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The only thing better than a delicious dinner out is dishing out less money for the same meal. For that, there’s Le Chop—an event that has hit Montreal’s restaurants for its second year, where restaurants owned by Tom Nacos Group offer fixed price multi-course menus at reduced prices, ranging from $19 to $27 a person.
With the exception of the Valentine’s Day weekend–when you’ll have to look elsewhere for a destination to take your sweetheart–the event runs from Jan. 6 until Feb. 28. Here’s a sneak-peak of what to expect from the chopped-cost cuisine. For more information click here.
Wienstein and Gavino’s
Wienstein and Gavino’s (W&G) lies in the midst of the bars and clubs lining Crescent Street. Although it’s inconspicuous from the exterior, stepping inside the restaurant is like travelling into the heart of Italy. Rustic decor, including brick walls and wooden tables, gives this upscale restaurant a personal, European feel.
The service at W&G never fails to impress, and wait times for tables are rare. Within a matter of minutes one is seated and indulging on bread with what is arguably the best pesto in town.
As part of Le Chop, W&G offers a three-course menu for $23. Their discount menu offers a choice between three appetizers, six entrees, and two deserts, with a vegetarian—but unfortunately no vegan—option for each. Appetizers include classic meatballs, a fennel salad, and calamari. The calamari is soft, with just the right amount of crunchy batter, and is served with two types of Diablo sauces and lemon.
With the main courses ranging from fresh cod to pizzas topped with Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, and oven roasted Roma tomatoes, the menu encompasses a variety of fresh spins on Italian classics. Sticking with a seafood theme, the linguini al gamberi fra diavola, is absolutely delicious. This pasta, with shrimp, tomatoes, chili peppers, and a garlic white wine sauce, is bursting with flavour.
The Capri Cake, a chocolate almond dessert, is a sublime way to top off a meal. It’s basically Nutella in cake form; the dish is served with a side of Nutella and hazelnuts—every chocolate lover’s dream.
Including tax and tip the meal comes to $30.42—a little more than an average student meal out, but worth every penny. Since every course is practically a meal in itself, the portions are more than ample, and are sure to result in a food-induced coma.
With a couple of weeks of Le Chop left, W&G is worth trying out. It’s the perfect place to take your parents the next time they are in town, or to reward yourself after finishing lengthy papers and midterms. For those on a tighter budget, W&G also offers a selection of entrees for $10 after 10 p.m. (until 1 a.m.).
1434 rue Crescent
Hours of Operation:
Sun to Wed: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(kitchen) & 3 a.m. (bar)
Thurs to Sat: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. (kitchen) & 3 a.m. (bar)
Located in the heart of downtown Montreal on the popular Crescent Street, Newtown Restaurant has gained acclaim partly due to its famous owner, ex-Formula One driver Jacque Villeneuve.
The restaurant’s sleek and trendy style attracts many young costumers looking for a posh atmosphere. Newtown has three different areas, each with its own unique personality. The lounge and balcony are more focused on drinks, while the restaurant serves up classics done well, such as my personal favourite, Le Newtown Burger.
Le Newton Burger is a riff on the Big Mac from McDonalds, where the chef has managed to elevate a fast-food favourite. The massive Angus beef burger arrives at the table topped with oozing sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, crisp lettuce, and the Newtown’s very own special sauce.
Although Le Newtown Burger isn’t included on the special menu for the Le Chop event, students on a tight budget can still enjoy quality food for significantly less money. For a measly $19, you can indulge in one starter, one main course, and one dessert.
While the calibre of the cuisine is the same, the options are somewhat limited. There are two choices for each course. For a starter, you can choose either a tossed salad with a shallot vinaigrette, or lentil soup topped with grilled chorizo. Following the starters, options for the main course include a rich veal blanquette served atop wild rice, or oven-baked cod topped with an onion compote. For a sweet finish, you can treat yourself to crêpes Suzette, which are crêpes flambéed in orange juice; or a classic banana split.
Overall, Newtown offers a crowd-pleasing atmosphere and serves as a reminder as to why classic dishes are classics. Although the restricted choices pale in comparison to the regular menu, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Le Chop menu is the way to go.
