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 best restaurant meal of 2018?
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:
Tie between Pastel and Le Petit Mousso.
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:
My regular quick lunches at Le Réservoir. Always impeccable food, creative work from the chef Marc-Alexandre Mercier, great wines chosen by Ariane Lacombe and service friendly and welcoming from January 1st until December 31st.
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
Bar none, La Cabane d’à Côté. Everyone head to Mirabel to see what Vincent Dion Lavallée and his team are up to.
JP Karwacki, Eater Montreal and Cult MTL contributor:
This is a straight tie between three spots: The crispy quail and leek medallions smothered in sauce and chopped herbs from Hélicoptère; the bone marrow and urchin on mazemen smothered with minced shallot, garlic, and green onion with a truffle oil finish at Bistro Otto, and the half rabbit on polenta with wood mushrooms served at Elena when it first opened.
Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:
Le Petit Mousso. Le Mousso had already won me over, but the small plates and cocktails at their sister space solidified this for me.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:
Sans contredit, Le Mousso, où je suis allée pour mon anniversaire. Grandiose, rien de moins! À essayer au moins une fois dans sa vie.
Without doubt, Le Mousso, where I went for my birthday. It’s grandiose, and nothing less. A must-try at least once in your life.
Ève Dumas, La Presse restaurant reporter:
It wasn’t exactly in a restaurant, but it was hosted by one. I went to two of the three dinners Manitoba held at La Ferme des Quatre-Temps, last spring and summer. The first one, in May, was delicious, but the weather couldn’t have been worse. The second one was magical. Perfect blue sky, beautiful setting, great people, spot on wine pairings, fresh food, etc. Context is everything!
Mayssam Samaha, Will Travel For Food blog:
Anita Feng’s pop up dinner at Lawrence was one of the best meals I had in Montreal in 2018. The collaborative pop-up between Marconi and the Hôtel Herman gang was also outstanding. The Marina De Figueiredo and Emily Campeau collaborative dinner at Candide. And every single meal I had at Vin Papillon in 2018, including the Marc-Olivier Frappier, Katie Parla, Emma Cardarelli, and Drew DiTomo pop-up. I now realize that I might have a thing for pop-ups.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
At Le Filet with good friends.
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
The scallops crudo at Île Flottante!
Tommy Dion, Nightlife.ca critic and writer, blogger for Le Cuisinomane:
I’ve had some amazing meal this year, but I prefer to highlight an experience rather than a meal. Because when you go out, it’s not just about the food. It’s about the service, the atmosphere, the vibe. Hoogan & Beaufort and Le Serpent were clearly among them, but my most outstanding experience of the year was at Tuck Shop.
Allison Van Rassel, food columnist at CBC/Radio-Canada Quebec City (note: these are Quebec City restaurants):
Batutto’s homemade ricotta gnocchi and white truffle. By far the best dish of 2018. The true simplicity of Italian cuisine, where the overwhelming generous flavours of the white truffle are tattooed on my memory.