Eater Montreal is live, at last, and here to cover one of the most dynamic food capitals in the world. From casse-croûtes to Relais & Chateaux tables, the mission is to go H.A.M. on the restaurant and bar scene and faithfully rep the 514 and the rest of la belle province.
Eater Montreal couldn't be more delighted to join the growing family of Eater websites, which includes Eater National and local sites in 27 North American markets. We're also proud to be launching alongside fellow Canadians Eater Vancouver and Eater Toronto and our sister real estate sites Curbed Vancouver and Curbed Toronto.
You may want to know more about me, Ian Harrison, your Eater Montreal editor. I was born in Montreal, at the General, to a "Baron Byng, Mordecai Richler" Jewish mother and a father from Georgetown, Guyana. (The result: I ate schmaltz and roti as a child and can kick some Yiddish and West Indian patois if you ply me with enough Bierbrier.)
The genesis of my journey to Eater took place in 2004 when I strongarmed Anthony Bourdain into visiting Montreal for the first time. The Kitchen Confidential author met a soul brother in Martin Picard and left Au Pied de Cochon transformed. Something, mercifully, had clicked.
A year later I was the fixer on the Quebec episode of No Reservations. During our shoot, a crew dinner at a new Little Burgundy restaurant called Joe Beef (where I subsequently shucked oysters and tended bar) spurred another pivotal bromance between Bourdain and David McMillan and Frédéric Morin. The rest is history.
Amidst all that these encounters wrought, Montreal's food scene has matured. Chefs have come from other cities, more than ever before, to open up successful restaurants. Homegrown cooks have been given platforms to thrive too and, as a city, we're exporting a lot of talent abroad.
And yet we have our constants. Normand Laprise and Richard Bastien still run their respective kitchens. Jacques Muller patrols Le Mas des Oliviers. La Binerie, Wilensky's, Schwartz's - all present and accounted for.
Whether as a former freelancer for the Gazette or as an ad hoc food tour guide, I feel blessed to live in and serve as a conduit, of sorts, for this extraordinary multilingual, multicultural city of ours. But I can't do it alone.
Eater Montreal will deliver all the news on restaurant openings, closings and other happenings. But S.V.P. do not hesitate to hit up our tipline, firstname.lastname@example.org. Reader input, comments, rants and raves are our lifeblood. So whether you're friends with someone who works at the hottest new restaurant in the Plateau, or know a pastry chef who's pimping pouding chômeur — or anything else — let us know. Nothing is too small or too weird. We want it all.
Merci Montréal. Thanks Mom. Thanks Daniel. Long live knishes and cassareep.