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Date Night Dining: Check Out These Romantic Dining Suggestions for Two



Nothing says romantic dinners more than sophisticated French cuisine served on white linens in softly lit dining rooms accompanied by the perfect pairing of wine chosen by a top-notch sommelier. While many of our suggestions are just that, we've added a bit more variety to the list of romantic dining options. Our list here includes quiet neighborhood places like Carte Blanche and restaurants serving international cuisines. We even offer a suggestion for romantic country style dining at Les Quatre Canards, an hour outside the city in the Eastern Townships or beautiful Mont-Tremblant complete with mountain views. All of our suggestions offer peaceful surroundings (some with great views) professional service and excellent food. Some of these restaurant menus offer items perfectly designed for sharing too. And what could be more romantic than that? So don't wait for a special occasion, grab your significant other or an attractive new friend and head out to experience the best romantic dining in Montreal and beyond. Bon Appetit!


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L'Academie focuses on great mussels (moules) with creative sauces. "Moules et frites" offers diners a large serving of steamed mussels in a variety of cream or tomato-based sauces.The best tomato - based sauce, a savory marinara, tops the "Moules Italien". "Moules Roquefort" caters to those looking for a rich, roquefort cheese sauce. With any dish, order an extra plate of the fresh french bread to soak up the extra sauce. Three floors filled with couples often on a first date and waiters appearing witjout interrupting with generous platters make for a perfect setting. Thursday night seems to be the most popular when service can get a bit slow. Reservations are recommended.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: It's the perfect spot with red candles on every table, attentive professional service and plenty of room with good, reliable dishes.

Sherel's expert tip: "Apportez Votre Vin" or bring your own wine available at the liquor store next door.

Read more about Restaurant L'Académie-Montreal →




Arguably Montreal's best Lebanese, Aux Lilas, which opened in 1980, has earned a solid contingency of loyal regulars. You can come with a date or a small group and order nothing but mezzes (appetizers), or you can opt for the prix fixe menu. Either way, you will eat well. Be sure to try the tabouli, falafel and hummus, all of which are perfect renditions of the popular favorites. Qebbeh, sfiha and mouhammara are excellent as well. Soft lighting, delicate, antique tableware and flowing drapery create a romantic ambiance in a well-established eatery that offers dishes that are perfect for two to share.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The peaceful atmosphere combined with tasty dishes insures a successful date night meal.

Sherel's expert tip: Sample as many of the smaller plates as possible for two people.

Read more about Aux Lilas →




No menus, no computers and recipes inspired by the home cooking of Modena, Italy - just the way the regulars like it. Cafe Via Dante never fails.The Little Italy haven has been a neighborhood favorite since it opened a few years back, but it deserves wider acclaim. Home-style pastas are sublime, but the daily specials are almost always fantastic too â€" standouts on the regular menu include rabbit and polenta, gnocchi, and pappardelle with lamb ragu. The wine list is short but sweet, and the staff is affable and helpful.Try the mushroom risotto, seasoned mushrooms or shitakes in wine sauce.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: It's a tiny, homey space with excellent food, impressive wines and an all -round a real find in Little Italy.

Sherel's expert tip: Order anything with mushrooms - especially the risotto.

Read more about Café Via Dante →


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Outside the city


Part of the wonderful and relaxing Domaine Chateau Bromont Hotel and Spa in the Eastern Townships, Quatre Canards offers romantic fine dining at its best. A little over an hour from downtown Montreal, Quatre Canards (four ducks) specializes in what else - duck, a regional delicacy. Under the skilled hands of chef Mirsad Basic, Les Quatre Canards restaurant offers a regional and seasonal cuisine featuring local ingredients when available. Recommended for a Sunday brunch, or a romantic dinner, the daily menu or table d'hote features fish and meat dishes as well as imaginative appetizers including, as might be expected, a tasty duck roll. Norwegian cod and risotto pairs well with their excellent South African Chardonnay. Be sure to ask the helpful servers for other wine pairing suggestions to complete your perfect meal.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The beautiful setting, attention to detail combined with good wine suggestions insures a satisfying meal.

Sherel's expert tip: Stay overnight on one of several good value off-season promotions including romance packages.

Read more about Les Quatre Canards →




This stylish restaurant, aglow with polished woods and pale, sculptural walls, sits between the Ritz-Carlton and the Museum of Fine Arts on one of Montreal's most fashionable streets. The restaurant offers fine Italian dishes, including a traditional osso buco, grilled veal, roasted duck, filet mignon, pan-seared red snapper, and marinated tuna. The pasta course includes such delights as rabbit-stuffed ravioli, wild mushroom risotto, and spinach and ricotta gnocchi. If you manage to save room for dessert (you should!), look to the iced praline parfait or white chocolate mousse for your sweet fix. An array of wines and liqueurs provides the perfect complement to each dish.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: A warm ambiance plus freshly prepared food makes for a great night out.

Sherel's expert tip: Valet parking is available - an important consideration for this downtown location.

