As is tradition at Eater, we close the year with a survey of food critics, writers, bloggers, and people about town. 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 2017. Responses are unedited, except for grammar.
Q: What were your top restaurant standbys of 2017?
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:
The original Hà, Leméac, Moishes, and Gema. L’Express and Moleskine remain my favourites, and if I could (get a table), I’d go to Liverpool House more often. Café Bazin also is terrific.
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:
- Chinoiseries & Dumplings (rue Chabot)
- Hà (Plateau Mont-Royal)
Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse dining critic:
As a food critic I have to try new places all the time, so the classic places I go back to regularly are the lunch restaurants where I meet my friends or where I run to for reliable meals. Everyone knows I go back to Dyan Solomon’s (and Eric Girard’s) Olive + Gourmando all the time, since it is close to the newsroom and just plain delicious. For a more formal meal, Graziella Battista’s restaurant Graziella is also super reliable and delicious. She has one of the best palates in the city. Also I’d say if I want to buy something sweet, Rhubarbe, Stephanie Labelle’s pastry shop, is on the top of my list. And if you ask me where to go for a drink, I’ll send you straight to Jen Agg’s Agrikol.
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
Much the same as 2016 probably: Larrys, L’Express, Mei, Otto Yakitori, Magpie Mile End, Pho Tay Ho, Ta Chido.
Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:
It's still fairly new itself, but I've yet to be disappointed by a meal at Candide. The entire team makes sure you have a consistently fantastic experience, from food, to drink pairings, to overall ambience. Plus they have a gorgeous terrasse in the summertime.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:
Tiradito opened at the end of 2016, but it’s already a classic for me; every time I go there, I remember why I love this place ; great food that you never get bored of eating, stunning decor, cool cocktails and an electric ambiance.
Furco is my to-go place when I go to a show at Place des Arts, especially when it’s not too crowded early in the week. The plates are always inventive and tasty, and it just feels like home.
Yokato Yokabai: when I’m craving ramen, which happens often, Yokato Yokabai is the place I want to go. The ramen is exactly what it’s supposed to be, and I love all the side dishes as well. I also really like Ichigo Ichie, in the same building: it’s open late and offers really good izakaya-style dishes.
Rouge Gorge: this cool wine bar is always animated, the wine list as something for everyone, the staff is friendly and even if the food isn’t the main focus, it’s always good and satisfying. I never get tired of going there.
Paradis BBQ: this has become my go-to place for brunch, especially with children. I love the spirit of the owners, who are a couple that run this place mostly by themselves. The menu is definitely comfort food — think fried chicken and pancakes, mac n’ cheese with fried egg — but very well executed and homemade with local ingredients and products.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Casual: Sumac for their chicken shawarma, Hà for soups and rolls, Depanneur Le Pick-Up for sandwiches, Cafeden for their chicken wings and papaya salad, L’Express for classics and great wines, Bottega for pizza, Tousignant for everything fast food and Larrys for their breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Fancy: Montréal Plaza, Nora Gray, Le Vin Papillon, Maison Publique and Le Serpent
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
My go-tos in 2017 were Bagel St. Lo in Verdun, Bishop & Bagg for brunch, and Magpie (Mile-End).
Risa Dickens, Senior Community and Marketing Director at Yelp Montreal:
Le Diplomate on Beaubien is my go-to for a weirdly perfect balance of adventurous and comforting.
Elios is my family-favourite/hangover-cure for an inexpensive, unpretentious mountain of homemade pasta.
Allison Van Rassel, food columnist at CBC/Radio-Canada Quebec City (note: these are Quebec City restaurants):
I ordered out from Tora-ya more than any other restaurant this year. There’s something about comforting Japanese flavours that just makes me happy. Nina Pizza’s incredible pizzas and burrata; Clocher Penché is a go-to favourite dining experience any day, at any time of year; Buvette Scott to soak up on trends; Renard et la Chouette for the tartiflette; Kraken Cru for oysters; La Korrigane for delectable craft beer, poutine, and nachos.