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 your best restaurant meal of 2016?
Lesley Chesterman, The Gazette fine dining critic:
Well, outside of Montreal I would say a jaw-dropping, seven-course, wild-game filled dinner at Raymonds in St-John’s Newfoundland, or maybe a fascinating dinner I had in Vienna at Restaurant Petz im Gußhaus where I was just so taken with the Weingut Knoll Loibner riesling 2013 served in this impossibly-thin Austrian crystal glass that I barely noticed what I was eating. I actually licked the inside of the glass when it was empty.
As for Montreal, I would say my review dinner at Toqué!, which I expected to be excellent in a serious sort of way but turned out to be fun, and perfect, with cool wines too. I walked away so impressed, and Normand Laprise wasn’t even there that night, he was at home with his kids.
Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse restaurant critic:
I think Vin Papillon with Ruth Reichl = food and wine and company just perfect.
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
I had stellar meals at Prune, Uncle Boon’s and Russ & Daughters in New York last spring but my best Montreal meal of 2016 was at Damas in July. I sampled most of the menu and it was all superb. The server made some overt attempts to upsell which was a drag, and it wasn’t as charming as my first taste of Damas years ago, but it’s easily one of my ten favourite restaurants in the city. Honourable mentions go to Montréal Plaza, Hoogan et Beaufort and a summer barbecue feast on Agrikol’s terrasse.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter:
Simple feta with cherry tomatoes and herbs cooked in a skillet over the fire at Foxy. Just perfect, simple, memorable.
Joanna Fox, Ricardo magazine associate editor:
Nora Gray, hands down.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
This summer Le Filet. This winter Joe Beef.
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
The cavatelli at Nora Gray - I’m still dreaming about the buttery sauce!
Coming tomorrow: the writers sum up the restaurant world in 2016, and offer predictions for what might happen in 2017.