Vegetarian nom-noms at MTLàTABLE 2018

Isa Tousignant

Veggie, vegan, even gluten-free – whatever your way of eating, you’ll find your bliss at MTLàTABLE! Montréal’s foodie extravaganza runs from November 1 to 11 across town, with three-course table-d’hôte menus for $23, $33 or $43 (plus some brunches) in 150 participating restaurants. And among the flurry of tantalizing menus, you’ll find TONS of vegetarian options. Here’s a list to whet your appetite.

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Vegetarian through-and-through

First mention should go to the restaurants that are all-vegetarian, year in, year out! At LOV de la Montagne and LOV McGill, $23 gets you a three-course feast with lots of choices: buffalo Brussel’s sprouts for starters, veggie lasagna or oat risotto with hazelnut cream and pickled wild mushrooms for mains, and either a maple sugar crème brûlée or apple pie ice cream for sweets. At Invitation V, the all-vegan $33 meal includes either tacos or ravioli to start, bourguignon or General Tao for mains, and Banofee or apple crumble crêpe for dessert.

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Asian

Even vegans will find something among the mouth-watering vegetarian options at Siam Restaurant, where $33 will get you a three-course meal including appetizers like crispy rice cakes with microgreens, yellow curry with tofu for main and three choices of vegetarian or vegan desserts. At La Bêtise, the $33 feats includes roasted oyster mushrooms with hoisin sauce and toga rishi for starters, soba noodles with grilled local veg for main and a choice of desserts – 5-spice apple crisp, maybe? At Kyomi Restaurant, also $33, the three vegetarian courses are a sunrise salad (leaves, veg and frit with a sesame dressing), either a goodness-packed Buddha bowl or a veggie coconut curry for mains, and a selection of desserts including a banana fried in crispy rice paper with ice cream and maple syrup. At East Pan-Asian Cuisine & Bar ($33), your feast will start with Japchae (Korean yam noodles with veggies), followed by Singapore noodles and finish with one of three desserts, including a pistachio and apricot dacquoise.

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Indian

In the mood for luscious, comforting Indian? Enjoy the vegetarian soup of the day with bhel puri (veg fritters with tamarind sauce) at Guru - Bistro Indien followed by a veggie tasting platter and sweet Gulab jamun balls in syrup for dessert, all for $33. At Restaurant Sandhu, $23 gets you the restaurant’s signature soup or a samosa and pakora duo, with a vegetarian thali for main, and a choice of desserts for a sweet finale.

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African

Le Virunga will warm up your night for $33 with a starter of plantain and Jerusalem artichoke velouté, an African lentil stew and a sweet of either sautéed apple with spiced mango and ginger crumble, or plantain and chocolate chip cake. Head to North Africa for a $33 feast at Restaurant La Rose des Sables that starts with an egg brick with Oka cheese or a Tunisian salad, tabbouleh and vegetarian couscous. At La Khaima you’ll even find vegan options – their $23 menu starts with a lentil soup or a hummus appetizer,  followed by a veggie tajine and a choice of sweet finishes.

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Mediterranean

Osco!, Provencal Brasserie will plate you up a delectable fall salad with hazelnut oil, eggplant cannelloni with a medley of squashes, and a selection of desserts including a chocolate cake with molten caramel, all for $43. At Plein Sud, $23 will get you a Provençal pesto soup, tapenade with a selection of stuffed vegetables, and Corsican cheesecake. Head to Spain at Ibérica, where the $43 vegetarian menu includes heirloom tomato salad, seasonal vegetable paella and a choice of desserts. How about churros with dulce de leche? Portuguese delights await at Taverne F par Ferreira ($33): cauliflower cream followed by mushroom risotto and, finally, an olive oil chocolate mousse. At Birona Mediterranean tapas and hummus bar, $33 gets you vegetarian, and even vegan options, thanks to a variety of tapas options as starts, followed by kitsitot (chickpea patties with mushrooms and eggplant) and either a sorbet selection or a Mediterranean rose water pudding for sweets.

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Italian

Manga! At Moleskine Restaurant ($43), start with straciatella of buffalo mozzarella, then enjoy a wood-fired pizza with Baluchon cheese, cauliflower, pickled mushrooms and Mornay sauce, and, finally, tiramisu, homemade soft-serve ice cream or dark chocolate flan. Le Marché Italien Le Richmond serves up a $33 menu of veggie and beer soup, mushroom risotto and a selection of desserts (including iced nougat). At Ristorante Quattro ($33), start with spicy roasted pumpkin soup or zucchini polpette, followed by lasagna with smoked provolone and deep fried ice cream. Your $43 date at Impasto will start with buffalo mozzarella salad, continue with pasta with oyster mushrooms, kale and ricotta, and end with either cannoli, buffalo yogurt panna cotta or olive oil cake with fig compote and mascarpone.

