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bowl of noodles on black and white terrazzo table.
Ketiw specializes in kuy teav, Phnom Penh-style noodles.
Ketiw

The 12 Hottest New Restaurants in Montreal, September 2022

Where to go for huitlacoche ice cream, gnocco fritto with arctic char rillettes, and a bowl of Phnom Penh-style noodles

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Ketiw specializes in kuy teav, Phnom Penh-style noodles.
| Ketiw

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater Montreal have one question: Where should I eat right now? That’s where the monthly Eater Heatmap has customarily come into play, highlighting restaurant newcomers that show particular promise and the spots crowds are flocking to at the moment.

This month’s map welcomes Vivace, a little Plateau spot celebrating small-scale producers. At the same time, we must bid farewell to vegan Italian restaurant Conceria and Westmount pasta counter Paradiso — still great options worthy of your patronage.

Typically, restaurants featured in this guide are less than six months old, giving readers a sense of what’s new to Montreal’s dining scene. For restaurants that have established themselves as one of the city’s essential places to eat, check out Eater Montreal’s Essential 38.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Système

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There’s a lot that can be said about Système, the latest in a string of openings shaking up Plaza St-Hubert. A bar, restaurant, club, and venue all rolled into one, it's the latest multi-pronged project turning heads in the city. Chef Joshua Lauridsen (formerly of Garde Manger, Le Club Chasse et Pêche, and Le Filet) is responsible for its largely Mediterranean-leaning menu of small snack plates. There’s fried zucchini with eggplant and romesco, gnocco fritto with arctic char rillettes, a ranch and white anchovy salad, and — poised to become its calling card — a steamed smashed burger. (A representative says it’s “sort of an ode to the steamé hot dog.”) The best part: Once you’ve polished that all off, you don’t need to change venues to hit up the dance floor.

Japanese and Peruvian cuisines collide at aptly named Nikkei, where the ceviche gets dressed in ponzu, and chirashi bowls are made citrusy and spicy with an ají amarillo leche de tigre. Nikkei’s cocktails are similarly fusiony, with their take on the Chilcano (a Peruvian staple traditionally made with ginger ale, pisco, and lime juice), for example, mixing in a yuzu, ginger, and coriander syrup. Taking over a cozy Laurier East locale, the restaurant is the second for the group that opened Barranco, also in the Plateau, in April 2021.

Kabinet

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This eight-year-old Mile End spot recently underwent a major identity overhaul: No longer a pint-sized Russian cocktail bar, Kabinet has transformed into a snazzy new restaurant inspired by 1970s Paris, where velvet upholstery and crystal chandeliers meet caviar bumps, garlicky escargot, and poireaux vinaigrette (marinated leeks). Chef Jean-Michel Leblond (the winner of Season 1 of wilderness survival cooking show Chefs des Bois and owner of now-closed experimental Verdun restaurant Tripes & Caviar) led the revamp, which included an expansion into an adjacent locale.

Cabaret L'enfer

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Chef Massimo Piedimonte grew up in an Italian family, studied French cooking, and during a stint at Copenhagen’s Noma, developed a profound interest in fermentation and the “slow food” movement. His sleek new St-Denis Street restaurant braids together these strands with a menu that simultaneously gives the local terroir its due. Though Cabaret L’enfer’s tasting menu changes routinely, a sample version online teases the likes of homemade burrata, rabbit en croute, and a classic carbonara.

Chef Maurin Arellano closed her festival-going catering business to give her community-oriented, sustainability-driven culinary approach some added permanence — in the form of a new standalone restaurant on the corner of Avenue des Pins and Colonial. During the day, Vivace slings street food from a side window (think nopales tacos or bacon-cheese hot dogs), and in the evening, turns to a “comida corrida” format (a three-course, home-style menu that changes regularly). Its most recent iteration features huitlacoche — sometimes called “corn smut” or “Mexican truffle” — in soup, crepe, and ice cream form.

Bon Service

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Old Montreal recently gained an exciting new dining destination in Bon Service, the buzzy new spot dedicated to Americana that’s taken over the premises of Tiers Paysage. Find Southern staples with local spins, including a Louisiana-battered chicken schnitzel with a strawberry hot sauce, scallop crudo with pickled sea asparagus, and beef tartare with a cherry bomb aioli. And if you’re struggling to decide what to drink, give their roulette wheel a spin.