1476 rue Crescent
Hours of Operation:
Mon to Wed: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Thurs to Fri: 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Sat: 2 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Apple Pumpkin Spice Muffins
12/3 cups all-purpose flour
11/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup grated apple
1. Preheat oven to 375 oF and line a muffin tin with muffin liners
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
3. In another bowl, combine pumpkin puree, applesauce, eggs, brown sugar, milk, and canola oil
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until smooth
5. Fold grated apple into muffin batter
6. Fill muffin liners three-quarters full with batter
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until tester (toothpick or fork) comes out clean
8. Let muffins sit in pan for about five minutes and then remove to finish cooling
— Alycia Noë
Pumpkin Spice Latte
I cup milk or non-dairy milk beverage
2 tbsp canned pumpkin
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup extra strong coffee or 2 shots espresso
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
1. Combine all ingredients (except coffee) in a bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds
2. Brew coffee or espresso
3. If desired, strain milk mixture through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any small bits
4. Pour coffee into milk and stir
5. Optional: garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon or nutmeg
– Marlee Vinegar
Are you stuck with the problem of deciding where to eat for a special occasion? Or maybe your parents are in town and dinner is on their dime? Although there are many places that will impress in this city, finding the best places to indulge your appetite can be difficult. For a dinner that costs approximately $25 to 35, here are some personal favourite locations where you can enjoy an exceptional meal out in Montreal.
I always choose Joe Beef whenever my family comes to visit. It’s one of those staple restaurants that everyone should experience at least once while living in this city. Joe Beef uses classic and indulgent Quebec ingredients such as maple syrup, cream, and foie gras in innovative ways. With an ambience reminiscent of a classic pub, this restaurant serves up fine dining twists on fast food such as the “foie gras double down”—a crave-inducing sandwich with peppery fried chicken serving as the bread, stuffed with foie gras, bacon, and melted cheddar cheese, all drizzled with maple syrup. The interplay between fat and sugar is mouth-wateringly irresistible. Other noteworthy dishes include a chicken nugget-style meal made instead with smoked eel, a moist piece of halibut covered in a pimento pepper crust and served with a tomato-infused butter sauce, and fresh blueberry sorbet with Madeleine cakes.
2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest.
Tel: (514) 935-6504
(Alycia Noë / McGill Tribune)
Au Pied de Cochon
The brainchild of chef Martin Picard, Au Pied de Cochon is known for its full appreciation of the pig. The chef creates succulent homemade sausages, head cheese, and even offers pig’s trotters—i.e. feet. A visit to this protein-centric restaurant will amaze anyone as it wastes no part of the animal, while managing to make even their most eccentric dishes delicious. Au Pied de Cochon is by no means small, but since it is usually filled to capacity it can begin to feel slightly cramped. Be prepared for a buzzing atmosphere filled with many customers, all bursting with energy.
536 Avenue Duluth E.
Tel: (514) 281-1114
Montreal is an excellent city to explore up-and-coming chefs. Park, a new-age sushi restaurant in Westmount, only serves what chef Antonio Park considers ‘in season’, and ships fresh fish in from all over the world. Chef Park creates an unusual and delightful experience that reflects his modern approach to food, with the kitchen open to the view of those in the dining room. Visible all night long, the chefs work meticulously to carve fish and craft gorgeous sushi presentations. When you order a tasting plate, the chef creates any type of sushi after his inclination. Although the patron has no choice, the combinations I have experienced—such as jalapeño hamachi and B.C. albacore topped with kimchi—blew my mind, bringing sushi to a whole new level.
378 Ave Victoria, Westmount.
Tel: (514) 750-7534
A relaxed bistro delighting with traditional British fare, Lawrence is another one of my recently discovered favourites. Walking into the restaurant that seats at most 30 people, your first impression may be that the atmosphere is informal—the entire restaurant is contained in one room, and there is no one waiting to greet you at the door. It may be tempting to write-off the restaurant, but you must put aside your preconceived notions about British food and typical dining settings when you eat at this restaurant. Simply enjoy their bizarre creations like rabbit offal (internal organs) and sorrel on toast, arctic char with horseradish and red wine, and beef cheek and tongue served atop lentils.
5201 St. Laurent Blvd.
Tel: (514) 503-1070
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