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 was the saddest closure of 2018?
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:
Very sad about L’Orchidée de Chine, my kids’ favourite restaurant, run by the fabulous George and Eva Lau.
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:
Barbounya, Big in Japan, and Laurie Raphaël to name a few.
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
Hard to choose, with the likes of Barbounya, Landry & Filles, and Hostaria all gone. But, gun to my head, Lili Co. And Laïka.
JP Karwacki, Eater Montreal and Cult MTL contributor:
Definitely Landry & Filles. It’ll be sorely missed, but I’m glad I had the chance to eat there a couple of months before it shuttered.
Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:
Buonanotte. I’m kidding. There was nothing super high on my radar that I’m missing thus far.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:
Landry & Filles, une adresse trop chouette et animée où on était toujours bien accueillis (qui a fermé le 30 décembre 2017). Mais heureusement, l’équipe du Nouveau Palais a pris le relais dans ce petit local de l’avenue Papineau! J’ai été vraiment attristé par la fermeture du Lili.Co également, une des très bonnes tables de Montréal. Le chef David Pellizzari a laissé entendre que l’aventure n’était pas fini — on a hâte de savoir la suite!
Landry & Filles, a great, lively spot that was always welcoming (although it closed December 30, 2017) — but fortunately, Nouveau Palais took up that location on Papineau. Lili Co’s closure was also sad, as a great table in the city. Chef David Pellizzari suggested that the adventure isn’t over yet — looking forward to seeing what’s next!
Ève Dumas, La Presse restaurant reporter:
All closures are sad for a myriad of reasons. In the case of a young restaurant with a huge investment in design, it’s just a very sad waste. In the case of an institution, it hurts to see it disappear because it couldn’t survive in today’s reality. But things change. People change. I can’t blame anyone from wanting to bail out of this crazy business.
Mayssam Samaha, Will Travel For Food blog:
De Farine et d’Eau Fraîche, which I didn’t go to enough in the past couple of years but was a favourite of mine when it first opened. Sad to see this cute little place go under.
Lili Co., a great restaurant with creative and gutsy dishes. It’s a tragedy that their octopus club sandwich is now forever gone.
I was also sad to hear about the Hao closing a few days ago, as well as Chocolats Andrée, a Montreal institution.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Hostaria and Big in Japan.
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
Lili Co. :(
Tommy Dion, Nightlife.ca critic and writer, blogger for Le Cuisinomane:
Lili Co. and Hostaria.
Allison Van Rassel, food columnist at CBC/Radio-Canada Quebec City (note: these are Quebec City restaurants):
Deli de Fuite in Limoilou: creative, classic Jewish-deli inspired sandwiches and dishes like liver paté, home made bread and perogies.
Pizzeria la Fornarina, great simple classic thin crust pizza from the Marches region of Italy.
L’Instemps Gourmand, a brunch-friendly venue born out of the ashes of the Picardie bakery on Avenue Maguire.