Read more about Ristorante Beatrice →


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The Village


One wall of Carte Blanche is a color-field painting by Belgium artist, Andre Claes which balances the chic black and white decor. Popular with local media and Quebec film and TV stars, Carte Blanche is the ideal venue for a special occasion, a first date or a small get-together. The young owners hail from a small village in the center of France (former home of actor, Gerard Depardieu)and stick with traditional recipes like apple tarte tatin from the late 1800's. Pure, simple and traditional best describe Chef Andre's creations. Specialities include shepherd's pie made with blood pudding and carmelized apples served with a maple chutney and a perfectly seasoned duck confit cassoulet. Seafood lovers enjoy a sesame seed-encrusted salmon filet served with a lime and ginger caramel sauce or perfectly seared sea scallops dressed in a light, tangy oil topped with sun dried tomato pieces.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The intimate yet chic setting makes for a desirable romantic dining experience.

Sherel's expert tip: If visiting in the winter, try to sit near the back of the restaurant, away from the door where it can be a bit cool, and order a clementine - a warming, lightly-flavored orange liquor.

Read more about Carte Blanche →




Three different rooms - the largest for 70 diners, are equally created in terms of sophisticated decor. These spaces are enhanced by the addition of warm lighting and exposed brick. The historic walls, alcoves and skylights help showcase the finest epicurean delights of French cuisine which are presented on white china set on snowy linens. Snuggle into an intimate banquette for a romantic dinner of paired tastings or the table d'hote. Fine seafoods including succulent servings of lobster and shrimp set in a delicate cream sauce or delicate pastries are best enjoyed with a selection from an extensive wine list that features a range of international labels. C'est magnifique!

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The cozy dining rooms add to the ultimate romantic dinner.

Sherel's expert tip: Book early for the best choice of seating as the rooms are fairly small.

Read more about Bonaparte →




This fabulous French bistro can be hard to ferret out, but locals provide good directions, and the end result is definitely worth the effort. The place is as devoted to its locals as they are to it, and a familiar ambience pervades the space. The cuisine is well-crafted, based on rich flavors and simple ingredients. Steak tartare with pommes frites is a classic, and you'll also find calf's liver in tarragon sauce, salmon, well-filled ravioli, and duck foie gras. A good selection of wines, including a number of French vintages, complement the menu, and desserts add a sweet note of completion.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: It's a neighborhood favorite offering white linen service and top end French cuisine.

Sherel's expert tip: It can get crowded on weekend evenings so try to get a reservation before visiting.

Read more about L'Express →


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Outside the city


The young, award-winning chef, Dominic Giroux, of Altitude Restaurant at Casino Mont Tremblant is on a mission to rediscover Québec classics by fusing inspiration drawn from local products with current trends. The result? An enriched culinary scene in the beautiful Laurentian mountains, 90 minutes north of Montreal. The large chic space is enhanced by light-filled contemporary sculptures hanging from the ceiling. Outside seating on its spacious patio is set amidst the mountains. Seafood and grilled meats are the focus at Altitude using, where possible, local ingredients. Further afield, Nova Scotia provides the lobsters while mussels come from neighboring Prince Edward Island. Interesting appetizers such as elk are part of the charcuterie offerings. Grills of the day could include the famous Lac Brome duck from Quebec served with a pomegranate glaze while scallops and other seafoods figure prominently and are always available to be paired with meats if desired. Wines are skillfully chosen to perfectly complement each dish.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Reliable food in a sophisticated setting with good wine equals a perfect dinner date location.

Sherel's expert tip: Be sure to try the five course tasting menu

Read more about Altitude →


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Outside the city


For a romantic dinner, look no further than Choux Gras at the Fairmont Mont Tremblant Hotel. The dining room features an elegant, yet warm, retro design thanks to a custom-made central fireplace all overlooking Tremblant's ski slopes. This culinary brasserie, like Montreal's best, offers a varied menu including dishes to share: the tender octopus is a result of a three-hour sous vide cooking marathon with squid ink and lima beans best eaten with homemade warm breads and local vegetables. Crispy polenta with a creamy mascarpone and cress emulsion, spinach with butter, shallots and white wine appeases vegetarians and others who just enjoy tasty appetizers. The wine list offers over 50% from private imports chosen by the sommelier. Guests and visitors alike are welcome to start their evening at Axe, the adjacent contemporary styled, yet cozy bar with picture windows on the ski slopes. Patrons can cozy up in tiny tables for two, sit around the large fireplace or join Carl and his fellow "liquid chefs" who delight in preparing a cocktail creation of the moment such as the Gimlet Mademoiselle with an elderflower infusion or his take on the Bee's Knees, made with local pine gin. .

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: It's a chic yet intimate venue with very attentive service.

Sherel's expert tip: Valet parking at Fairmont Tremblant is complimentary during your meal at Choux Gras Brasserie Culinaire

Read more about Choux gras →


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Meet Sherel Purcell

Sherel Purcell is a travel writer who specializes in golf, Montreal and Quebec, contemporary art, cycling and food and wine. Her articles appear on USA Today's 10Best, About.com, Aol, Matador,...  More About Sherel

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