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First night, romantic, french dinner

New Orleans...
Level Contributor
1,660 posts
130 reviews
First night, romantic, french dinner

We're arriving on Monday in mid August and staying on Rue St. Pierre. We have 6 nights in Montreal, 3 in Quebec City and then 1 more back in Montreal at a different hotel/spa. I mentioned earlier that we're chefs so we plan on cooking two nights in, using local ingredients. I'm getting dizzy at the unending list of what look like magnificent restaurants in all price ranges, all cuisines, all neighborhoods! I like to start close to home, exploring my new neighborhood for the first day or so, and then begin getting out of Old Montreal. We've always enjoyed our first dinner on vacation to be in a place known for great food, great wine, lovely atmosphere and romance. TA is great, but is offering so many choices. I'm hoping some of the posters can make some personal suggestions that would fit the bill, preferably in walking distance, but that is not necessary. Any jazz clubs for a monday night would also be appreciated. Thank you!

10 replies to this topic
Gaspesie Region...
Level Contributor
2,289 posts
77 reviews
1. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

You're in the heart of Le Vieux, so there's a plethora of choices, many of them in ancient buildings, redolent of atmosphere. It's hard to find something that stands apart in all this classic Montreal cuisine.

So, just to mess with your head ;) here's one you probably haven't run across yet, that has a completely different, yet very memorable atmosphere : https:/…dinner-cruises.html

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
Level Contributor
12,845 posts
58 reviews
2. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

And we get to the usual French food question that has become quite a cliché. Most upscale restaurants in Montréal are not French but Modern Québécois with French bases and training but done by local chefs with local ingredients. I was planning to answer your other query and give you some hints as I am a chef and was very much involved in that movement.

One good one in Old Montréal that will fit the romantic and also give you contemporary local cuisine will be Chez l'Épicier. Make a reservation in advance and request one of the big windows tables. As per more classically French and with a cozy but more traditional dining room in Old Montréal then it would be Bonaparte.

Even if we try to avoid the French cliché I must say that we probably have the epitome of a French bistro in North America: L'Express but the atmosphere is a bit far from quaint as it is the hangout of the local francophone intelligentsia and artistic community so it really has a buzz and tables are packed close.

Québec City I would do Laurie Raphael for the same reasons: Québec born chef, local products and very good modern results. Also even if it is located in the middle of the touristic area L-R attracts a lot of the local bourgeoisie.

I will write an answer to your other post tomorrow but also watch for a personal message!

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
1,281 posts
3. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

Les Jardins Nelson is in old Montreal. Has a very nice atmosphere. Sit outside in the back (under a giant canopy roof) even if it means an extra wait for a table. There is live music.

New Orleans...
Level Contributor
1,660 posts
130 reviews
4. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

Certainly not trying to be offensive with regard to french restaurants...but the TA lists don't distinguish between french and quebecois. Thanks for all the suggestions. LeeJay, have you done the dinner cruise? There is a paddle wheel dinner cruise here, which I would never suggest to anyone; knowing the food is less than average, but the music makes for a good party. Again, thank you for all the suggestions, even the one regarding Quebec City.

Montreal
Level Contributor
5,392 posts
62 reviews
5. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

Club Chasse et Peche... on St-Claude St. in Old montreal.

Gaspesie Region...
Level Contributor
2,289 posts
77 reviews
6. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

I haven't done this particular dinner cruise, but at $170/head, it looks pretty decent. Generally, food is pretty good in Montreal and anything that's actually bad disappears in six months. Yes, there's MacD and Lafleur's, but that cruise is about pan seared foie gras, so it's not catering to the hot dog crowd. I do know you get a great view of the city at night on any of the cruises and that alone makes most of them worthwhile. It's an idea, like so many others. You could always go for Joe Beef or Toqué or Pied de Cochon or the Lab or L'Express, but they kind of all blend into a blur of "star chef does fusion using local delicacies and innovative constructions" after a while ;)

Massachusetts
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Block Island
Level Contributor
4,990 posts
41 reviews
7. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

My recommendation in Montreal would be Bonaparte in Old Montreal. They offer some French classics as well as more modern fare.

In Quebec City Le Continental is a throwback to the traditional French classics and well worth a visit.

Finally I do agree that Quebecois cuisine isn't mentioned often giving visitors the idea that everything in Quebec is French. Quebec is unique and should not be confused with France.

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris, Montreal
Level Contributor
19,564 posts
163 reviews
8. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

Le Club Chasse et Pêche would be a good choice and Chez L'Épicier another option, when you know your food ..forget Bonaparte - it is fine but of much lower calibre. Forget overpriced L'Express it is neither "most French" whatever nor of particular interest for food - which can be ordinary and tends to be overpriced to boot. Bouillon Bilk and Le Filet are very good. More casual and French is Le Quartier Général that too could be of interest.

Edited: 05 June 2018, 00:42
Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris, Montreal
Level Contributor
19,564 posts
163 reviews
9. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

i'm also going to suggest Tapeo, since you are planning to venture out of tourist areas and asked for personal recs, Il Pagliaccio, La Chronique, and Le Margaux (a bring your own wine place, popular with French expats and owned and run by a chef from France and his wife)

Edited: 06 June 2018, 09:32
New Orleans...
Level Contributor
1,660 posts
130 reviews
10. Re: First night, romantic, french dinner

Thank you for all suggestions!

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