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The Top Complaints About Dining Out in Montreal in 2018

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From annoying trends to annoying attitudes


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 your biggest dining grievance of 2018?

Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:

Odd use of random ingredients with no role to play on the plate.

Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:

The sad trend of mixing a restaurant with a nightclub (intolerable noise, poor light, among a few annoyances).

Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:

Losing Ruth Wilensky and Hymie Sckolnick within three months of each other.

JP Karwacki, Eater Montreal and Cult MTL contributor:

There’s a major race in my mind on this one between one too many sandwich shops and an excess of Italian. Just way too much Italian.

Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:

Why is salmon tartare still a Montreal menu staple in 2018? It was out-of-date years ago, let alone now.

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

Ce n’est pas nécessairement une plainte, mais un constat : il y a beaucoup trop de restaurants qui ouvrent et ferment, témoins d’un marché vraiment difficile en ce moment. L’offre est surabondante à Montréal et c’est difficile d’y survivre. Aussi, je crois qu’il y a désormais assez de restaurants de pokés (on est tanné!) et de semaines thématiques – du burger, de la poutine, de la pizza, que sais-je encore… C’est assez!

This isn’t necessarily a complaint but an observation: there are far too many restaurants that open and close, showing that it’s a tough market these days. There’s an excess of restaurant options in Montreal, and it’s difficult to survive here. Also, I believe there are too many poké restaurants now (tired of them!) and too many theme weeks — burgers, poutine, pizza, I don’t know what else — it’s enough!

Ève Dumas, La Presse restaurant reporter:

Restaurants still serving endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna. That’s a no no! (Though the government authorities are the first ones to blame for allowing it.)

Mayssam Samaha, Will Travel For Food blog:

The lack of consistency is a constant grievance, whether in the actual cuisine or in the philosophy behind it.

Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:

Over-inflated egos. Always be humble.

Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:

Still not being able to order just drinks in restaurants.

Tommy Dion, critic and writer, blogger for Le Cuisinomane:

Food that looks beautiful (or “Instafrendly”) but doesn’t taste good at all.