The wine bar – that symbol of ’80s yuppie snobbery – is making a comeback, and this time everyone’s invited. The 21st century wine bar is a place where you can relax in a cozy atmosphere and enjoy fine vinos by the glass or the bottle while snacking on gourmet bites. Here are four of Montreal’s finest – upmarket, but chilled out.
A cozy Old Port spot, Aszú’s Hungarian name refers to its speciality, Tokaji wines, those of the “noble rot” that give these sweet drinks their distinctive flavour. A small but strong selection of dishes – including a killer caviar and vodka platter – means that you don’t have to imbibe on an empty stomach. 212 Notre-Dame St. West, (514) 845-5436.
The menu at this European-style wine bar changes daily, but the Mediterranean-inspired dishes – fried olives, prosciutto and melon – seldom miss. Trust their suggested combinations, or take the plunge with the mystery list, featuring four anonymous glasses. 5425 St-Laurent Blvd., (514) 276-0249.
Pop! Bar a vin
This beautiful adjunct to the fancy-schmancy Laloux restaurant is decorated in vintage Danish modern furniture. The surprisingly affordable food menu features the specialty: tartes salées. 250 Des Pins Ave. E., (514) 287-1648.
A favourite of resto industry types, this place gets busy when others clear out. The servers here are all basically sommeliers, and cozy private nooks are perfect for enjoying decadent treats, including what may be the best sweetbreads in town. 3424 Du Parc Ave., (514) 288-7779.