From Nov. 1 to 11, Taste MTL offers the opportunity to visit more than 125 restaurants and receive their table d’hôte at a discounted price of either $19, $29 and $39. Yes, you get an entrée, main course and dessert for a very decent price from some of Montreal’s best restaurants that are otherwise pricey.
This initiative was put together by Tourisme Montréal and presented by Produits d’érable du Québec in collaboration with the SAQ. Tourisme Montréal is a private and non-profit organization whose goal is to promote the city as a great travelling destination. It started as a contest of circumstances, led mostly by the growing popularity of fine food.
According to Pierre Bellerose, vice-president of Tourisme Montréal and spokesperson for Taste MTL, the culture of “foodies” has grown. He and his colleagues have come up with a strategy to make Montreal a gastronomical experience for both tourists and citizens.
Bellerose also noticed since the summer of 2012, the “cahier gourmands” are now as popular as the arts sections in newspapers such as La Presse or The Gazette. What was merely an article a decade ago, is now a section of its own.
In order to participate in the events, the restaurants need to be members of Tourisme Montréal. Many restaurants have joined them after the popularity of the first edition. There has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of participants.
“Restaurants reflect the culture of a city,” explained Bellerose.
Taste MTL offers culinary tours in four areas in the city: Old Montreal, the Red Light District, the Mile-End and St-Henri. A guide will accompany a group of at least six people around the neighbourhood for $35 where they will hear anecdotes and taste some yummy food.
November is usually a hollow period for restaurants. With Taste MTL, they have an opportunity to offer their menus at decent prices where anyone can try what they have to offer.
There are already four restaurants that are booked for this edition: Europea, Restaurant Toqué!, Chez Chose and Les 400 coups. Bellerose suggested two French cuisine restaurants that he discovered last year, Bistro Cocagne and Laloux.
“It is an opportunity to reach a new clientele,” said manager of Laloux Fanny Alaizeau about participation.
Alaizeau added that they wish to revitalize their clientele with their $19 table d’hote promotion. It is not about making great revenue, but more of a long-term investment for the restaurant.
“I think it’s a wonderful, a great initiative!” she added.
Here are a few participating restaurants :