Montreal is undoubtedly North America’s city of love—romance is in its DNA—and that goes for the restaurant scene as well. Thanks to its French influence and creative dining chops, Montreal has handfuls of romance-inclined restaurants perfect for any mood. Whether you’re sitting for a quick bite before a show or a multi-course meal over candle light, here are some of the city’s most atmospheric spots.
Le Vin Papillon
Little sister to Joe Beef, Le Vin Papillon offers dishes just as decadent—think smoked carrot eclairs and expertly-curated charcuterie—and wine pairings without the months-in-advance reservation needed. It’s first come, first served at the natural wine bar, which opened its doors in 2013 and has since become a Griffintown mainstay—for good reason. Its unpretentious staff, seasonal chalkboard menu, and rustic, dimly lit dining room pretty much guarantee a great night.
This Parisian-style bistro may as well have invented the term “romantic dining” back when it opened in 1980. Since then, Montrealers have been flocking to L’Express for expert care courtesy of possibly Montreal’s last team of suited-up servers, and contemporary take on classic French dining. Here you’ll find everything from chicken liver pâté with pistachios and duck foie gras to grilled sea bass and spaghetti with mushrooms.
Nestled into an unassuming block in up-and-coming St-Henri, Tuck Shop has been serving romantic evenings long before the neighbourhood became known for its restaurant scene. Recently renovated with beautiful, moody interiors, Tuck Shop remains as intimate as ever, offering a seasonal menu with stunning dishes like black truffle pasta, braised lamb shank, and bacon-wrapped rabbit.
LOV’s mission is simple: to redefine vegan dining as something elegant and upscale rather than bland or granola—and they do it well. Here you’ll find playful plates like Big LOV Burger—a vegan take on the Big Mac, complete with a special sauce—as well as elevated offerings like twirls of zucchini pasta topped with truffle and tapioca “caviar”. Choose your date night vibe and tuck in.
Perhaps the most luxurious on the list, chef Daniel Boulud’s Maison Boulud checks off all the requirements for a romantic evening, whether you’re seated by the roaring fireplace or on the lush Glass House veranda with garden views (covered and heated in winter). This Valentine’s Day, a five-course set meal of decadent dishes are available—think scallops carpaccio with sea urchin and Osciètre Prestige caviar and foie gras with duck pie. It’s a classic night out of utter refinement, a guaranteed treat.
Topping favourite new restaurant lists everywhere with its opening last year, Elena is the ideal spot for a fun date night. Their naturally leavened, wood-oven pizzas are inarguably one of the very best in Montreal and their curation of natural wine leaves little to be desired. It’s also good to note that their cool, contemporary booth seating is very conducive to conversation—and getting cozy.
Nestled into a quiet corner of bustling Old Montreal, Barroco’s stone-lined walls and mood lighting oozes old-world romance. Serving up market-driven fusions on French classics like scallop and truffle crudo with lard-infused dashi and guineafowl topped with chasseur sauce, Barocco offers a great excuse to take a stroll through the Old Port.
Find the rest of Canada’ most romantic restaurants, here.
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