Vegan vs. steak for those who live off-island.
Montrealers have their pick of date-worthy restaurants to treat a romantic interest on a night out. For those who live off-island, the options can feel somewhat slimmer. But a new ranking by dating app Bumble and online reso site OpenTable finds two spots in Laval and Brossard are among the best in Canada. According to the list, vegan restaurant LOV DIX30 on the South Shore and Sterlings Steakhouse in Laval strike the right balance between tasty food that can impress a potential SO and relaxed ambiance to counter the awkwardness that can come with an IRL meet-up.
North of Montreal, Sterlings has a reputation as one of the top three steakhouses in the region. The decor is upscale but the atmosphere is casual. The menu is stacked with wood-charcoaled meat and fish options, like the eight-ounce filet mignon with melting brie on garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables and port sauce ($58) or the grilled salmon fillet with veggies and wild rice ($36). You can get your steak anywhere from blue (grilled on the outside and completely red in the centre) to Pittsburgh pink (charred on the outside with your choice of inside texture). A wide selection of wines is also available to pair with your meal.
If you or your date isn't into surf and turf, or you're on the other side of Montreal, LOV restaurant at DIX30 may be worth a visit. The vegan chain does have locations in Montreal (on McGill and de la Montagne), but it was the Quartier DIX30 one that made the ranking for best date spots in Canada.
LOV offers what it calls a "beautifully balanced botanic menu" full of veggie-based options from king oyster "scallops" ($16.75) and palm heart "calamari" ($14) appetizers to tofu "fish n' chips" ($16.75) and mushroom risotto ($24) with arborio rice, mushrooms and green peas in a cashew cream, sprinkled with vegan parmesan. The restaurant has a crisp white classy cottage feel to it, so you can chat with your date in a relaxed, summery atmosphere year-round. Cocktails like the Botanique with gin, cucumber and lime juice, ginger syrup and coriander ($14) and the kombucha mojito with rum, ginger kombucha, lime and mint ($12) come highly recommended.
So whether you're on the island or not, a perfect date restaurant is never too far away.
Sterlings Steakhouse & Bar
Where: 165, Promenade du Centropolis, Laval
Reason to Try: Sterlings specialises in steak, fish and seafood, along with an extensive wine list.
Where: 9180, boul. Leduc, Suite 105, Brossard
Reason to Try: LOV offers a fully vegan menu with classy cocktails in an upscale setting.