It's my dad's b-day this Tuesday and he will be joining my brother in Montreal for the week for some festivities in our favorite city. We are no strangers to Montreal - I lived there for 5 years, my bro has been there 2 years now and both our parents hail from Mtl.
That being said, I'm looking for something outside the main choices for a nice dinner as a gift - with the caveat that Italian is about ethnic as things can get. My dad is an adventurous and voracious eater, but rarely without me there to drag him into anything originating West of the Pacific (sushi, Thai, Vietnamese...).
He has done all the big names that I was familiar with when I left Montreal 5 years ago so I am looking for ideas - it would also be nice if I could pay/buy a gift certificate from California to save my brother some of the expense...
Travel is not an issue as both he and my brother have vehicles and are very comfortable with the Metro.
Here's a quick list of what's been done in recent years to avoid duplication:
Chez l'Epicier - loved it, but have done it ALOT
Toque - really did not enjoy
APDC - done a few times now, likes it, but is getting old
Club Chasse et Peche - really liked this one
Queue de Cheval - good, but way too overpriced for his tastes
Tsirco - didn't really care for the atmosphere, enjoyed the food
Au P'tit Extra - liked the food, hated the elbow-to-elbow atmosphere
Katsura - before it closed, I got him out here quite a few times
Bato Thai - prime example of too much atmosphere, good food, but he couldn't concentrate since our male servers had "dresses and makeup on..."
He also loves a bunch of old Italian restos and a Portuguese resto around the Crescent/Bishop area, but my brother and I try to avoid that area like the plague...
Thanks a lot for any suggestions!