Things have certainly changed when it comes to how we enjoy dinner and drinks in the city. Whether it’s a socially distanced apéro in the park or a dinner date between polycarbonate panels, the concept of dining out has become a balancing act of risk and reward — and with a second wave looming overhead in Montreal, opting for a curbside pickup or contactless delivery in lieu of dining in has become a safe alternative that still allows us to support the restaurants we love.
While it’s easy to fall into
delivery offerings around the city, if you’re looking for something a little more elevated to celebrate a special event or simply treat yourself to a fine meal at home, now’s the perfect time to expand on your takeout horizons and spend a little more on a multi-course meal. Here are just a few high-end Montreal restaurants that have flawlessly pivoted in response to the pandemic. These well-loved establishments are offering something for everyone — from expertly executed sushi and sashimi to classic steak frites and croque monsieur.
3927 St-Denis St. 514-845-0673; restaurantlexpress.com
A Montreal mainstay for more than 40 years, L’express has become well-loved for its top notch French bistro fare and comprehensive wine list. While we wouldn’t dare to suggest the white glove service, charming checkered flooring and bustling atmosphere could ever really be replicated at home, the St-Denis establishment has begun to offer expertly packaged takeout meals — from croque monsieur to house made ravioli — for those who would prefer to dine at home during the pandemic. Note takeout is available from Thursday to Saturday, but orders must be placed one day in advance.
1391 St-Jacques St.; 514-419-6672; noragray.com
While many Montrealers have been flocking to the South West to indulge in wood fired pizza at Elena (which also does great takeout right now), there’s something to be said about its sister restaurant Nora Gray around the corner from the Bell Centre in Griffintown. The modern Italian eatery has become a staple on the island for its natural wine list and unbeatable house made pastas and seasonal Italian fare — all of which can be packed up for takeout and travel surprisingly well.
378 Victoria Ave.; 514-750-7534; parkresto.com
Currently making waves for its recent pop-up collaboration with The Ritz Carlton, Montreal, this Westmount sushi restaurant by Chef Antonio Park boasts some of the freshest sushi and sashimi in the city. While most sushi is already one of the most travel-friendly to-go foods in terms of ease of packaging and flavour retention, the high-end omakase tasting menu at Park will blow you away.
2519 Notre-Dame St. W.; 514-439-6494; vinpapillon.com
Montreal is rich with excellent neighbourhood wine bars, but Vin Papillon is always worth the commute to Little Burgundy. The vegetable-friendly sister restaurant to Joe Beef begun their pivot to takeout with housemade veggie burgers and summer salads, but the seasonal menu has more recently shifted to classic dishes the wine bar is best known for — including the heralded Jambon de la Petite Bourgogne (house brined ham topped with Avonlea cheddar and brown butter).
1201 Van Horne Ave.; 514-439-5435; restaurant-damas.com
Known for its exquisite Syrian delicacies and Persian-inspired decor, Damas has become a mainstay for the well-to-do from all over the island — and for good reason. The high-end restaurant currently offers both curbside pickup and no-contact delivery on all of its à la carte menu items; including its delicious hot and cold mezzes and charcoal-grilled dishes.
5357 Park Ave.; 514-272-3522; estiatoriomilos.com
While it can be hard to imagine a restaurant like Milos making house calls, the Greek à la carte menu travels surprisingly well. The market fresh oysters, Nova Scotia lobster and grilled vegetables with mint yogurt and Akawi cheese make for an exquisite at-home tasting menu — but make sure to call a couple of hours in advance to ensure your top choices are available.
Le Pois Penche
1230 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.; 514-667-5050; lepoispenche.com
While Le Pois Penche is best known for its elegant downtown patio and high end happy hours, the restaurant has seamlessly pivoted to both takeout and complimentary delivery. Available Tuesday to Saturday, this modern French bistro has earned a reputation for its top quality tartares, steak frites and vegetarian-friendly mushroom cavatelli.