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Happening Gourmand
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Here are our top picks with the best of this summer's Happening Gourmand

Old Montreal's far-reaching Antonopoulos Group and its 24 restaurants' Happening Gourmand event is happening all through August—here are our top picks.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

With Old Montreal practically devoid of tourists this year, the historic neighbourhood's Antonopoulos Group's 24 restaurants and bars have launched the summer edition of Happening Gourmand, a restaurant-hopping event that puts table d'hôte menus for lunch, dinner and brunch at super low prices: Brunches at $17, and lunches and dinners going for anywhere from $25 to $35.

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The thing is, when you've only got a month and only so much time to go out to eat, which ones are you going to pick? Are you into trying only the latest restaurant arrivals? Looking for the best bang for your buck (on top of paying little more than $25 for dinner)? Here are our top picks for the entire event; if you'd rather look at the whole list, find it here.

Dinner for $25: Taverne Gaspar

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That steakhouse you see advertised to you all the time in the metro, you know, before COVID? Yeah, that one. While any restaurant that can afford that much advertising might not be cool enough for you, it's hard to argue with a $25 menu like this: Beet salad with goat cheese and a vinaigrette to start, followed by half a Cornish hen/steak frites/a bowl of risotto with a green pea pesto. 

Dinner for $29: Jacopo

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The Antonopoulos Group's first foray into strictly Italian cuisine in an admittedly good looking interior (and a decent terrasse!) has—if you're willing to pay that extra $4 before taxes—a menu worth the visit. We suggest you get the suppli al telefono to start, essentially finger food arancini you pull apart and have a cheese pull that mimics an old-timey telephone, before digging into any one of their pasta dishes. It's filling and should satisfy how much (not that much) you just spent. If you want a singular choice, go for the orrichette with rapini and sausage.

Dinner for $35: Kyo Bar Japonais

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One of the participating steakhouses might feel like a no-brainer when it comes to a cheap-ish $35 menu, but Kyo Bar sports the most interesting menu of them all. Starting with a kaiso salad or miso soup (natch), you get three dishes from the following list: Beef sashimi, fish sashimi, eight maki, tempura tiger shrimps, chicken wings, slow-cooked pork belly, and gyoza. Dang son, what a mouthful.

Brunch for $17: NELLi

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Don't let the above photo from their Instagram fool you (for some reason they've got sandwiches but are holding back on posting them), this is probably the best bet for a brunch. Other restaurants have non-stop mimosas you can opt for, and hey, maybe that's your thing, but we're imaging you don't want to stay indoors too often and you've got better things to do. The simple breakfast sandwich offerings, avo toasts and smoked salmon bagels are good grab-and-go options, especially when paired up with their blueberry-dark chocolate chia pudding.

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