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 nine 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 2019. Responses are unedited, except for grammar and translations, which are italicized.
Q: What were the top restaurant newcomers of 2019?
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:
Beba, Café-boulangerie Merci La Vie, La Belle Histoire, SAT Labo Culinaire, Le Virunga, Marusan, Moccione, Paloma, Vinvinvin (as per my December 28th piece in Le Devoir, Zebestov 2019).
Joanna Fox, Montreal Gazette dining critic:
Beba, Darna Bistroquet, Vesta, Vinvinvin, Provisions Bar à Vin, Roch le Coq.
Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:
All of the new food halls (Le Central, Time Out, and soon, Le Cathcart) are breathing some fresh air into the downtown food scene and it’s much needed!
Iris Gagnon-Paradis, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:
Il y a eu beaucoup de nouveaux restaurants très intéressants cette année. Mes deux endroits favoris furent sans conteste Le Flamant, pour la haute-voltige créative, et le bar à vin de la Boucherie Provisions, où j’ai dégusté un repas délicieux et sans fausse note. Autres nouveaux restos dignes de mention: Darna Bistroquet et Le Dandy. Hors de l’île de Montréal, j’ai été très impressionnée par la jeune équipe de La Belle Histoire, dans les Laurentides, et par le Arvi, à Québec, qui a été élu meilleur nouveau restaurant au Canada en 2019.
There were a lot of very interesting new options this year — my two favourites, no contest, were Le Flamant, for high-voltage creativity, and Boucherie Provisions’ wine bar, which put forward a delicious meal. Other newcomerrs that stood out were Darna Bistroquet and Dandy. Outside Montreal, I was also impressed by the young team at La Belle Histoire in the Laurentians, and by Arvi in Quebec City, which was named the best new restaurant in Canada for 2019.
Amie Watson, Montreal Gazette food columnist:
Provisions wine bar, Poincaré, MeetFresh, Vinvinvin, Ratafia.
Isa Tousignant, Montreal Gazette food columnist:
I think Marcus was a very exciting arrival, and fun to love/hate. Dandy is a winner on all fronts; Pamplemousse is stunning to look at. I’m really enjoying the nouveau Italian [restaurants] like Chez Eddy (Taverne Atlantic), Vesta, and Mano Cornuto. And the vegan newbies; from fancé (Radis) to diner (Mimi & Jones), it’s great to see plant-based food branch out wider and wider in Montreal.
JP Karwacki, Time Out Montreal editor:
Beba, Ratafia, the new concepts in Le Central, and Time Out Market Montréal — I admit there’s serious bias in bringing that last one up, but I really am proud of the work all of those restaurants have put in.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Moccione, Paloma, Beba, Mano Cornuto, Vesta, Vinvinvin, Provisions bar à vin, Merci La Vie and for a bar, Taverne Atlantic!
Mayssam Samaha, Will Travel For Food blog:
Moccione, Monarque, Beaumont, Provisions, Vinvinvin, Beba, Roch le Coq, Chifa, Time Out Market.
Daniel Bromberg, Eater Montreal contributor:
Moccione, Darna, Mano Cornuto.
Tommy Dion, Nightlife.ca critic and writer, blogger for Le Cuisinomane:
Best high end: Although I know some people did not like it as much as I did, I loved my experience at Beau Mont.
Best casual: If Moccione can be counted as a 2019 new restaurant, add it to my list.
Best “apéro”: Vinvinvin, Poincaré, Ratafia (for good late-night dessert and bubbles)
And of course, Le Central and Time Out Market, two other really great additions to Montreal’s food scene.
- All Year in Eater coverage [EMTL]