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Photograph: Matt Ayotte

You've got less than two weeks left for MTLàTABLE—here's where to feast on the cheap

Montreal's yearly table-d’hôte dining festival is coming to a close soon, so here's where you need to eat up.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

It's been one of the longest running sessions for MTLàTABLE, which came back to life this year with a renewed formula that started back on June 23; now it's coming to a close soon enough on October 11.

Montrealers are the type to enjoy good food, but when that food is cheap? They show up in droves. Who could blame them? The city's neighborhoods and its restaurants are experiencing the end of the harvest and making the most of it with a table-d’hôte formula that falls within one of four price ranges: $20 to $35, $36 to $45, $46 at $60, $61 and more.

However, there are dozens and dozens of spots to pick from, so the question is, which ones should you try before you run out of time? Try these on for size, organized by price (just click on the restaurant name to see the menu):

The super cheap ($20 to $35)

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  • Moleskine: We're a little biased, but a pizza topped with Quebec corn cream, chorizo, fontina, marinated red onions, smoked paprika, and capers sounds pretty good at this time of year. So does tagliatelle with mussels from les Îles.
  • Gandhi: A butter chicken Thali from one of the best Indian restaurants in town, as well as chai tea and a daily dessert thrown in for good measure? Great for lunch or dinner.
  • Manöubia: Blending Spanish and Tunisian flavours into one menu, this place is keeping it fresh with plate of Tunisian salad as they are keeping you warm with dishes like couscous with lamb skewers and Catalan mussels.

The cheap ($36 to $45)

  • Labo culinaire - Foodlab: Here's where you can dine on some of the finer things in Montreal without breaking the bank, and you can trust that the work of chef Virginie Picard with seasonal produce and pastry chef Delphine Bordeleau will be delicate and delicious.

  • Les Street Monkeys: Chef Tota Oung's Cambodian champion of a destination down in Verdun isn't pulling any punches, serving up a worthy menu with a Quebec mushroom nhoam (a Cambodian grilled salad) and kroeung chicken and lemongrass beef skewers with jasmine rice.
  • Boris Bistro: A classic in the city, Boris' red wine calf cheek, onion and carrot purée, Brussels sprouts, and blueberries will have you thinking that gluten was never necessary for a delicious and filling meal—we're sure you'll lick the plate of hay-smoked panna cotta with haskap and buckthorn jam, too.

The sort-of cheap ($46 at $60)

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  • Restaurant H3: Gorgeous food in an equally gorgeous atmosphere, Restaurant H3 turned heads with their rooftop terrasse earlier this year, but their menu of dishes like grilled sweetbreads and ricotta cavatelli will keep you coming back.
  • Joon: Chef Erin Mahoney's takes on the culinary traditions of the Caucasus are captured for MTLàTABLE this year with one of the most sophisticated menus we've seen; zucchini beignet? A Quebec veal kabob marinated in a pomegranate and walnut paste? A squash flan for dessert? Sign us up!
  • Le Virunga: The African continent opens up here for all to taste, thanks to chef Maria-José de Frias. The eggplant ratatouille with attiéké (cassava couscous), duck breast, and Angolan coconut cream with a coconut cloud is worth the couple extra bucks you'll spend.

The not-so-cheap ($61 and more)

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  • La Chronique: French cuisine, oui! It may not be the cheapest of options ($95 for the whole package), but with dishes like lobster ravioli or Kamouraska lamb with candied potatoes? Olivier de Montigny's work in the kitchen never sounded so good (or so accessible).
  • Hoogan et Beaufort: Marc-André Jetté's menu is a five-course tasting menu that's a steal at $90; from an amuse-bouche of Quebec Mozzarella, tomato, and strawberry to La Canardière duck and a desert of the last-ever Quebec blueberries? You have to try it.
  • ITHQ: The emerging talents of this training ground for the next generation of great Quebecois chefs is offering a moderately price menu for $72 that includes head-turning dishes like scallop tataki, saffron-infused zucchini blossom, and Guinea fowl breast in between liver mousse starters and Quebec cheese for dessert.

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