The second edition of MTL à Table/Taste MTL came to a close yesterday. A full 128 restaurants took part in the SAQ, Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers and Tourisme Montréal event. Notables included BarBounya, Europea, Les 400 Coups, Le Margaux, Milos, Pastaga, Pintxo, Le Van Horne and Toqué!
Not everyone opts in to the New York Restaurant Week-inspired, OpenTable-promoted, reduced-price format of course. But for many the event is a way to draw in new customers and mitigate the effects of what can be a sluggish time of year, business-wise.
For Fisun Ercan, the chef/owner of Su in Verdun and BarBounya in Mile End, the experience is worth it: "It might be tough to handle a ten-day event like this if we were open seven days a week, because it's been so busy. But we're closed Sundays and Mondays so it's not too crazy. We would participate again. It's definitely a worthwhile event to be a part of."
Boris Ruest, the maître d'hôtel at Old Montreal's Le Local, was borderline effusive this past Saturday, as the restaurant prepped for a busy service: "It's been nuts since Taste MTL launched. We're doing record numbers of covers and flipping tables three times. November can be slow - especially those weeks before the holiday groups - so this is a great way to build some momentum."
Some participants, namely restaurateur Jorge da Silva Jr., volunteered more definitive proof of success.
· Taste MTL [Tourisme Montréal]
· Eating High End On the Low Dollar at Taste MTL [Gazette]