Another one for the Italian food lovers out there, Bella is serving up the classics, including some of the greatest hits in antipasti (fried calamari, burrata, meatballs, and so on), a hefty offering of fresh pasta, plus a couple of protein and pizza options. The venture comes from the folks behind neighbouring Bello Deli and cocktail expert Kevin Demers (also the owner of Coldroom and El Pequeño), who brings lots of innovation on that front — with spritzes, Negronis, and espresso martinis served on tap.

It’s been an eventful past two years for Matthew Shefler and chef Vincent Lévesque-Lepage. They debuted their Villeray Italian restaurant Knuckles back in October 2020 and have now followed it up with a new Griffintown haunt called Nolan. Other industry vets join them for the project, an easygoing day-to-night café-wine bar-restaurant that prioritizes seasonal ingredients and local producers. Expect a menu that doesn’t take itself too seriously and a signature dish of deep-fried Emmental cheese sticks filled with smoked meat and sauerkraut served alongside a bell pepper dipping sauce.

Lulu Épicerie

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The Little Burgundy stretch of Notre-Dame West is known for its culinary heavy-hitters (including three Joe Beef group destinations) — and now, it’s also the home base of a new spot that pays homage to Lebanese culture and cooking. Lulu is an épicerie and food counter where one can grab shawarma (filled with chicken, beef, or garlicky homemade fries), shish taouk, kafta, or flatbreads with za’atar, cheese, or both. If the purpose of your visit is to stock up on picnic provisions, add a container of hummus and a couple of Bonjus juice boxes to the haul.

Restaurant Tadhana

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On the heels of Le Petit Vibe’s Côte-des-Neiges departure, members of that restaurant crew — namely, Ryan Oabel and Eric Lazaro Magno — have debuted a highly anticipated new project out in Westmount. Tadhana is a two-storey affair, proposing a creative tapas-style take on traditional Filipino dishes, including adobo short ribs, octopus kilawin, crispy pancit, and arroz caldo (rice porridge) with bone marrow. Its bottom floor houses a 25-seat speakeasy, where drinks lean tropical, with rum bases, mango and lychee juices, and coconut milk appearing throughout.

Millmans

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Verdun’s Wellington Promenade has a brand-new no-frills diner — and it’s already generating plenty of excitement. Think thick-cut bacon, house-made lox, and fluffy pancake stacks served in mismatched dishware atop Formica tabletops for breakfast. Come lunch, chef-owner Nick Gaudette is slinging burgers, smoked meat, and fried chicken.

Ketiw Comptoir Cambodgien

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Add Cambodian food counter Ketiw to your running list of restaurants for where to get a mighty fine sandwich — theirs are of the num pang kind, filled with kroeung-marinated chicken, lemongrass beef, or mushrooms. But the main draw at this cool new Verdun spot from the minds behind Les Street Monkeys is chef Tota Oung’s Phnom Penh-style kuy teav, a traditional Cambodian breakfast meal of noodles topped with ground pork and seafood — served wet or dry.

Système

There’s a lot that can be said about Système, the latest in a string of openings shaking up Plaza St-Hubert. A bar, restaurant, club, and venue all rolled into one, it's the latest multi-pronged project turning heads in the city. Chef Joshua Lauridsen (formerly of Garde Manger, Le Club Chasse et Pêche, and Le Filet) is responsible for its largely Mediterranean-leaning menu of small snack plates. There’s fried zucchini with eggplant and romesco, gnocco fritto with arctic char rillettes, a ranch and white anchovy salad, and — poised to become its calling card — a steamed smashed burger. (A representative says it’s “sort of an ode to the steamé hot dog.”) The best part: Once you’ve polished that all off, you don’t need to change venues to hit up the dance floor.

Nikkei

Japanese and Peruvian cuisines collide at aptly named Nikkei, where the ceviche gets dressed in ponzu, and chirashi bowls are made citrusy and spicy with an ají amarillo leche de tigre. Nikkei’s cocktails are similarly fusiony, with their take on the Chilcano (a Peruvian staple traditionally made with ginger ale, pisco, and lime juice), for example, mixing in a yuzu, ginger, and coriander syrup. Taking over a cozy Laurier East locale, the restaurant is the second for the group that opened Barranco, also in the Plateau, in April 2021.

Kabinet

This eight-year-old Mile End spot recently underwent a major identity overhaul: No longer a pint-sized Russian cocktail bar, Kabinet has transformed into a snazzy new restaurant inspired by 1970s Paris, where velvet upholstery and crystal chandeliers meet caviar bumps, garlicky escargot, and poireaux vinaigrette (marinated leeks). Chef Jean-Michel Leblond (the winner of Season 1 of wilderness survival cooking show Chefs des Bois and owner of now-closed experimental Verdun restaurant Tripes & Caviar) led the revamp, which included an expansion into an adjacent locale.

