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Montreal Food Writers Name the Biggest Surprises of 2014

From Joe Mercuri to a Saint-Henri restaurant's taste in art.

Bar Mercuri
Bar Mercuri

As is tradition at Eater, we close the year with a survey of food critics, writers, and bloggers. This year we posed eight questions, from meal of the year, to top restaurant newcomers. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of 2014. Responses have been cut, pasted, and unedited, for the most part. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.

Lesley Chesterman, The Gazette fine dining critic:
Was fun to taste Joe Mercuri's food again. When Mercuri's on, it's a wild ride.

Ève Dumas, La Presse food writer:
Really good food and cocktails at the neighbourhood pub (Bishop & Bagg).

Andrée Harvey, ex-Voir food critic:
Un souper au restaurant gastronomique Mercuri. Éblouissant! Pour les détails : une entrée de pieuvre, pommes de terre Yukon Gold, olives Taggiasche et piments; un plat de ravioli aux ris de veau, maïs, chanterelles et épinards; au dessert, un sablé, poire, lime, concombre et gin.

Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse restaurant critic:
I think my eureka moment this year was when I realized how important is the quality of the art shown on the walls for the quality of my experience at a restaurant. Last winter, I went to a place with a very cool young chef in Toronto––Café Boulud for those who want to know––but the really bad art on the walls kind of ruined my meal, as if someone had put music in the background that was totally out of tune. Who would do that ? I hear they are changing the room now. Good news. On the contrary, I went to a place in Montréal where I had almost no expectations––Foyer––and the food was not bad at all but what made me really like the place was the art. The quality of the pieces––Baier, Séguin, among others––made me feel respected. Same thing with the Miro or Picasso original prints at Ferreira Café or the outstanding collection of contemporary art at Osteria Francescana in Modena in Italy.

Gildas Meneu, Voir food critic, creator of le gourmet galopin blog:
Sans aucun doute l'originalité de la cuisine du Manitoba (je me répète), même si elle ne fait pas l'unanimité.

Sarah Musgrave, The Gazette casual dining critic, enRoute magazine editor:
Montreal's cocktails finally getting better.

Bishop & Bagg

52 Saint-Viateur, Montreal, Quebec H2T 2K8 (514) 277-4400 Visit Website


645 Rue Wellington, Montreal, QC H3C 1T2 (514) 394-3444 Visit Website


3532 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H4C 1P3 (514) 508-3532


271 Rue Saint Zotique Ouest, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC H2V 1A4 (514) 270-8000 Visit Website