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 2018. Responses are unedited, except for grammar and translations, which are italicized.
Q: What were your top restaurant standbys of 2018?
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:
This little known place called “My Kitchen”. Food’s really good and the wine markups are incredibly reasonable. And L’Express, because always L’Express.
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:
Antidote — there are a few excellent restaurants in the Eastern Townships. Antidote, with its chef Luc Vaillancourt, rates on the very top of the list.
Alma — Juan Lopez Luna cooks like a real chef; his better half, Lindsay Brennan, always finds magnificient bottles, mostly from Catalonia.
Bistro Braque — reservation mandatory. 30 seats, BYOB, coolest place on South Shore.
Boxermans — a new hot and creative chef, Grégoire Routy, a dazzling sommelière (Morgane Muszynski) and a very dynamic couple of owners on the floor, Jade Fortin-Côté and Eric Berlin.
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
Tsukuyomi for tonkotsu ramen, Falafel Yoni for sabich, and Mon Lapin for everything.
JP Karwacki, Eater Montreal and Cult MTL contributor:
McKiernan Luncheonette, Un Po’ di Più, Pizza Bouquet, and Pamplemousse. Each merited several repeat visits.
Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:
I feel like I will say this every year for the rest of time — L’Express. I crave their football-sized steak tartare a few times a year and nothing else satisfies quite like it.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:
J’adore Le Filet et Montréal Plaza, où je sais que je ne serai jamais déçue, Paradis BBQ, pour le brunch décadent ou pour manger du bon poulet (ceci dit, Mon Petit Poulet lui fait désormais de la compétition!), Le Rouge Gorge, pour le vin et une bouchée dans une ambiance toujours agréable, Tacos Victor (sur Laurier) lorsque j’amène mon fils au resto (des frites dans un tacos, je dis oui!).
Cette année, j’ai aussi aimé fréquenter Mélisse (le menu du soir, méconnu, est vraiment délicieux), Pamplemousse (pizza sur pain naan, miam!), Moleskine (une des meilleures pizzas!), le Darling (toujours plein!), la luncheonnette McKiernan (ça vaut le détour!) et le Parasol, restaurant pop-up estival du Maïs qui s’améliore année après année.
I love Le Filet and Montréal Plaza, where I know I’ll never be disappointed; Paradis BBQ for a decadent brunch or good chicken (that said, Mon Petit Poulet is giving them some competition), Le Rouge Gorge for wine and a bite to eat in a charming atmosphere, Tacos Victor on Laurier when I take my son out to eat (fries in tacos — yes to that!).
This year, I also liked heading to Mélisse (the lesser-known night menu is really delicious), Pamplemousse (naan pizza, yum!), Moleskine (one of the best pizzas), Darling (always full!), McKiernan Luncheonette (it’s worth the trip), and Parasol, the summer pop-up behind Maïs that gets better every year.
Ève Dumas, La Presse restaurant reporter:
I always love going to Petit Alep with the kids: kebabs and fries for them, good wine and muhammara for mommy! Moleskine is another winner. Without kids, I often end up at Larrys, Diplomate or Marconi. And though I didn’t go back in 2018, I must say Candide is still doing some of the most creative, pertinent, noble cooking (and wine serving!) in all of Québec.
Mayssam Samaha, Will Travel For Food blog:
Vin Papillon, McKiernan, Pumpui, Gus, Comptoir Sainte Cécile, Candide, Le Petit Alep, Larrys. These (except for McKiernan and Candide) are all in my neighbourhood and the restaurants I frequent most often. I will, and have, trekked across town for a weekday lunch at McKiernan because it’s that delicious.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Casual: L’Express for classics and great wines, Parvis, Réservoir and Falafel Yoni for lunch, Bar Henrietta for wines, Sumac for chicken shawarma and fries, Pumpui for spicy comfort food, Hà for pho, Cafeden for chicken wings and papaya salad, Bottega for pizza, Tousignant for hangovers, Larrys for everything.
Fancy: Montréal Plaza, Le Serpent, Cadet, Maison Publique
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
Satay Brothers, Grumman ’78, Balsam Inn, Taverne Square Dominion, Vin Papillon, Jun I, Cadet, Candide, Café Ferreira, Kaza Maza, Loïc, Réservoir, Club Chasse et Pêche, Pastaga, and the SAT Food Lab during the summer.
Tommy Dion, Nightlife.ca critic and writer, blogger for Le Cuisinomane:
Restaurant 3734 in Saint-Henri. Delicious, affordable, good vibe. Comptoir Rhubarbe for lunch. Food is always spot on and a lovely wine selection. Elena and Gema for Neopolitan pizza.
Allison Van Rassel, food columnist at CBC/Radio-Canada Quebec City (note: these are Quebec City restaurants):
In no particular order and in all budgets: Honō Izakaya, ARVI, Battuto, L’Orygine, La Bonne Étoile, Buvette Scott, Diner Saint-Sauveur, Renard et la Chouette, Kraken Cru and Poulet Portugais.