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 revealed by the time we turn off the lights at the end of 2016. Responses are unedited, for the most part. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Q: What was the biggest dining surprise of 2016?
Lesley Chesterman, The Gazette fine dining critic:
The amount of pizza I was eating. There is A TON of pizza in Montreal these days, and fortunately, a lot of it is good.
Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse restaurant critic:
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
Other than Otto’s yakitori (and otherwise) excellence, Thaï Sep in Villeray. Kathleen Chen, who works with me at Ricardo in our test kitchen, first told me about the restaurant’s Isan-Lao cuisine (three days before Marie-Claude Lortie reviewed Thaï Sep in La Presse, coincidentally). Her advice: skip the predictable pan-Asian stuff, order off the menu’s “authentic” page and try the fermented sausages. Those sausages were the greatest thing I ate in 2016. I can’t stop thinking about them. I’d love the restaurant even more if the kitchen narrowed its focus (hint: ditch the General Tao and cashew chicken).
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter:
Crew Collective & Cafe — this place is really one to discover. Announced as a collective work space and cafe, it's the food that keeps me coming back there again and again. The flavors are never boring, the dishes are delicious. The choices are limited but really different than what you usually get out there for lunch. And the space is just so impressive!
Joanna Fox, Ricardo magazine associate editor:
The outdoor dining area at Agrikol: It made you feel like you were in a totally different place, without ever leaving the city. Just magical.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Chasse-Galerie — great gastronomic experience and such nice people behind the project.
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
The pho at CAFEDEN - so yum!
Coming tomorrow: the writers’ best and most disappointing meals of 2016.