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.