; the one I always go to is on the east side of Park north of Fairmount.)
          - Cyclo (Fine Vietnamese resto on the corner of Park and Édouard-Charles, one block north of Laurier.)
          - Isakaya (O'Malley-recommended Japanese resto on Park above Sherbrooke, so a hop, skip and a jump from PDA.)
          - Chez Gauthier (French bistro attached to the Pâtisserie Belge. Located on Park between Sherbrooke and Milton, near Isakaya.)

          Plateau (a 20-minute walk from PDA, or take the metro or a taxi):
          - Fondumentale (Hip fondue place on St-Denis. Subway to Mont-Royal and a five-minute walk.)
          - Jano* (Portuguese grill on St-Laurent just north of Warshaw's; not a very romantic setting but good value. 15-minute walk or short taxi.)
          - ChuChai (Vegetarian Thai/Chinese resto on St-Denis; I like it but many of my women friends love it. 15-minute walk from PDA or subway to Sherbrooke station and a five-minute walk.)
          - Chuch* (The next-door take-out/cafeteria arm of ChuChai. Has tables.)
          - Byblos* (Another cozy café, this one run by a couple of Iranian women. Laurier East, a couple of blocks west of Papineau. Something of a schlepp: you'd either take a ten-minute taxi ride or hop on the subway to Laurier station and walk east from the north exit for five or six blocks.)
          - If the weather's nice, you could just wander up St-Laurent between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal or St-Denis between de Maisonneuve and Mont-Royal and stop wherever strikes your fancy.