behold my contradiction! We're picky foodies!
August 8, 2012 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Montreal Dining Filter: My partner and I are having a HELL of a time deciding on a restaurant for a romantic dinner out in Monteal in a few weeks time. We're picky eaters that really enjoy good gourmet food... A contradiction but true. AU SECOURS!

1. He is allergic to shellfish (shrimp, lobster, scallops, clams, etc), and I don't LIKE most shellfish (aside from scallops)
2. Neither of us eat:
- veal (this seems to be the biggest issue, it seems to be a primary protein for most places)
- rabbit
- organ meat of any sort (sweetbreads, liver, tripe, etc). Fois Gras is included in this.
- miscellaneous body parts of animals (pig trotters, brain, neck, marrow, etc)
3. I don't eat lamb (childhood trauma, long story)

Foods we do like:
- Beef muscle (we eat our steaks rare)
- Chicken muscle
- Pig muscle (but not the feet/ears/etc)
- just about all fish
- just about all veg
- Scallops (for me)
- Lamb (for him)

We want:
1. Reasonable distance from the Bell Center (we'll be cabbing)
2. delicious food prepared well and beautifully plated
3. French, Italian, or Fusion cuisine preferable
4. Romantic atmosphere (not excessively loud, dress/suit jacket kind of dress code, multiple forks on the table type place)
5. PREFER a BYOB, but we'll survive if it isn't.
6. a price point of $40ish per entree is fine
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
We LOVED Europea, which is walking distance from Centre Bell. Not BYOB, but it meets all your other criteria.
posted by chickenmagazine at 11:34 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just ask Chowhound? They have a lot of very obsessive foodies who have opinions. Is the cab to/from the Bell Centre for hotel-type reasons, or for show-type reasons? If the former, then the Plateau is a reasonable place to eat too.
posted by jeather at 11:40 AM on August 8, 2012

Well, for BYOB Italian deliciousness (with a bonus SAQ right next door so you don't even have to plan ahead) one of my wife's favorite restaurants when we lived in Montreal was L'Academie on St Denis and Duluth (so it fails your "close to Bell Center" criteria, too).

This past weekend I went to Hambar which probably fits most of your criteria a little better, but it's not BYOB.
posted by Grither at 11:44 AM on August 8, 2012

Europea is one of my favorite restaurants.
posted by Ruki at 11:54 AM on August 8, 2012

Just FYI, an "entrée" in Montreal (in English) is a starter, not a main course.
posted by zadcat at 12:01 PM on August 8, 2012

It isn't BYO (well their main restaurant isn't -- their second restaurant is, but it is too far away for you) but Apollo is pretty amazing. Otherwise, Europea is a pretty good choice.

If you have more than one meal in MTL then you should try to get up to the plateau. A lot of very good, and reasonable, BYO places there, including one of my favourites: Restaurant Le P'Tit Plateau
posted by jpwhite at 12:11 PM on August 8, 2012

Your food restrictions actually aren't that big a deal - I can't think of any restaurants other than Au Pied de Cochon where you would be forced to eat veal, lamb, or sweetbreads.

The Chowhound Quebec/Montreal suggestion is a good one - lots of detailed answers that will give you a good idea of what is out there. A few specific suggestions:

Toqué! is very good, and only about a mile from the Bell Centre.

One of my favorite small BYOs is Le P'Tit Plateau. Its not 'fine dining' in the dress code sense, but Montreal BYOs tend to be quite casual.

I haven't been, but have been told that Le Comptoir is fabulous. A bit farther away from you though, and not a BYO.
posted by googly at 12:19 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

We loved Nora Grey: great anniversary dinner and it's very close to the Bell Center.
posted by mmmcmmm at 12:54 PM on August 8, 2012

Even at Au Pied de Cochon you won't be forced.

How about Le Club de Chasse et Peche, Toque, or Chez L'Epicier?
posted by roofus at 2:02 PM on August 8, 2012

I am by no means a foodie, but I was in Montreal for work a year ago, and the fine people at our Montreal office took everyone visiting out to Les 400 Coups. It was five-course tasting menus all around (with wine pairing, natch... work was paying!) and it was, hands down, the best meal I've ever eaten.

I can only hope that their menu proper is anywhere near as good.
posted by rhooke at 2:13 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm fond of Firegrill (Stanley below Demaisonneuve).Very nice and the steak is first-rate; one of the few places where your cooking preference is precisely executed. Good wine too.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:03 PM on August 8, 2012

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