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 2015. Responses have been cut, pasted, and unedited, for the most part. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Q: What were your top restaurant standbys of 2015?
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette:
I cook constantly so when not reviewing, I never dine out. That said, I like to go out for pizza with my kids every so often so I would say Pizza 900 because it’s excellent and so close to my house. I went back to GEMA last week and it has never been as good. I like Magpie in Mile End too. Otherwise the only other restaurant I go to is L’Express, which I love more than ever because the staff is just the best. And the wine list is always exciting.
Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse:
No great surprise here: I'm always at Olive + Gourmando for lunch because it's just utterly delicious and close to the newsroom. For a more formal lunch, Brasserie T is another favourite option. When I go out — not for work ! — I go to Vin Papillon because I like the concept — lots of vegetables, natural wines, small dishes — or I go to Brasserie Central not because it's outstanding but because it's a quiet resto de quartier, there is always room and I always order the same reliable dishes and it's relaxed and friendly. For desserts I love Patrice Pâtissier. Best coffee near my house is at Le Petit Trianon or Melk but when I am at the office I get my coffee at Veritas. Even though the decor is not great, the coffee is excellent.
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir:
Hôtel Herman, L’Express, Chinoiseries & Dumplings, Byblos le petit café, Au 14 Prince Arthur, Soy.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse:
One of my favourite Montreal restaurants closed this year, and I’m very sad about that: Les Trois Petits Bouchons. I was there at their last meal, to eat one more time their fabulous octopus and "vitello tonato" tartare. I will miss this place! I had some epic nights there. Otherwise, I would say that Gus, Le Comptoir, Cul-Sec, and Hôtel Herman are some of my favourite places right now. With the baby, I mostly went to restaurants for brunch this year and those are the places I go again and again: Ma’tine, Hof Kelsten, Santa Barbara, and Maison Publique. I also do love Hà for lunch or a quick dinner, and Saka-Ba or Kazu for a quick dinner, izakaya style!
Joanna Fox, Ricardo magazine, Eater Montreal contributor:
Vin Papillon, Gia Ba, Maison Publique, Satay Brothers, Chak Wow, Sumac, L’Express, Chalet BBQ.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Restaurants I go to a lot: Sumac and Hà. Because they're really good and in my budget. Henrietta soon.
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
Le samedi matin, c'est à la boulangerie Hof Kelsten que vous me trouverez, à boire un latte et à manger une babka au chocolat, ou bien chez Beauty's pour le sandwich BBM avec le smoothie bleu. Le restaurant vegan Aux Vivres fait également partie de mes "go-to places" pour un lunch ou un souper santé sur le pouce. La semaine, je me rends très souvent au Café Bloom à Pointe-St-Charles, à deux pas du boulot. Finalement, pour prendre un verre, le bar à cocktails Le Mal Nécessaire est clairement mon endroit favori.