Posted on November 1st, 2010 by .

Toqué is arguably Montreal’s most revered restaurant. It is a white tablecloth institution that has long been known for its fabulous service, contemporary décor, and extraordinary tasting menus. I’ve celebrated some special occasions here, including a very romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. (Note to any gentlemen readers: My date got bonus points for having superb taste in venues.)

Good news for the business crowd: Under the masterful eye of culinary star chef Normand Laprise, Toqué’s posh dining room in the International Quarter is now open for lunch. Local nine-to-five folk – and savvy out-of-towners – can now enjoy haute cuisine midday, between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., in a relaxed yet refined atmosphere.

Lunchers will enjoy Laprise’s fine-tuned, local produce vision; plus wines by the glass, conveniently available in full or half servings, respectively 4 oz or 2 oz. This means having, let’s say, a demi-verre of Vermentino 2009 Alta Mesa with your beet salad (as I did) and switching it up with a Douro 2006 Muxagat for your beef bourguignon – and not going back to your desk on wobbly feet.

Here I am with Toqué’s sommelier Samuel Chevalier-Savaria. Lunchtime guests can now order wines by the glass (4 oz) or half glass (2 oz).

The restaurant has also remodelled their bar. It now seats up to 15 people in a dynamic U-shaping setting: perfect for less formal rapid-fire meals. (Come Dec. 1st, Toqué will also introduce a special bar menu for evening bites – a good spot for a first date, in case you’re worried about committing to a full-on, sit down meal with a total stranger.)

Just to be fair, I’ve also listed three more restaurants that offer, fast and classy midday meals. If you have an important client to wine and dine for a working lunch, or you just want out of the daily cafeteria grind, each one is definitely an address to impress.


Chef: Normand Laprise

Cuisine: Market

Prix fixe: From $25

Menu includes: 4 starters + 4 mains + regular coffee or tea, cheese and dessert are extra.

Time: Tuesday to Friday, 11:30 to 2 p.m.

Address: 900 Jean-Paul-Riopelle Place

Ambience: An elegant and contemporary space in warm hues

Neighbourhood: International Quarter

Call to reserve: (514) 499-2084

Nearby hotel: InterContinental, 360 St-Antoine St. W.

Business brief: The restaurant faces the Convention Centre (Palais des congrès), making it super simple to walk across the street for lunch.


Chef: Graziella Battista

Cuisine: Italian

Prix fixe: $25

Menu includes: 4 starters + 5 mains, coffee and dessert are extra.

Time: Monday to Friday, 12 p.m to 2:30 p.m.

Address: 116 McGill St.

Ambience: Modern, bright interior in natural tones with an impressive 20-foot ceiling

Neighbourhood: Old Montreal

Call to reserve: (514) 876-0116

Nearby hotel: St-Paul, 355 McGill Ave.

Business brief: Private rooms are available for working lunches; they can accommodate 6 to 25 people with access to a projection screen and WiFi.


Chef: Costas Spiladis

Cuisine: Greek, seafood

Prix fixe: From $20.10 (to honour the current year)

Menu includes: 8 starters + 6 main + dessert, the menu is online.

Time: Monday to Friday, 12 p.m to 3 p.m.

Address: 5357 Parc Ave.

Ambience: Open concept market kitchen and white spacious dining room

Neighbourhood: Mile End

Call to reserve: (514) 272-3522

Nearby hotel: Le Germain, 2050 Mansfield St.

Business brief: A little bit uptown but definitely worth the drive if you love seafood.


Chef: Jérôme Ferrer

Cuisine: Market with French influence

Prix fixe: $23.50 to $29.50

Menu includes: An amuse-bouche, 5 to 6 starters + 9 mains, cheese or dessert is extra.

Time: Tuesday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Address: 1227 de la Montagne St.

Ambience: Victorian mansion with contemporary décor

Neighbourhood: Downtown

Call to reserve: (514) 398-9229

Nearby hotel: Vogue, 1425 de la Montagne St.

Business brief: Private room is available for 25 -30 people with projection screen.


  1. web shopping sites

    / Jan 9th

    This is really a power lunch restaurant. I like it.

  2. Miracle

    / May 7th

    Thank God! Someone with brains sapkes!

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