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My 5 favourite Canadian restaurants for date night

Clarah Germain has eaten at the very best restaurants in Canada and this is her top 5.

Living with a chef means understanding that you sometimes won’t see a whole lot of each other. It means accepting that you won’t really be together on Fridays and Saturdays, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.

On the other hand, it also means appreciating each minute together and making the most of every opportunity you have to meet. Our greatest pleasure? Sitting at the bar in a restaurant we enjoy, trying great wines and sharing a bite.

Here are our 5 favourite Canadian restaurants for the perfect romantic evening, from east to west:

Mallard Cottage (St. John's): When we’re not at the hotel or the restaurant, this has become our home base since we moved to the island of Newfoundland. We love to sit at the bar and let the kitchen take charge of the evening. A charming cocoon of comfort, every time.

Ah La Vache (Baie-Saint-Paul): Hands down, this is our favourite restaurant of all time. The ten-seat mini-restaurant has something magical about it — and its amazing owners, Nicolas and Sofie, are well aware of its enchanting qualities. With a cheese fondue and a good bottle of wine (that we bring ourselves!), it’s the perfect spot for a romantic rendezvous on a winter’s night.

Tavern on the Square (Montreal): When we want a romantic evening, Matt and I often turn to the classics; those places where we feel good, and where we can drink and eat well. Tavern on the Square ticks all the boxes. The team is fabulous (I mean, really fabulous), the wine list is excellent (ask for recommendations — there are always some interesting bottles that aren’t on the menu) and the food is consistently delicious. Insider tips: The bar at Tavern on the Square is perfect. It’s truly the best place to pull up a seat. And if, like us, your schedule differs from the norm, go on a Monday evening. You’ll see why!

North & Navy (Ottawa): The first time we went to eat at North & Navy, Matt and I were in our first few months of dating. We sat at the chef's counter, stars in our eyes and hearts leaping out of our chests. As you’d expect, everything seemed exceptional. A few years later we returned and found, much to our delight, that those heady days of early romance had not created rose-coloured memories: North & Navy is an outstanding restaurant delivering near-perfect service. I cannot recommend strongly enough that you ask to be seated at the counter in the kitchen, for a truly unforgettable evening.

Bar Von Der Fels (Calgary): This tiny wine bar a stone's throw from Le Germain Hotel Calgary is the perfect place for us to spend the evening saying we love each other. The wine is good, as are the sharing plates — and you feel right at home the minute you walk through the door.

Bon appétit, lovebirds!

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Clarah GermainFebruary 10th, 2020
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