I was recently on a double date and it was only when I sat down that I realized what the hell was going on. At first it’s just a dinner amongst friends, but it quickly morphs into an over-sharing dinner. You wonder where to sit, what to order, how to pay – nothing is really clear. Picking the right place is not an easy feat either. In my opinion, the best way to date is to share the plate. Here are my top places in Montreal to share good food and benefit from the double date, double plate situation.
Imadake Izakaya (photo above, shot by Reno).
The ever-so-popular sake bomb is a great icebreaker. And the whole menu is made to share. This makes the Japanese pub Imadake a great place to share food while on a date. Ordering from the menu is not too easy (what the hell is okonomiyaki or agedashi?) so just order anything or get good guidance. The more plates, the better! Be ready for the loud cheering and noise, the place is known for its party as much as it’s known for the food/sake bomb.
The ambiance the décor delivers is perfect for any dating situation. It’s rustic, interesting and friendly. Rustic is the new fancy if you didn’t know. They have small servings and really recommend sharing, so ordering two dishes a person is common. The mise-en-place is right from a Jamie Oliver cookbook for what that’s worth and the food is different, fresh and very tasty. There’s something here for everyone, unless you’re a vegetarian. Short rib IPA, seafood salad, deviled eggs and fois gras toast all over your table to share. Everyone gets a taste of everything. You can’t reserve, which is not the ideal for dates, so be prepared to wait up to an hour. An aperitif at La Taverne Normand on Mont Royal (after you leave your name with the host) is a good tip.
Italian is romantic and pizza is delicious. Ordering a delicious wood oven pizza for yourself is selfish, so don’t do it. But Bottega has a lot more than pizza. They have items like grilled giant shrimp, gnocchi, lamb chops and seasonal gelato! So how does one end up tasting it all? You share. You order pizza, a few sfizi, pasta, antipasto and some dolci. A little of it all is highly recommended. Not only is Bottega a great place to share, but it’s also an ideal place for a date. They take reservations and they have free parking. It might be hard to share the goodness, but trust me on this one.
Now if you’re lucky and need a brunch place to share at, here are my suggestions:? Pastaga for lemon French toast, bison benedict, scallops with poached eggs and crunchy taffy; Le Gros Jambon because of waffles and fried chicken – who doesn’t want to share some of that?
And if it went really well, there’s always Birks Cafe.