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Montreal Restaurant Experts Predict the Headlines for 2020

What’s in store next year? More vegetables, most likely

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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 are your headline predictions for 2020?

Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:

The continued rise of and diversity in vegetable choices offered by good restaurants, and the increasing presence of local excellent producers.

Joanna Fox, Montreal Gazette dining critic:

Fingers crossed it’s that the implementation of employee insurance and savings plans can be affordable to restaurant owners, and that they can become a new industry norm.

Mallory Frayn, Eater Montreal contributor:

More low- or no-alcohol cocktails and other beverages. On the food side of things, I think ferments, on an even more involved level — not just in-house kimchi, but things like housemade miso — will become the norm.

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

Encore et toujours plus de végétal. Un souci de plus en plus présent pour l’éco-responsabilité et le zéro déchet.

More and more vegetables, with restaurants more concerned about offering eco-friendly options and engaging in zero-waste initiatives.

Amie Watson, Montreal Gazette food columnist:

Fewer small chef-owned places, more restaurant groups opening bigger spaces and coming in with formulas that follow trends and work well. More high-end places opening multiple locations or casual concepts. More restaurant-owned butcher shops with locally sourced meat, bakeries with locally milled grains and way more Asian chains moving into the two main Chinatown areas. Natural wines being even easier to find in restaurants and SAQs, while the restaurants that first championed them will focus more on particular growers/winemakers/styles to kep standing out.

Isa Tousignant, Montreal Gazette food columnist:

Montreal Kitchen Workers Form Union

UberEats Bans Use of Styrofoam Containers

Gazette Food Writer Dies of Cookie Overdose

JP Karwacki, Time Out Montreal editor:

“Hybrid Starbucks-McDonald’s opens in Mile End—residents greet with pitchforks and torches.”

Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:

Lots of amazing restos are going to open! I am excited.

Mayssam Samaha, Will Travel For Food blog:

More vegan restaurants, mocktails, more talk about food waste, more sustainable actions from restaurants, more chefs with their own farms and/or gardens, more craft everything (beer, cider, etc.).

Daniel Bromberg, Eater Montreal contributor:

More openings, more closures! It will be interesting to see how the three new food halls perform as well.

Tommy Dion, Nightlife.ca critic and writer, blogger for Le Cuisinomane:

  • Location, location, location? Yes, but…no. People will be more willing to move to eat, even if it’s just to have an ice cream.
  • More pop up events (guest chefs and/or producers, pop-up restaurants, etc.)
  • A craze and an excitement for high quality pastries
  • The return of craft baking. We have seen “farm-to-table”, “bean-to-bar”, “bean-to-cup”, now we see “field-to-bread” with local grains.
  • The return of classic French cuisine.

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