A Montreal Restaurant Ranks Among Canada's Best For Dates — My Partner & I Put It To The Test

We can't wait to go back.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Someone wearing a collared shirt holds a drink sitting at a restaurant table in front of bird wallpaper. Right: A bowl with vegan cassoulet at La Fabrique.

Someone wearing a collared shirt holds a drink sitting at a restaurant table in front of bird wallpaper. Right: A bowl with vegan cassoulet at La Fabrique.

Montreal is chock full of award-winning restaurants to entice your taste buds and budding romance, but some spots score way higher on scoring you another date. La Fabrique in the Plateau may well top the list, and not just in the city — it actually ranked as one of the most date-worthy dinner destinations in Canada this year. After a recent visit with my partner, I get why.

Quality ambiance, food and service are key when trying to connect with a date or loved one on a night out, and La Fabrique serves generous portions of all three.

For starters, you're made to feel valued from the moment you walk in. If you're lucky enough to nab a table without a reservation (like we were), you'll be relieved of your coats at the entrance and walked to your table by the attentive hostess.

La Fabrique's ambiance is country chic with slightly mismatched lighting that casts cool shadows, exudes effortless charm and gives the restaurant a relaxed vibe.

Tables are spaced far enough apart to offer some privacy and let you actually hear your date during a conversation. We were seated in a cute nook covered with wallpaper of birds flitting between branches.

The entrance to La Fabrique. Right: House cocktails with an apple garnish.The entrance to La Fabrique. Right: House cocktails with an apple garnish.@sofsilva.mtl | Instagram, @w.princetagram | Instagram

Within the first few minutes of sitting down, a server brought us water and took our drink order, so there were no awkward moments looking around trying to get anyone's attention.

You can pick from an extensive wine list or opt for a classic cocktail. The seasonal house special is a winter-perfect cranberry, apple and rosemary concoction that's refreshing and not too sweet ($14 with rum, $7 without).

A second server brought us pre-meal amuse-bouche: slices of rustic bread served with chive cream cheese and slices of crisp and tangy gingered pickles made in-house.

If you really like the pickles, they're also used to flavour the pulled pork burger ($30), along with hot pepper and coleslaw. The bun is seared with cheddar cheese that adds crunch to the juicy meat. Homemade fries cooked in duck fat come on the side with tamarind mayo.

The burger is hefty enough to share if you're in the mood to sample multiple dishes with your date, and restaurant staff are happy to accommodate with extra plates and silverware.

The pulled pork burger. Right: Sofia with the cotton candy.The pulled pork burger. Right: Someone in a red sweater with a small container of cotton candy.@w.princetagram | Instagram

The dish that most stood out, however, was the vegan cassoulet with romano bean, lion's mane mushrooms, sweet and sour tofu, carrot-ginger mash, kohlrabi salad and peanuts ($25). The stew is traditionally made with sausage and duck confit, but this version is arguably better and could still appeal to any meat lover.

Not only was it flavourful, hearty and protein-filled, but its use of lion's mane was a major draw. (Side note: my partner and I have been curious about the mushroom since watching the "Fantastic Fungi" Netflix documentary and knew what we had to order when we saw it on the menu.) In the cassoulet, the lion's mane has a texture like less dense, spongy fried tofu and takes the place of the usual chunks of meat.

The meal ended with a complimentary serving of cotton candy, which adds just the right touch of sweetness after a filling meal.

For a fancier restaurant, the price of the dinner date with cocktails came to a reasonable $80 (including tip).

La Fabrique comes highly recommended as a calm and classy setting to connect with a date over an elevated meal. You can trust that everything will flow smoothly thanks to excellent service, and can't help but leave feeling full and content. Simply put: we can't wait to go back.

La Fabrique

Where: 3619, rue Saint Denis

When: open Tuesday to Saturday

Website

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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