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 the top restaurant newcomers of 2017?
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:
On the high end, Hopkins and Tiradito, for casual, Arthurs, Butterblume and Bar Loïc.
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:
- Baumann Smokehouse (Sherbrooke)
- Bistro Rosie
- Le Blumenthal
- Chinoiseries & Dumplings (Rue Sherbrooke)
- Hà (Vieux-Montréal)
- Île Flottante
- Le Géraldine (St-Eustache)
Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse dining critic:
In 2017 I loved that Mandy’s added more addresses — Square Philips, Old Port — and a food truck to its chain. I love their salads, their desserts, their attitude. I think the Wolfe sisters are doing a great job at changing the casual luncheon scene in Montreal.
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
(Caveat: Ian spent part of the year injured and less-able to dine out). As I look back, I'm overwhelmed by the sheer number of new restaurants on offer. With that out of the way, the fact that Jesse Mulder's cooking is available on a regular, brick-and-mortar basis makes me very happy. I'm going with Épicerie Pumpui here.
Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:
Most recently, Épicerie Pumpui added something fantastic to Montreal's dining scene with Jesse Mulder's ever-changing menu of authentic Thai dishes. They serve wonderful dishes to warm you up in the heart of winter, and I can see it being just as popular come summer when you want to sweat it all out with some spice.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:
Hopkins: I was really impressed with chef [Liam] Hopkins’ creativity, his plating and his overall talent in the kitchen, as well as with the elegant, refined but yet not-snobby-at-all design and atmosphere of the restaurant. What a great addition for NDG and Montreal.
Bistro Rosie: I was really sad when Ma’tine closed, so I was thrilled when I heard they were opening a new bistro in Rosemont. Jérémy is really showing his creativity more than ever at Rosie, as well as his diverse culinary influences (there’s a lot of Asian flavours and inspirations going on here). Add to that the local approach and seasonal menu, and you’ve got one of the most inventive tables in Montreal right now.
Fieldstone: the creativity and imagination of young chef Chanthy Yen at this small place is just so refreshing! So many culinary influences are going on here — Asian, Mexican, Spanish, West Coast — but somehow everything just fits together perfectly. One of the nicest unexpected surprises of 2017.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Bistro Rosie. I also really liked Chinoiseries et Dumplings Cantine for their dumplings, Le Blossom for their handrolls and magnificent tree, Tran Cantine for their pho and banh mi, Bar George for their cocktails and incredible decor.
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
Marconi, hands down. Hopkins and Perles et Paddock were also memorable.
Risa Dickens, Senior Community and Marketing Director at Yelp Montreal:
Ok Poke brightens up Jean Talon Market — spicy, subtle, healthy, veg-friendly — with bonus witchy gifts and work by local artists.
Bar George is better British cuisine than all the rest, and is ridiculously beautiful, and it’s very satisfying to host your power ladies in a former Gentlemen's Club.
Allison Van Rassel, food columnist at CBC/Radio-Canada Quebec City (note: these are Quebec City restaurants):
Battuto is definitely Quebec City’s most exiting restaurant opening of 2017. Awarded best new restaurant in Canada by Air Canada’s EnRoute Magazine, Batutto is renewing the restaurant scene in Québec City. Its influence is now forcing other key players to leave room for simple interpretations of our local terroir, even amidst international influences.