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Food

Affordable Montreal Valentines Day Restaurants: Les Trois Petits Bouchons, Le Comptoir Charcuteries et Vins, Restaurant Zero8, and Crudessence

Posted by Amie / February 10, 2011

Comptoir Charcuteries et VinsLuc would probably say don't go to a restaurant for Valentines Day because it's too predictable or expensive, and for the most part I agree. But there are a few restaurant options that are either less run-of-the-mill, offer vegetarian or vegan options, or ooze an appropriate amount of romance for the occasion while keeping prices reasonable and quality exceptional.

For vegans, vegetarians, lactose-intolerants, celiacs, or those who have 1 of the 8 major food allergies or intolerances and are sick of not being able to eat anything at restaurants: Restaurant Zero8

On the 11th, 12th, and 13th of February Latin Quarter restaurant Zero8 will have two seatings for their special Valentines Day table d'hote. It's way overpriced at $65 per person for pretty standard bistro fare, and there's STILL only one vegetarian/vegan option on the menu, but if you're a meat-eater with allergies or other dietary restrictions, this is a place with a quasi-romantic atmosphere where you won't have to worry about "traces of" wheat, dairy, or nuts hiding in the food. That alone may be a good Valentines Day gift.

"Raw", Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free:Crudessence on Rachel

For ambiance you're going to want to come to the Crudessence on Rachel, not the newer one of Mackay. The atmosphere on Rachel is more relaxed (though it's also more drafty...) and you won't feel like people are rushing around you with plates and bowls, full of stress, and inhibited chakras, though for Valentines weekend there will probably be enough love in the restaurants' air to work its way into even the most inhibited of chakras. New Crudessence on MackayNew Crudessence on Mackay

The food at either location won't weigh you down, leaving you feeling light and full of energy (not stuffed with food) for the rest of the evening with your significant other to do with as you choose (the evening and the "other").

Le Comptoir Charcuteries et Vins - Albacore Tuna with Eggplant PuréeAlbacore tuna with Eggplant Puree

For an affordable glass of amazing wine and reasonably priced stellar small plates: Le Comptoir Charcuteries et Vins

Here you'll find a great atmosphere with all natural organic and biodynamic wines from Sommelier Jack Jacob. Prices are ridiculously low for the quality food and wine ($5 a glass of wine and $10 for a board of in-house-made charcuteries). The restaurant is also surprisingly vegetarian-friendly, with a constantly changing menu of Quebec comfort food done upscale: pissaladière or tomato tart. Still, when you come here it's all about the lamb shoulder confit, the smoked, grilled mackerel, and the charcuterie. I would, however, recommend asking for the eggplant purée that comes with the albacore tuna, but without the tuna, ridiculous as that sounds...Good luck getting a table, but if you do you could be enjoying one of the best Valentines Day restaurant experiences in the city. For the truly romantic, take a tour of the cold-room in the basement where the pigs are hanging. If that doesn't turn you on I don't know what will...

Romantic (but not disgustingly fake) Wine Bar: Les Trois Petits Bouchons

It's probably already completely booked because this is one of the most stereotypically romantic French, subterranean wine caves in the city, but if you can get in you'll have a great time. The bistro menu is more expensive than Comptoir Charcuteries et Vins, but it also offers more variety. Here the kitchen isn't open and the focus is clearly on the all-natural wines offered by the knowledgeable sommeliers. You're much better off here than an overpriced Old Port restaurant.

If you really must go to the Old Port and have some money to burn try one of the very well-made cocktails at Barrocco or splurge on an appetizer to share or a full dinner from their new menu. The dark, rock and wood decor makes it feels as though the restaurant was built with Valentines Day in mind.

caille-a-la-plancha-planked-quail-comptoir-charcuterie-et-vin.jpgLe Comptoir's Planked Quail

If you're into happy hour specials at a place you never thought you could afford, restaurant DNA offers half price on Canadian bottles Monday-to Friday 5pm-7pm (from a VERY impressive, lengthy wine list of mostly private imports). You'll discover a gem of a bottle you probably would and could never otherwise try. $60 bottles for $30 is a splurge that's very much worthwhile if you're into wine.

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