MONTREAL — The Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list for 2018 just dropped, and 22 Montreal area restaurants made the cut, alongside another five elsewhere in Quebec. There aren’t too many surprises: Old Montreal’s Toqué remains at number two. It held the top spot a couple of years ago, but has since been knocked off by Toronto’s Alo, which remains number one. Joe Beef comes in at number three again, Montréal Plaza jumped from 11th to sixth place, while Le Vin Papillon dropped modestly from fourth to eighth on the list. Le Mousso was most improved, jumping around 50 spots to 31.
The decision-making process for the list is still a little opaque: many of the judges are legitimate industry experts (critics, culinary school instructors, chefs), but also chipping in are some names with no current professional ties to the culinary industry: for example, a Toronto eye doctor, and an executive from fashion house Hugo Boss. Plus, judges are closely affiliated with many the top 100 restaurants (including chefs with restaurants on the list), which seems a little conflict-of-interest flavoured, even if they’re likely barred from voting for themselves. (For comparison, Quebec’s new culinary prize, Les Lauriers, bars restaurants affiliated with its jurors from winning awards). Here’s the full list of Montreal winners, with their previous position on the list.
2. Toqué (2)
3. Joe Beef (3)
6. Montréal Plaza (11)
8. Le Vin Papillon (4)
13. Maison Publique (13)
17. Nora Gray (19)
24. Jun I (44)
27. Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon (22)
31. Le Mousso (82)
33. Liverpool House (25)
37. L’Express (37)
47. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (newly opened)
53. Bouillon Bilk (34)
56. Maison Boulud (38)
62. Park (45)
64. Impasto (50)
67. Le Club Chasse et Pêche (56)
71. Marconi (newly opened)
80. Damas (47)
82. Au Pied de Cochon (returned to list)
87. Milos (36)
89. Da Emma (new to list)
Off the list: Foxy (35), Hoogan & Beaufort (43), Candide (49), Le Filet (54), Europea (56), Les Deux Singes de Montarvie (66, now Île Flottante), Larrys (88), Le Serpent (92), Les 400 Coups (98).
MILE END — In case you missed it, Dimitri Galanis, owner of longtime Parc Avenue Greek staple Mythos died aged 74 at the end of March.
MILE END — Taverne du Pélican, the neighbourhood bar from the owners of dining favourite Le Club Chasse et Pêche, has introduced its menu. It leans Italian (cannelloni, lasagne, tiramisu), which makes sense, since the food is coming from the group’s nearby pasta spot Il Miglio.
POINTE-ST-CHARLES — Local chocolate pros Cacao 70 have been beefing up operations of late (see: their new open-to-the-public factory in the Point), and now they’re going international. The drinking chocolate turned general chocolatiers are opening in Tianjin in China, this spring.
OUTREMONT — Speaking of chocolate, Montreal chainlet Juliet et Chocolat are branching out and introducing daily brunches at its Laurier Avenue location in Outremont. And no, the brunches are more eggy, crepey affairs, and not entirely chocolate based. They’ll roll them out to every Juliet et Chocolate by the end of April.
DOWNTOWN — Ch-ch-changes at oyster spot Notkins: owner Daniel Notkin checked out of the establishment last month, but it remains open and will change names in the near future.
To all friends, patrons, drinkers, oyster eaters, and general merrymakers... It is with a fair degree of sadness, youthful happiness, and loving fondness that I announce that I will be leaving the day to day operations and presence of what will come to have been known as Notkins Oyster Bar. As per agreement, the restaurant will be changing names within the next very short while. We will merge this instagram into our personal one or our next aaaaamazing adventure. I am deeply thankful to our partners for the great experience, and thrilled about what I was able to help build. One of the greatest joys was - as it always is - to receive so many great clients who came for the unique experience that I and the team were able to create. Additionally, I am so very proud to have had the privilege to work with all the great staff who have passed through the doors - the waiters, sous chefs, dish washers, line cooks, head cooks, feet cooks, busboys, bartenders, broom pushers, glass dryers, ne’er-do-wells, always-do-wells, drop-ins, drop-outs, pole standers, and of course…our amazing oyster shuckers (who became seafood aficionados) - all of whom I have had the great pleasure to work and spend time with and hopefully in some small way inspire. My personal oyster bar catering continues with all our great shuckers, and we look forward to our current expansion with all our favorite caterers and locations. We are continually excited to open oysters for great lovers of all things - But other adventures await, other mountains to conquer, oceans to save, paths to forge... And more on that very, very soon! #aurevoir.... #theoystersshallcontinue! #bethehero #notkins #onwardsandupwards...