Non-traditional Christmas meals in Montreal

This year, do you feel like you’re not in the mood for turkey, pie and all the stuff that comes with traditional holiday dinners? Here are some suggestions that will make you feel like you’re travelling to another country, and maybe even get you out of your comfort zone. I chose the theme of sharing because, for me, the holidays are all about sharing!

Damas Restaurant

1
1201, av Van Horne, Outremont, QC H2V 1K4

I recommend rationing, as you’ll want to order everything on the menu. If grabbing a table for two, I suggest that you start with four mezze (small dishes) to share. I recommend the Kibbé nayyé, which is a beef tartare with bulgur and seven spices; the Baba Ghannouj salad; the Fattouch salad; and the Sharhat, a filet mignon deglazed with lemon. They also offer several other combinations and even a 5-course tasting menu. Damas puts sunshine and happiness on your plate!

Restaurant Imadake

2
4006, rue Sainte-Catherine O, Westmount, QC H3Z 1P2

If you’re looking for a new way to celebrate the holidays, visit Imadake, complete with a Sake Bomb tree – a nod to our Christmas tree. At this Isakaya (think Japanese pub or tavern), you can order many small dishes to share: okonomiyaki with seafood, grilled chicken skin, grilled calamari, agedashi tofu, vegetables and shrimp tempura, karaage, or even a simmering Ramen, all while drinking a beer or sake! It is best to reserve in advance.

Le Petit Alep

3
191, rue Jean-Talon E, Montréal, QC H2R 1S8

Here we travel to Syria and Armenia, where the closest things to sunshine this holiday season are the Mazzas, grilled meats and other dishes that warm the heart! Start your experience with small sharing dishes: Mouhamara, hummus, garlic Labneh, Kebbé nayé, vine leaves and Akrass Naanaa. If you’re still hungry, order a Chiche Kabab or tasting platter, which includes the Kabab d’Alep, the Chiche Kabab and the Chiche Taouck.

Little Sheep

4
50, rue de la Gauchetière O, Montréal, QC H2Z 1C1

The place to go to enjoy fondue with friends! You can also snack on giblets (if you wish). You'll start your evening by choosing the broth, then the meat, vegetables and noodles - now you are ready to eat!

Auberge du Dragon Rouge

5
8870 Rue Lajeunesse, Montréal, QC H2M 1R6

A trip to the medieval era, anyone? They don’t take reservations here; it’s first come, first served. Start the evening with cold cuts and delicatessen items composed of duck rillettes, chicken liver mousse and wild boar pâté, perfect for sharing with your friends. You can then continue with the gargantuan feast (duck, guinea fowl, and spare ribs) or the gargantuan wild boar feast!

Tapas 24

6
420, rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, QC H2Y 1V3

Why not sample from the tasting menu - which is like a one-way ticket to Barcelona - or order different tapas to be shared? If you choose croquettes, meat or fish, I suggest ordering several of them. Their las bravas, potatoes, fried eggplant, ceviche and tartare are also excellent, and the paella is a must! Reservations are recommended.

Le Nil Bleu

7
3706, rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3L7

In this restaurant offering fine Ethiopian cuisine, the spirit of sharing is at its best. All the sharing plates are served with a different kind of pancake. The music and striking decor (think bright white and animal prints) transport us elsewhere. My favourite dishes on the tasting menu are the Yemesser watt (a lentil dish in sauce), beef tartare with Ethiopian spices and eggplant. Reservations are recommended.

Mon Nan Village

8
1098, rue Clark, Montréal, QC H2Z 1K2

Exchange the traditional turkey for the traditional...duck! At Mon Nan Village, roast duck is prepared three ways so that all of the cuts can be enjoyed. Opt for the three-course meal - soup, pancakes and duck chow mein - ideal for sharing in small groups. For me, it is the best in Montreal!

O. Noir

9
124, rue Prince-Arthur E, Montréal, QC H2X 1B5

Eating in total darkness is quite an experience! Why not visit O’noir with a group of friends or with your family? Memorable anecdotes are guaranteed! The menu offers a variety of dishes, including pork tenderloin, grilled beef shoulder fillet and fresh pasta with lobster.

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