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Montreal’s 2017 Restaurant Scene, Described In One Word

The experts weigh in

Jouney, a newcomer in 2017, is emblematic of a trend towards casual dining thisyear in Montreal

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: Sum up the 2017 (Montreal) restaurant world in one word.

Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but…underwhelming. No restaurant I reviewed in 2017 received a higher rating than three stars.

Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:


Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse dining critic:

Great women everywhere.

Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:


Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:

Tame. I hate to say this but 2016 was a hard year to live up to and 2017 fell a bit flat. Here's hoping for an upswing in Montreal's dining scene in 2018.

Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:


Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:


Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:

Simple. There were many casual—and tasty—places opening around town, such as Paradis BBQ, Elda, Parma, Baba Yaga, Jouney.

Risa Dickens, Senior Community and Marketing Director at Yelp Montreal:

Survivors. (Sent with a link to this GIF.)

Allison Van Rassel, food columnist at CBC/Radio-Canada Quebec City (note: responses refer to Quebec City restaurants):

Different. Slowly, but surely restaurateurs and chefs are instituting the small, but beautiful philosophy in their kitchens. Québec has seen smaller venues pop up offering more exclusive experiences with a focus on specific cuisines, featuring even more refined flavours. Bigger is not always better, definitely not in Québec’s restaurant industry.