Montréal has one of Canada's most cosmopolitan restaurant scenes with trendy eateries popping up regularly, their menus heavily influenced by flavors from around the globe and often with an added touch of French flair. There are top dining destinations to be found all over the city, especially as young chefs move out of Downtown to trendy destinations in Mile End and the Plateau to open
new restaurants. Downtown, convenient to many hotels, there are restaurants clustered between rues Guy and Peel and on the side streets that run between boulevard René-Lévesque and rue Sherbrooke. Rue St-Denis and boulevard St-Laurent, between rues Sherbrooke and Jean Talon, have been, and continue to be, convenient areas with the hottest dining strips, with everything from sandwich shops to high-price gourmet shrines. Old Montréal, too, has a collection of well-regarded restaurants, most of them clustered on rue St-Paul and Place Jacques-Cartier.
You can usually order à la carte, but make sure to look for the table d'hôte, a two- to four-course package deal. It's often more economical, offers interesting specials, and may also take less time to prepare. For a splurge, consider a menu dégustation, a five- to seven-course tasting menu. It generally includes soup, salad, fish, sherbet (to cleanse the palate), a meat dish, dessert, and coffee or tea. At the city's finest restaurants, such a meal for two, along with a good bottle of wine, can cost more than C$200 and last four hours.
Menus in many restaurants are bilingual, but some are only in French. If you don't understand what a dish is, don't be shy about asking; a good server will be happy to explain. If you feel brave enough to order in French, remember that in French an entrée is an appetizer, and what Americans call an entrée is a plat principal, or main dish.
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