Cabaret L'enfer

Chef Massimo Piedimonte grew up in an Italian family, studied French cooking, and during a stint at Copenhagen’s Noma, developed a profound interest in fermentation and the “slow food” movement. His sleek new St-Denis Street restaurant braids together these strands with a menu that simultaneously gives the local terroir its due. Though Cabaret L’enfer’s tasting menu changes routinely, a sample version online teases the likes of homemade burrata, rabbit en croute, and a classic carbonara.

Vivace

Chef Maurin Arellano closed her festival-going catering business to give her community-oriented, sustainability-driven culinary approach some added permanence — in the form of a new standalone restaurant on the corner of Avenue des Pins and Colonial. During the day, Vivace slings street food from a side window (think nopales tacos or bacon-cheese hot dogs), and in the evening, turns to a “comida corrida” format (a three-course, home-style menu that changes regularly). Its most recent iteration features huitlacoche — sometimes called “corn smut” or “Mexican truffle” — in soup, crepe, and ice cream form.

Bon Service

Old Montreal recently gained an exciting new dining destination in Bon Service, the buzzy new spot dedicated to Americana that’s taken over the premises of Tiers Paysage. Find Southern staples with local spins, including a Louisiana-battered chicken schnitzel with a strawberry hot sauce, scallop crudo with pickled sea asparagus, and beef tartare with a cherry bomb aioli. And if you’re struggling to decide what to drink, give their roulette wheel a spin.

Bella

Another one for the Italian food lovers out there, Bella is serving up the classics, including some of the greatest hits in antipasti (fried calamari, burrata, meatballs, and so on), a hefty offering of fresh pasta, plus a couple of protein and pizza options. The venture comes from the folks behind neighbouring Bello Deli and cocktail expert Kevin Demers (also the owner of Coldroom and El Pequeño), who brings lots of innovation on that front — with spritzes, Negronis, and espresso martinis served on tap.

Nolan

It’s been an eventful past two years for Matthew Shefler and chef Vincent Lévesque-Lepage. They debuted their Villeray Italian restaurant Knuckles back in October 2020 and have now followed it up with a new Griffintown haunt called Nolan. Other industry vets join them for the project, an easygoing day-to-night café-wine bar-restaurant that prioritizes seasonal ingredients and local producers. Expect a menu that doesn’t take itself too seriously and a signature dish of deep-fried Emmental cheese sticks filled with smoked meat and sauerkraut served alongside a bell pepper dipping sauce.

Lulu Épicerie

The Little Burgundy stretch of Notre-Dame West is known for its culinary heavy-hitters (including three Joe Beef group destinations) — and now, it’s also the home base of a new spot that pays homage to Lebanese culture and cooking. Lulu is an épicerie and food counter where one can grab shawarma (filled with chicken, beef, or garlicky homemade fries), shish taouk, kafta, or flatbreads with za’atar, cheese, or both. If the purpose of your visit is to stock up on picnic provisions, add a container of hummus and a couple of Bonjus juice boxes to the haul.

Restaurant Tadhana

On the heels of Le Petit Vibe’s Côte-des-Neiges departure, members of that restaurant crew — namely, Ryan Oabel and Eric Lazaro Magno — have debuted a highly anticipated new project out in Westmount. Tadhana is a two-storey affair, proposing a creative tapas-style take on traditional Filipino dishes, including adobo short ribs, octopus kilawin, crispy pancit, and arroz caldo (rice porridge) with bone marrow. Its bottom floor houses a 25-seat speakeasy, where drinks lean tropical, with rum bases, mango and lychee juices, and coconut milk appearing throughout.

Millmans

Verdun’s Wellington Promenade has a brand-new no-frills diner — and it’s already generating plenty of excitement. Think thick-cut bacon, house-made lox, and fluffy pancake stacks served in mismatched dishware atop Formica tabletops for breakfast. Come lunch, chef-owner Nick Gaudette is slinging burgers, smoked meat, and fried chicken.

Ketiw Comptoir Cambodgien

Add Cambodian food counter Ketiw to your running list of restaurants for where to get a mighty fine sandwich — theirs are of the num pang kind, filled with kroeung-marinated chicken, lemongrass beef, or mushrooms. But the main draw at this cool new Verdun spot from the minds behind Les Street Monkeys is chef Tota Oung’s Phnom Penh-style kuy teav, a traditional Cambodian breakfast meal of noodles topped with ground pork and seafood — served wet or dry.

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