2016 is but one day from over — so here’s a chance to stroll down a memory lane that isn’t lined with celebrity deaths. Eater has covered no shortage of scandals, chef shuffles, closures, and almost endless openings. Right here are the ones that drew in the most eyeballs, although we’re not counting special planned features such as previews, or continuously updated posts like our closure round-up. And if it’s the most read food maps you’re looking for, you’re on the wrong page. Onward to 2017.
Old Montreal’s splendid Royal Bank Tower on Saint-Jacques was remade into a spectacular cafe-slash-freelance work space in May, and Eater photographer Randall Brodeur captured Crew Collective & Café in all its glory. The glorious photo gallery drew more attention than any other news story on the site, while showing readers that Old Montreal doesn’t have to be a tourist trap.
Shame on you, Montreal — the second most read story for the entire year was actually about Toronto. A Yorkville location of the Italian food hall and upmarket retailer was announced in April, as a partnership between Eataly’s founder and the ultra-rich Weston family, who own Holt Renfrew and more. As a consolation, at least a little bit of Montreal news was contained in the same post.
Well-loved Montreal restaurateur Antonio Park partnered with the people behind Flyjin, Jatoba and more, to open up the sprawling Kampai Garden, a beer-and-cocktail garden that takes up an entire floor of the otherwise slightly sad Faubourg Sainte-Catherine shopping centre downtown. The anticipation was so much that this post about the design and construction grabbed more attention than the opening of Kampai itself.
Montrealers seemed to show a newfound interest in classic Jewish cuisines this year, between Arthurs in St-Henri and Fletchers in the Plateau. This preview of what former Joe Beefers Raegan Steinberg and Alex Cohen had planned for their self-described nosh bar caught readers’ attention with saliva-inducing descriptions of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic soul food the restaurant was set to offer after its June opening.
The year’s most attention-grabbing controversy came in two parts. First, darling of the restaurant class of 2015 Le Mousso was slapped with not one, but two $1,875 fines for a noise complaint. Owner and chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard took to Facebook to rant, and then in an odd cherry on top of the whole saga, a table of 14 cancelled at the last second on a Friday evening, because some of the diners were cops and were upset that Mousseau-Rivard was upset, and staged a boycott. If it makes Mousseau-Rivard feel better, he wasn’t the only one to have noise complaint drama this year.
- Take a Tour of Arthurs, a New Wave Nosh Bar for Saint-Henri Fressers
- Quebec Language Police Warn Restaurants About English TripAdvisor Stickers
- WWE Star Body-Slams Montreal Restaurant Over Poor Service
- Montreal Food Inspectors Nail Chinatown Restaurant Le Cristal
- Step Inside Agrikol, a Stunning Caribbean Escape From The Black Hoof and Arcade Fire