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The Biggest Montreal Restaurant Gripes of 2015

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Food writers kvetch.

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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 was your biggest restaurant grievance of 2015?

Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette:
Bad background music. And I’m not saying loud, I’m saying bad. I think the positive or negative effect of background music on the overall experience is underestimated by Montreal restaurateurs.

Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse:
I am getting a bit tired of the naked bulbs and wannabe hipster restaurant designs that lack imagination. I think there are plenty of excellent designers in Montreal and we should see more quality and more diversity. Also, I can't stand bad art in a restaurant with ambition. Restaurateurs should be paying more attention to the quality of what they put on their walls. Graziella is an example to follow, as well as Filet, Serpent and Club Chasse et Pêche. These guys know what they are doing.

Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir:
Pas assez de légumes. Pas assez de traçabilité. Trop de musique au volume mal ajusté.

Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse:
The closure of some great restaurants on the Plateau that have been there for many years: Les Trois Petits Bouchons, but also Le 5e péché. It’s so hard to last as a restaurant in Montreal, because there are always some new places to go and to try — and as journalists obsessed with novelty, we contribute to that, in a way. Obviously the restaurants that will open in the Plateau should really focus on appealing to locals, as it's more and more difficult to go there by car.

Joanna Fox, Ricardo magazine, Eater Montreal contributor:
Still thinking it’s ok to make your female wait staff dress like tarts.

Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
On the restaurant side: Some chefs or restaurateurs acting like assholes. Certains doivent se rappeler que ce qu’ils font est super, mais que ça reste un restaurant et non un remède contre le SIDA. On the client side: Les clients qui se ruent aux ouvertures ou essaient des restaurants les premières semaines avec de très hautes attentes. Les débuts sont rarement parfaits. À l’époque, un critique attendait habituellement au moins trois mois avant d’essayer un endroit pour donner le temps de s’ajuster. Les gens sont parfois vraiment exigeants et difficiles et veulent tout très rapidement. Beaucoup d’effort, d’argent et de temps ont été investis dans chacun des projets qui ouvrent. Peut-être attendre un peu? And be kind.

Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
Encore les histoires de paperasse et de permis, qui ont une fois de plus retardé bien des restaurateurs en leur mettant des bâtons dans les roues de manière totalement injuste.

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