Find the perfect resto for each occasion during MTLàTABLE

Isa Tousignant

MTLàTABLE is hands-down the best way to get an overview of the city’s exciting food scene, whether you’re eating in a couple, as a family or with a large crew of friends. From November 1 to 11, Montréal’s restaurant week makes 150 amazing dining experiences accessible for as little as $23, $33 or $43! So, gather your loved ones and head out – whatever the size of your group, there’s the perfect place for you.

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RESTOS FOR TWO

Among the 150 restaurants participating in MTLàTABLE 2018, pretty much everyone will be perfect for two – but some are more conducive to tête-à-têtes. In these spots the music is mellow, the atmosphere is relaxing, the design invites close conversations… here are five spots ideal for duos.

Japanese dishes to share

The warmth of the wood all over the walls of Kinoya make it a velvety experience despite the festive atmosphere. Bring a date here to taste market-fresh sharing plates starring flavours like tuna, yellowtail and salmon sashimi in ponzu sauce and filet mignon with edamame purée, shimeji and wine. ($23 tasting menu)

Italiano for two

A warm and comforting night is guaranteed at Impasto, a jewel of Little Italy that serves classic Italian dishes in a cozy atmosphere. Share a feast with your special someone featuring creamy polenta with pulled duck, linguini with pork charcuteries, tomato sauce and pecorino cheese and cannoli. ($43 tasting menu)

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Date-worthy French

Wood panelled and warmly decorated in a classic French style, Chez Lévêque is a favourite date spot in Outremont for a reason. The food is a delight to share over clinking glasses and hushed tones – dishes like poultry liver mousse with onion jam and homemade brioche and a steak with maître d’hôtel butter and Pont-Neuf sweet potatoes. ($43 tasting menu)

Québec terroir tête-à-tête

The award-winning Restaurant Europea and its intimate atmosphere is an ideal spot for an unforgettable date at an amazing price during MTLàTABLE. Enjoy delectable flavours culled from the Québec terroir and combined into delights like lobster cream cappuccino with truffle mash and crispy scampi served with Cornish hen, root veggie mousseline and beurre blanc. ($73 tasting menu)

Market cuisine à deux

While the party ranges on the first floor, sneak your date up to the second floor of Moleskine Restaurant in Quartier des spectacles, where a more sedate, tranquil experience awaits. Let the chefs wow you with Italian-influenced market cuisine dishes like sea trout crudo with romesco, fennel, citrus and fried shallots and pappardelle with wild mushrooms and Comtomme cheese. ($43 tasting menu)

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RESTOS FOR FAMILIES

Of course, families are welcome everywhere! But some restaurants are best suited for them, whether it’s because of a relaxed and open vibe to the chaos of kids, or because the food is particularly family-friendly, or because it’s an entertaining experience that’ll keep your kids interested. Here are five perfect MTLàTABLE restaurants for family outings.

Indian – or pizza!

The beauty of the Plateau favourite Restaurant Sandhu is that the Indian owners ran this restaurant as a pizzeria for years before adding their own cultural specialities to the menu. The warm and vibrant atmosphere make it the perfect place to bring the family, so more adventurous eaters can enjoy scrumptious salmon tikka and lamb bhuna off the MTLàTABLE menu, while others can order what remains some of the best pizza in town. ($23 tasting menu)

Meatballs for all

The friendly, light and chill atmosphere at Meatball House is just one of the reasons the kids will love it. The other reason is the meatballs! Who doesn’t love food that can roll around your plate? Choose between beef meatballs with smoky sauce, fired onions and bacon, pork meatballs with apple sauce or vegetarian arancini with spicy and lemony rausé sauce. Yum. ($23 tasting menu)

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Everybody loves smoked meat

There’s nothing more family-friendly – and Montréal! – than smoked meat at Reuben’s, Montreal's Premier Deli and Steakhouse, a super fun spot downtown designed like a traditional New York style diner. The kids will enjoy everything from the banquettes to the fried pickles to the French fries, accompanied of course by smoked-meat sliders – or a molasses-rum glazed filet mignon, for the fancier grownups. ($33 tasting menu)

Tapas to taste

Villeray jewel Tapeo Bar à Tapas may not be the first place you think of for kids, but it’s a place they’ll find fascinating for the sheer array of flavours. Take your family on a taste adventure by sharing a table-full of tapas together, featuring flavours like tuna crusted with paella spices and duck breast with quince and an espelette pepper broth. Without forgetting the chocolate churros for dessert! ($33 tasting menu)

North African family feast

With its warm tent-like atmosphere and multicoloured silk cushions, La Khaima is a family-friendly space of discovery. Introduce your kids to the tradition of eating with their fingers, using the traditional bread to pick up delicious tagines: either chicken, with preserved lemons and couscous, or vegetarian, featuring cabbage, carrots, beans and couscous. ($23 tasting menu; brunch options also available for $17)

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RESTOS FOR GROUPS

MTLàTABLE is a bustling, busy event, with restaurants full of life and action. It’s a great experience to have as a gang – but make sure you reserve now! Gather your squad together and take them out to one of these restaurants, perfectly suited to groups thanks to the right-sized tables and the vibrant and high-octane energy. Here are five restaurants for gangs.

Fire-grilled fun for the gang

The size of Hoogan et Beaufort alone is a good reason to bring your crew there, let alone the vibrant energy, stunning design and the fire-grilled food that’s become famous across town. The MTLàTABLE menu includes dishes like chicken liver mousse with burnt apple and crackers, grilled carrot salad, beef short ribs, trout with celeriac, Brussels sprouts and buttermilk, and insane dessert options. ($43 tasting menu)

Izakaya, yeah, yeah!

Celebratory nights were made for Kyo Bar Japonais, an elegant Japanese bar and izakaya in the beautiful space of Place D’Armes Hotel. Groups will be well-fed with extraordinary flavours including beef sashimi with crispy garlic, green onions and ponzu sauce, fried chicken with garlic mayo, slow cooked Québec pork belly and matcha and black sesame cake. ($43 tasting menu)

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Food experiments for every taste

The setting of Labo culinaire – Foodlab, atop the super cool Society for Arts and Technology building in Quartier des spectacles, is enough to entertain a crowd. Bring your #squad to taste the latest experiments of the next-level chefs: dishes like marinated trout with root veggies, seasonal vegetables on toast, arctic char with squash and cavatelli with carrot sauce and mushrooms. ($33 tasting menu)

Québec terroir at its best

The long banquettes at Maggie Oakes - Brasserie Montréalaise, in the William Grey Hotel, are the perfect spot for a group get-together within the toasty atmosphere of Old Montréal. Taste the best of Québec terroir with dishes like parsnip cream with hazelnut butter, corn and smoked herring, deer flank with sweet potato flan, and red tuna with chickpeas, roasted leeks, wasabi and green pea coulis. ($33 tasting menu; brunch options also available for $17)

Vegetarian fiesta

When you’ve got a mixed crowd that includes a vegetarian, the LOV restaurants – either LOV McGill or LOV de la Montagne – are a great choice because you know even the meat-lovers will be delighted. Both spacious locations will fit your gang, plus the veg-filled cuisine will charm palates with dishes like Buffalo Brussels sprouts, veggie lasagna, oat risotto with hazelnut cream, wild mushrooms, pumpkin and pomegranate, and apple pie ice cream. ($23 tasting menu)

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant, blogger

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s eclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.

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