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French

French cuisine is a signature aspect of the Montréal dining scene. Kitchen Galerie ($33) serves vegetarians up soubise soup with truffle mousse followed by cavatelli with confit tomatoes and olives, and finally a choice of sweet temptations. L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel offers a $43 menu of roasted Brussel’s sprouts in hazelnut butter sauce, cauliflower roasted on a spit and either coffee panna cotta, chocolate pie or pumpkin cheesecake with butterscotch. Head to Bonaparte ($43) for mixed greens, and either mushroom ravioli or tofu in tomato sauce, followed by a dessert like tarte au citron. Prince will treat you to squash soup with a goat cheese brioche followed by black truffle and mushroom risotto and dessert (like churros with salted caramel) for $43. For $33 at Les Fillettes you can feast on leeks in vinaigrette, cavatelli with fresh ricotta and chocolate cake – or orange and Tonka bean pavlova. Bistrot La Fabrique ($33) offers vegetarians beet salad, squash cavatelli and various desserts (including soft lemon cake). At Le Millen ($43), puff pastry with goat cheese starts off the party, with gnocchi in creamy parmesan sauce and dessert options including buckwheat cake with autumn spices. You’ll enjoy the coconut-tinged cream of cauliflower at Verses Bistro, or pick the other starter, beet gravlax; then enjoy gnocchi with squash and rosemary cream, followed by caramel chocolate cake with ginger or a Paris-Brest (all for $33). Enjoy a grandiose vegetarian meal for $43 at XO Le Restaurant: mushroom tart, pumpkin risotto with goat cheese, and either an éclair or cheesecake. Monsieur B ($33) serves up soup with a cheese-stuffed focaccia, goat cheese risotto or a ricotta, saffron and honey samosa, and lemon delight to finish. And at Le Petit Opus Café, $33 gets vegetarians maple roasted parsnip and cauliflower soup, mushroom and pine nut ravioli and a choice of desserts or cheese plate.

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Casual dining

Grab your date and head out for a bite! Venice MTL Saint-Henri ($23) makes good taste easy with its gluten-free (but not vegetarian) options: squash and coconut soup or Venice salad, tuna poke bowl for main and double-chocolate brownie. (Hello.) At Meatball House, $23 gets vegetarians black carrot soup for starters, arancini in rosé sauce for main and either blueberry panna cotta or sugar pie verrine. At Bistro Le Ste-Cath ($23), enjoy mushroom tartare (vegan or gluten-free upon request), a vegan lentil stew and dessert of caramelized pineapple or crème brûlée. Enjoy a $23 feast at Chez Bouffe Café Bistro featuring beet tartare, sweet potato ravioli and either olive oil and honey panna cotta or pumpkin pie.

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Wine bars

Make the evening last into the night at these eateries, where drinking is half the experience. At Les Cavistes Restaurant Wine Bar, $43 gets you a next-level roasted squash salad, followed by a farro risotto with carrot butter and miso, and a choice of sweets: a pumpkin-and-spice financier, ricotta fritters or a dark chocolate concoction. Chez Éric Resto Bar offers you a $33 date with a cauliflower cappuccino, a mushroom risotto and either a homemade praline profiterole or a cheese plate for dessert. At Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, raise a glass to your $33 three-course feast: either pumpkin potage or pickled beets and arugula salad with blue cheese, followed by mushroom barley barlotto, and either sugar pie or tiramisu. At Pullman ($23), you’ve got the choice of three delicious starters, followed by a port-steeped cheddar grilled cheese, with sweets like panna cotta or a brownie with caramel. Accords Le Bistro offers a carrot and honey starter, with butternut squash risotto and a panna cotta, an apple pie with caramel ice cream or a dark chocolate cookie with beet cream as a sweet finish, all for $33.

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Market cuisine

Another way of saying locally-sourced, multiculturally-influenced nouvelle cuisine, market cuisine is a wide category with choices for everyone. At Labo culinaire - Foodlab, tickle your taste buds for $33 with a seasonal vegetable toast, cavatelli with carrot sauce and mushrooms and a choice of sweets. At Le Blumenthal, $33 is all you need for a three-course feast of beet carpaccio with fresh goat’s cheese followed by butternut squash cannelloni and either blueberry pie or a pumpkin-spice-pastry and cranberry-compote creation. Lannes et Pacifique ($33) offers vegetarians borscht followed by vegetable cannelloni and a layered mousse or a pistachio creation for dessert. Bistro Smoking Vallée’s $33 menu includes BBQ Brussel’s sprouts, spelt risotto with chanterelles and parsnip crunch and a choice of sweets. Les Coudes sur la table ($43) offers mixed greens with pear or carrot soup followed by orzo risotto with mushrooms, and either cheesecake mousse or dark chocolate brownie. At Le St-Urbain ($43) vegetarians will enjoy cream of celeriac or fennel slaw, black barley and rye risotto with mushrooms and wither brownies of mandarin curd. Feast for $33 at Restaurant de l’ITHQ with a Jerusalem artichoke soup, carrot cromesquis for mains and an éclair or sweet clover sable with maple meringue for dessert. At Brasserie 701, the vegetarian options on the $33 menu are cream of leeks or squash salad, red beet risotto and either a cheese plate or dark chocolate cookies. M.Mme ($33) has veggie treats in store: leek salad, black truffle tortellini and sweet choices to finish. Pastaga ($43) dishes out aubergine with miso soup, corn risotto and a selection of sweets. There are vegan options at Rosélys Restaurant for $33, with cauliflower velouté or endive salad, buffalo ricotta ravioli and two types of tart. For $43, Chasse Galerie Restaurant mushroom and potatoes in brown butter lead to a veggie main option and either beets with almonds and white cheese or a parsnip, while chocolate and vanilla creation. Salmigondis ($43) offers veggies cream of mushroom soup, curried legume stew and a choice of sweet finishes. At La Prunelle ($33) vegetarians can feast on cream of parsnips, feta gnudi (similar to gnocchi) and either apple-cardamom crème brûlée or butternut squash cake. At Rose Ross, $33 will get you gluten-free and vegan options on the full vegetarian menu: Vietnamese style Brussel’s sprouts, gnocchi with squash and fried sage and a mouth-watering selection of desserts. And finally at ASADO, the $43 vegetarian menu includes fire-roasted beet salad with goat cheese, rutabaga pasta and either parsnip soufflé or yogurt and lemon crémeux.

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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