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 was your best restaurant meal of 2017?
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:
Hopkins. The restaurant isn’t flawless, but the food sure was.
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:
The whole meal, and wine selection, and service, and everything at Bistro Rosie.
Marie-Claude Lortie, La Presse dining critic:
I think my hero is Stephanie Cardinal, chef at Le Vin Papillon, where I had many many of my best meals this year. Also, I loved practically every natural wine that I tried on Vanya Filipovic’s list. But I don’t want to narrow it down only to one place. I loved every dish during my meal at Foxy where Leigh Roper and Vanessa Laberge are just brilliant.
I also had amazing meals outside of Montréal in 2017. Like Colombe St-Pierre’s food at Chez St-Pierre in Le Bic. Wow!
I also had an outstanding meal at Virtus in Paris. Chiho Kanzaki? She is one of the best chefs I discovered in 2017, along with Antonia Klugman at Argine a Vencò in Friuli, Italy.
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
That time I ordered the entire menu at Sumac.
Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:
Consistent with my pick for top standby, I'd have to say my best meal of 2017 goes to Candide. Enjoying their creative, vegetable-forward menu, complete with stellar local wines, outside on a warm summer evening was quite memorable.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:
Le Serpent: it was my first time there and I’ve wanted to go for a while now. Perfection throughout the evening, from the flawless service to the incredible wine, and, of course, the dinner itself. That was stunning.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Montréal Plaza’s tasting menu. Grandiose.
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
Brunch at Réservoir. Happy to see the Hotel Herman crew breathing new life into the brewery.
Risa Dickens, Senior Community and Marketing Director at Yelp Montreal:
Looking back, the actual best thing I put in my mouth was the breakfast pizza from the Red Ember pizza oven truck at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. In Montreal however, the year is divided between before and after I decided to go vegetarian again. Before: Jumak on Cote des Neiges for the best Korean I’ve had in ages. After: Sushi Momo for a vast and glorious vegan sushi feast.
Allison Van Rassel, food columnist at CBC/Radio-Canada Quebec City:
Café Lavinal in the French village of Bages in Médoc. A modern brasserie with classic moleskin banquettes and a Lyonnais chef in the kitchen. I ate the most incredible merlan en colère, a traditional Provençal dish. A memorable dinning experience.