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Ora is a trendy restaurant and lounge in beautiful Old Montreal. The vibe is chic and laid-back, with modern furnishings, hardwood floors and large windows opening on the sidewalk. The upscale Mediterranean menu is composed of meat, pasta and seafood classics, as well as more creative options like the grilled boneless quail or the Charlevoix veal trio. A tapas menu is available Tuesday to Thursday and a wonderful Wine & Cheese formula is offered on Thursday evenings. This hotspot is also ideal for business parties and special events.
Usually overshadowed by the legendary Schwartz's just across the street, this late night standby nonetheless boasts excellent smoked meat, sandwiches and platters and passable sandwiches, burgers and steaks (famous Rib Steak Special, with grilled liver appetizer and all the trimmings). The decor is undeniably tired, and it can get a bit lonely at 4a, but at that hour there aren't many other options. Even in the wee hours, however, the service is quick and friendly.
Montreal's best-known French bistro enters the 21st Century with its reputation firmly intact; flawless cuisine, imperturbable if somewhat Parisian service and a smoky, some would say loud atmosphere. The menu rotates somewhat, and there are always daily specials, but L' Express is best known for the standard appetizers. The wine list contains exclusively French wines with reasonable prices for your enjoyment by the glass or by the bottle.
Located on the shopping and clubbing strip of Crescent, this small Lebanese restaurant prepares simple, traditional middle-eastern fare. Come here for chicken-pita, kebabs or an assortment of vegetarian dishes. This small eatery is popular among students and younger crowds, and the friendly staff give the place a feeling of old-style Middle-Eastern charm. Sports are projected on an oversize flat-screen TV. Delivery is available in the downtown core only, and you can even order online.
This tiny diner on the corner of St-Laurent and Rachel serves immaculately prepared greasy spoon standards. Breakfast, which is served all day long, offers heaping portions of the trademark home fries and a good selection of fruit to balance things out. Lunch and dinner feature huge burgers and sandwiches. The décor is kitschy but not obnoxious, and the vinyl stools at the counter are definitely the place to be. The upbeat staff knows the regulars, most of whom wish it was slightly closer to home. Only cash is accepted.
This restaurant had its beginnings over four decades ago when a community fireman, Pierre Barsalou, started it. Known primarily as a 24-hour casse-coute, a kind of fast-food eatery, La Baquise serves a wide variety of poutine (traditional Quebec-style fries, topped with rich gravy and melting cheese curds). In addition to the traditional recipe, now you can find some twenty-three variants including Italian, hot dog, bacon and even pizza! The eatery includes a summer terrace and serves micro-brewed beers, as well as breakfasts.