February 14 approaches, and unless you’re one of those “it’s nothing but a Hallmark-holiday”, it’s time to start looking into dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’ve been together for many years or are cozying up to someone new, the restaurant choice can make all the difference. From intimate ambiences to indulgent cuisine and wine, we’ve narrowed down the top choices from all across Montreal. Here are 5 restaurants that prove that incredible meals and a romantic setting are the best way to someone’s heart.
It is a tall, thin space with a mixture of dark wood, marble and unfinished stone, sumptuous glass chandeliers, aged walls, felted armchairs and a glass roof over the bar revealing shelves filled with spirits. The decor that downtown Montreal badly needed, was designed by the renowned Zebulon Perron, whose work we find in Philemon and Café Parvis. Iberica is definitely a sexy and sophisticated, yet cool and mostly sea-food tapas Spanish restaurant with flavors of Catalonia.
The owner, Georges Da Silva noticed a lack of typical Spanish restaurants in downtown and sent chef Marino Tavares (former chef of Ferreira) to Barcelona to draw inspiration from local cuisine, but also to exchange with world-renowned local chefs such as the chef of the El Bulli restaurant Ferran Adrià.
The oven has also been imported from Barcelona to bring an authentic smoke flavor to meat and fish and Tavares works with products directly imported from Spain such as Iberian Ham Pata Negra. The typical example of a proposed menu ($ 85-95) is a cold tomato soup with onions, xeres vinegar and croutons, 1⁄2 dozen oysters garnished with raspberries, cilantro and leche de tigre, tapas plate of scallops, romesco sauce and tarragon oil and for dessert chocolate ganache, croutons, olive oil and fleur de sel.
Traditionally, asado is a set of cooking techniques and social events surrounding a barbecue in various South American countries. An asado usually consists of beef, pork, chicken and morcilla which are cooked on a grill, called a parrilla, or an open fire. Generally the meats are accompanied by red wine and salads. This meat is prepared by a person who is the assigned asador or parrillero.
Recently opened in Griffintown, by the staff of former Hvor and the business team behind Club La Voûte, ASADO is a captivating and warm restaurant that will have you craving authentic South American food for the rest of your life.
Most dishes are cooked over a smoldering bed of coals to juicy perfection over an open fire. Creamy polenta made out of smoked pork belly, caramelized cheese, mushrooms and a lemon sour cream is a must.
Slow roasted Lamb shanks served with herbed rice, lamb pan sauce, cherry tomatoes, capers and marinated fennel is incredible and the Santa Maria and San Pepino cocktails are strong and mixed to perfection. El Mateo is a daiquiri with exotic and fresh flavors. Plantation Dark rum, passion fruit, pineapple syrup and lime juice.
1414, Notre Dame West, (514) 937-2001
Many years ago, Bice was the go-to restaurant for the city’s movers and shakers, attracting many visiting celebrities, including Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando, who ate an entire duck with his hands in the late 1990s. Bice was rebranded as Beatrice in 2013, when the Milano-based Bice empire was bought out by new owners in Dubai and the licensing fees skyrocketed.
Today, still located in the heart of Montreal’s Golden Square Mile district, Ristorante Beatrice is a refined, modern Italian one-of-a-kind, gastronomical experience. It has a intimate and lavish garden with a retractable roof that creates an urban oasis throughout all four seasons, in the heart of the city. Popular spot for weddings and events, the restaurant proposes a classic but innovative menu.
The typical example of a proposed menu is a seared tuna with grated horseradish, cabbage and parsnip, and a grilled veal chop with puttanesca compote, grilled eggplant and black rice. The side dishes are delicious as well if our spicy rapini (broccoli rabe) was any indication.
La Khaïma, Cuisine Nomade – BYOB
Atigh Ould, the restaurant founder of Mauritanian origin welcomes guests personally, barefoot and tea tray in his hand, his joie-de-vivre setting the tone for the evening. When you walk into La Khaïma (the nomad tent) you will walk into another world. Red lanterns above the tables and the travel memories that adorn the walls help to make the place both warm and exotic. African music, colourful cushioned salon marocain style benches, long and low tables, the colourful draperies that conceal the ceiling, coupled with warm service and delicious food will transport anyone to the edge of Sahara.
Right off the bat there are no menus. The host will tell you what you’ll be getting that night and that they can make some alterations. The food is served family style. Everyone shares from a sumptuous, uniquely spiced tajines that is a perfect blend of interesting and comforting and offers an unparalleled taste experience. The first dish is a home-made hummus. The main meal is couscous with either chicken, beef or vegetarian – all spiced to perfection with smoked paprika.
Les Enfants Terribles
Montreal french bistro Les Enfants Terribles has multiple locations in Montreal but on St Valentin for the purposes of romance, you’ll want to be Au Sommet PVM location. The view is incredible, given it’s 44 floors above ground level. The ambience is smart casual and all budgets could work here, from $50 for 2 if both parties stick to the simpler mains, to $200 for two for multiple courses with wine and tip.
Rooms are dark and packed with the business crowd. The service is usually a bit cold however the food is great and prices are actually lower than expected for the location of the establishment. Try the calamari, the fish tacos, filed cod, guacamole and some jalapeño slices. The chocolate mousse is amazing! The squash creme brule is something you have never tried before being made from squash.
1 Place Ville Marie Entrée, 1 514-544-8884