enRoute, Air Canada's inflight travel magazine, went public with the 30 nominees for Canada's best new restaurant of 2014 today. Food writer Andrew Braithwaite will soon narrow the list down to ten.
Until then, you get a chance to have your say with the People's Choice Award. Six Montreal restaurants compete for the title of best new restaurant in Canada (along with seven from Toronto and five from Vancouver). They are:
· Le H4C: "A former post office in Place Saint-Henri (the restaurant's name references the local postal code) now delivers the precise cooking of chef Dany Bolduc in a slick, open space."
· Impasto: "In a low-key but gleaming box in the city's Little Italy neighbourhood, Stefano Faita and chef Michele Forgione refine the details of Italian comfort cooking with precision and control, but no shortage of charm."
· Mercuri: "Chef Joe Mercuri, once of the much-beloved Brontë, returns with this eponymous restaurant that puts his creative cooking back in the spotlight where it belongs."
· Patrice Pâtissier: "Patisserie wizard Patrice Demers, who turned heads with his desserts at Les Chèvres and Les 400 Coups, adds a savoury evening menu and wine list to his solo debut."
· Le Serpent: "The team behind Montreal's Club Chasse et Pêche and Le Filet, Claude Pelletier and Hubert Marsolais, retained the snaking overhead pipes when they transformed the old Darling bell-foundry space into this mod, industrial-chic room. "
· Le Vin Papillon: "Just a few doors down from their meat-focused Little Burgundy joints Joe Beef and Liverpool House, local legends David McMillan and Fred Morin have added a third child to their restaurant family that shares its older siblings' general disposition but does its own thing with a vegetable-focused menu."
As per usual, a panel of food writers, chefs and others from across Canada championed personal favourites (open between June 2013 and June 2014) to enRoute editor-in-chief Ilana Weitzman. The list of 30 nominees is a result of those submissions. The magazine did not compensate panelists for restaurant dinners or for write-ups.
The Montreal panel consisted of Gazette critic Sarah Musgrave, La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie, blogger Katerine-Lune Rollet and your Eater Montreal editor.
Other notables on the list include Légende (Quebec City), Mallard Cottage (St. John's), Bar Buca (Toronto), The Chase (Toronto) and Farmer's Apprentice (Vancouver).
You can vote for the best new restaurant in Canada here.