One night in Montreal, not to expensive
I will be in Montreal for on night Sat October 16. Where can I go, and not spend a fortune and have an authentic Montreal experience. I will be at the Le Centre Sheraton with a car. I like all types of foods, but Chinese is my least favorite.
I'm not sure what you mean by an "authentic" Montreal experience, but I recommend you go to Lemeac, a casual French bistro, on Laurier Ouest. Delicious food. (First rate hanger steak and frites.) Pleasant atmospherics with good vibe. Moderate prices.
The quality-price leaders these days are Brunoise (www.brunoise.ca) and Le Bouchon de Liège (8497 Ste-Dominique, 514 807-0033). Both will serve you a fancy three-course meal for C$30-40 before wine, taxes and tip. If, as it sounds, you'll be eating by yourself, Brunoise has a bar at which you can reserve a seat. The question remains: Do they provide an authentic Montreal experience? Well, yes and no. Yes in that you'll be hard pressed to find more bang for the buck on the continent and that both are located in typically Montreal neighbourhoods and attract typically Montreal crowds. No in that there's nothing uniquely Montreal about the food or décor.
For an only-in-Montreal experience, I'd suggest Au Pied de Cochon (www.aupieddecochon.ca). Depending on what you order, it's a bit to somewhat more expensive than the above two. But it attracts a unique mix of clients and serves a number of updated Quebec classics like poutine (with or without foie gras), pâté chinois (shepherd's pie but made with venison and stellar mashed potatoes) and pouding chômeur (drop biscuit cooked in maple sugar). They also have a great bar that solo diners can sit at. There's been lots of discussion of this resto on the board; do a search on the name and on APDC to pull up the threads.
Though there's nothing typically Montreal about the food (which tends toward southwest French), many out-of-towners feel there's something quintessentially Montreal about the BYOB Le P'tit Plateau (330 Marie Anne East, corner of Drolet, 514 282-6342), in that they can't imagine it being anywhere else. However, I've never seen a solo diner there.
If the weather's nice, you might also consider joining the ranks of Montreal's boulevardiers. Just head to one of the neighourhoods where the restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks and then take your chances. St-Denis above and below Sherbrooke, St-Laurent between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal and Bernard Street west of Park Ave. are prime candidates for this approach.
For other suggestions of inexpensive eateries, search the thread listing for budget.