If you love great cuisine and toting your own vintage to the feast, then these three Montréal BYOWs should be on your restaurant radar. Food is front and centre at these three charming eateries, as is great atmosphere and impeccable service. If you have a bottle that can match the marvelous eats at this trio, consider yourself one lucky restaurant-goer.
Restaurant l’Atelier, 5308 Boulevard St. Laurent
Discreetly located on the upper reachings of St. Laurent Boulevard in the hip Mile End, l’Atelier is one of the city’s best-kept BYOW secrets. From the get-go it’s cozy décor of wood and warm sand colours is inviting; in warmer weather, its sliding windows also open for outdoor seating. Open since 2006, l’Atelier shines the spotlight on local products from Québec and Canada. Its menu is smaller-sized in order to adapt to availability of fresh products and picks. Out of its kitchen comes classic French cuisine with a kicked-up twist that include a melt-in-your-mouth black pudding with apple butter and Coureur des bois jelly, sweetbreads with wild mushrooms and cherry raisins in fois gras sauce or smoked Arctic char with sour cream and caviar, and an absolutely divine spice cake served on a bed of sweet potato cream, with dulce de leche and bourbon—so yummy!
Bistro L’entrepont, 4622 Hôtel de Ville
A tucked away gem is the only real way to describe Bistro L’entrepont. Located on Hôtel de ville, just north of Mont-Royal Avenue, this darling little restaurant—which celebrates its 30th birthday this year—woos you from the minute you walk in: a one-room, eight-table establishment that emanates classiness and coziness with dark hardwood floors, white tablecloths, chalkboard menus and dark green plush seats. If the location is dear, then menu is even dearer: its excellent, market-fresh French/Québecois cuisine stays true to rustic roots, something the young chef feels very passionate about. Among the many homemade delights are the Atlantic salmon gravlax, the torchon foie gras, the classic beef tartar and a crouton de chèvre chaud. They prepare their charcuteries on site and have a garden in the back: truly, as fresh as it gets. Be smart and make a reservation because seats at this sweet spot get snapped up quick.
Restaurant Tablée Vin, 1385 Ontario St. East
Featuring a different style and feel from the above-mentioned eateries, Tablée Vin on Ontario Street East is another restaurant that’s off the beaten track, but certainly worth the detour. The décor leans toward contemporary, with hardwood floors, white tablecloths and an open, airy setting, and the vibe is warm and neighbourhood-y. The cuisine, for its part, is French with Mediterranean influences, and products are locally sourced. It offers a tasting menu—great for discovering new dishes—as well as group menus at three different price points. With fare that includes Angus beef filet mignon, Québec pork tenderloin, médaillon de cerf de Boileau (red deer medallion) and magret de canard (duck breast), meat lovers will be thrilled by the choices. But there is also a wide range of fish and seafood as well as salads to choose from, making this laid-back, local eatery an excellent pick for a wide range of palates.