Need a romantic vegetarian-friendly rest. open on Oct. 13
My fiance and I are both vegetarians, and are traveling to Montreal for our 4 year anniversary. We would like to have a nice, romantic dinner since it is a special occasion, but having never been to Montreal before, we don't have any idea where to go. I'd love to find a place with a romantic atmosphere where we can get GOOD vegetarian food, not just the steamed veggie plate that tends to be the staple vegetarian food at so many establishments. The whole restaurant need not be vegetarian, but a couple of good choices would be nice. Also, our anniversary is on October 13, which I just found out is Thanksgiving in Canada. Are most restaurants closed? Lastly, I know this is not food related, but any suggestions on a nice, but inexpensive place to stay downtown, as well as some "must sees" would be much appreciated.
Romantic, vegetarian, open on a holiday Monday in Montreal... Gee, why don't you make things difficult for us? ;)
Actually, two possibilities spring to mind, though neither may satisfy *all* your conditions (I wouldn't describe the decor at either as romantic):
- ChuChai (4088 St-Denis, 514 843-4194) serves up Thai/Chinese vegetarian-only fare, much of it astoundingly realistic simulacra of classic meat and seafood dishes. You'll find many positive reviews below; I'd also add that no other Asian veggie restaurant I've been to in North America comes close. If not exactly romantic, the decor is pleasant (the place used to be an upscale Thai restaurant). Dinner typically runs C$35-45 per person before wine/beer (the wine list sucks).
- Les Chèvres (514 843-4194) would be a great, high-end choice. Mostly vegetarian. Imaginative, even unexpected, combinations of flavours and textures. Gorgeous plating and astounding desserts. There's a good review hyperlinked below. The decor is modern, even witty, but, again, not really romantic. Count on C$60-80 a person before drinks.
Both places are normally open on Monday but the only way to learn if they'll be open on Thanksgiving -- not a major holiday in Quebec -- is to call.
As for your other questions, is there any particular reason you need to be downtown? Generally speaking, B&Bs are the best value, and some to the nicest are in the hip Plateau distict, about 10 minutes by taxi from downtown. Sights to consider seeing include Old Montreal, the Botanical Gardens (the bedding gardens are winding down but the greenhouses, aboretum and Chinese Garden's nighttime lantern exhibit are worth seeing), walks on Mount Royal, shopping downtown, brewpub crawling, wandering around the Plateau and Outremont districts, visiting the Jean-Talon Market and Little Italy, raw milk cheese tasting/buying, attending concerts, barhopping up and down the St-Laurent strip, taking in an art film at the beautiful Excentris theatre, checking out the city's surprisingly small collection of interesting museums... There's lots of info on these options buried in preceding theards, so do some poking around.
Click the hyperlink below to go to a page with a few listings. You'll find links to scads of others by Googling "B&B" in combination with words like Montreal and Plateau.
For what it's worth, a couple of out-of-towners I know swear by L'Aubèrge de la Fontaine, which is located on Rachel across the street from Lafontaine Park (www.aubergedelafontaine.com).
While downtown this evening, I walked by another B&B possibility: Le Petit Prince.
Pros: It's in an attractive greystone. The common rooms looked clean, warm and very nicely decorated. It has a fireplaces. Assuming downtown's your centre, you could hardly be more centrally located (two blocks south of the corner of Ste-Catherine and Crescent; four minutes from the Lucien L'Allier metro station; under ten minutes to the Forum, er, Molson Centre, er, Bell Centre).
Cons: It's on schizophrenic Overdale, formerly a lovely residential street, now a poster child for urban planning run amok. The side the B&B's on is a long row of mostly greystones. Not long ago razed, the other side is a soulless parking lot, except at the east end, where a once-glorious historic residence stands boarded-up and forlorn, probably awaiting the arson's torch or, worse, façadistic incorporation in whatever glass and steel monstrosity the powers-that-be have planned for the block. There's also a skyscraper currently going up a block away. The only public greenspace nearby is either the CCA garden or Dorchester (aka Dominion) Square, neither of which really qualifies. And I have no idea what parking is like in that neck of the woods.
Clickable link below.