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Nov 5, 2003 05:07 PM

need two suggestions

  • e

Coming to Montreal for the weekend and looking for two restaurants -- one BYOB with great but not expensive food; one for a very nice Table D'Hote to celebrate a birthday. For the second, while I can't afford a blow-out of Toque proportions, I can pay for something expensive and worthwhile. Would love it if it included wines with different courses. And a question -- do you usually get a cheese course with the table d'hote?

I guess the two could be one and the same -- I read a review for Poisson Rouge and it sounded as if it might fit the bill. All your suggestions are very welcome!! Thanks!!

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  1. Tâble d'hôte:
    - Brunoise ( First course, main course and dessert run C$24-30. They don't offer wine flights but do sell a few wines on their list in 250 ml (1/3 bottle) portions, making it easy to build your own flights.
    - In the treat category but worth every penny is Anise (, where the six-course menu runs C$60 (C$105 with wines) and the nine-course menu C$85 (C$135 with wines). The wines are extremely well chosen (some of the matches are revelatory) and served in full sized glasses with refills freely offered. From every standpoint -- ambiance, service, presentation and food -- this is a delightful restaurant.

    BYOBs have been covered extensively in recent threads (q.v.). Everyone has their favourites. My ranking, which I'm happy to defend, places Le P'tit Plateau, Le Bleu Raisin ( and Christophe at the top of the heap with La Colombe and Yoyo one step down. Le Poisson Rouge is great QPR but not as consistent or inspired as the top three, and the space leaves something to be desired (narrow, poorly laid out room with no sound absorbing surfaces and clunky chairs and tables).

    3 Replies
    1. re: bftp

      Thanks for the tips -- here's a possibly stupid question: does BYOB mean they offer no wines themselves? Or is it a choice to bring your own with no corkage fee or to buy there?

      Anyone have thoughts on A La Decouverte?

      1. re: Ellona

        BYOBs cannot sell alcoholic beverages but can serve wine (not cider, beer, coolers, aperitifs, digestifs, cocktails or hard liquor) brought to the premises by customers. None that I'm aware of charge corkage.

        Licensed restaurants can serve all type of alcoholic beverage to diners but only from bottles they themselves have purchased through the SAQ (i.e. you can't take your own bottle to a licensed restaurant).

        À la découverte is a good neighbourhood restaurant. The cooking -- modern bistro -- has got better over the last couple of years and the space is agreeable. IMHO, it's not quite at the level of Yoyo or La Colombe, to say nothing of Le Petit Plateau, Le Bleu Raisin or Christophe. On the other hand, it's a bit more affordable than any of those. You pays your money, you makes your choice...

      2. re: bftp

        Brunoise wins hand down! We were there for dinner last Saturday while in town visiting friends. I wish I could find a Tâble d'hôte at this level, service and reasonable price point in Toronto. Go! Rated in the top for 2004 in le'Devoir.

      3. >And a question -- do you usually get a cheese course with the table d'hote.

        Not as a matter of, er, course but it does sometimes happen (for example, Toqué's tasting menu often includes cheese and one of the courses in Anise's six- and nine-course menus features cheese).

        2 Replies
        1. re: bftp

          At Anise, both six and nine course menus offer cheese.

          1. re: bbtp

            > At Anise, both six and nine course menus offer cheese.

            I thought that was what I said...

            It's worth specifying, however, that it's not a cheese course per se but what Anise calls a "cheese idea." Recently the idea was a fresh black fig that sandwiched a piece of goat cheese, sat on a plate decorated with squiggles of a balsamic vinegar and honey reduction and was served with a homemade bread stick flavoured with zaatar.