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The Hottest New Restaurants in Montreal, September 2021

Where to go for a luxe seafood platter, raved-over ricotta gnocchi, and some ultra local snacking dishes

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

This month’s map welcomes Villeray’s new African street food counter Mokili, Romanian takeout spot Mici D’ici, and multi-hyphenate bar-brewery-distillerie-restaurant Le Projet Pilote, and Old Montreal wine bar Pastek. At the same time, we must bid farewell to Chez Simon Cantine Urbaine, Yin Ji Chang Fen, Shay — all still great options, worthy of your patronage.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated. For updated information and regulations, please visit the official sites of the Quebec government and Montreal’s public health authority (Santé Montréal).

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Café Entre-Deux

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5930 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Unite 102, Montréal
QC H4A 1X7, Canada
(514) 486-6080
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This trim Sherbrooke Street West newcomer is a coffee-and-sandwich shop by day and wine bar with a polished food and drink menu by night. Options include fried spelt with a garlic confit emulsion, a Thai vinaigrette sea bass crudo with lemon balm, coriander, and pickled finger hots, and seared pork with braised fennel and apple puree. Expect a stylish interior achieved by layering chevron wood flooring, deep green marble counters, and 1970s-style rattan seating.

2. La Sobremesa

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4922 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Westmount
QC H3Z 1H3, Canada
(514) 369-0385
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Behold, Westmount’s newest restaurant takes its cue from from the Spanish custom of “sobremesa,” where diners linger at the table long after the meal is complete. Courtesy of chef Dany Bolduc (also behind H4C and La Pantry), La Sobremesa offers up a tapas menu including standbys like grilled calamari and patatas bravas, as well as mackerel confit in chorizo oil, shiitake mushrooms with a pea and basil butter, and charcoal-grilled clams served with sorrel butter. Spanish charcuterie, cheese, and an ample selection of wines complete the meal.

3. Sep Lai

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2601 Rue Centre, Montréal
QC H3K 1K2, Canada
(514) 315-9981
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Pointe-St-Charles’ Machiavelli has been remade into Sep Lai, a new Laotian restaurant that maintains the same BYOB formula — and head chef, Natassia Marier. Expect fragrant curry-based soups, herby salads, and an array of spring rolls fried crisp and golden, and in one case, filled with mozzarella.

4. Place Carmin

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740 Rue William, Montréal
QC H3C 1P1, Canada
(514) 439-0740
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The team behind highly regarded Quartier des Spectacles restaurants Bouillon Bilk and Cadet have made their way west, to Cité Multimédia, with a new French brasserie serving up luxe seafood platters, foie gras terrines, and zucchini vichyssoise. Make sure to save room for dessert: they’ve got a bevy of tried-and-true confections, including Paris Brest, crème brûlée, and strawberry shortcake.

5. Buvette Pastek

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209 Rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal
QC H2Y 2A1, Canada
(514) 419-2090
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Old Montreal newcomer Pastek offers plenty for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch, but there’s one item in particular that’s earning extra praise: a classic ricotta gnocchi with tomato sauce and a dollop of pesto. And though nominally a “buvette” (wine bar), Pastek can’t uncork its bottles just yet — it’s waiting on an alcohol permit before it can open evenings to do so, plus add razor clams, scallops, and a shrimp and zucchini scialatelli pasta to the lineup.

6. OSMO X MARUSAN

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51 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal
QC H2X 1X2, Canada
(514) 657-2835
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The Japanese curry experts at Marusan had been plating dishes at Café Osmo for about a year before permanently taking over and rebranding the space as Osmo x Marusan. The Japanese coffeeshop now also serves sweets, sakes, and sandos, including a katsu option, with pork cutlet, 30-day-aged Worcestershire, bonito mustard, and cabbage; and one filled with eggs in salad and soft-boiled form. Until September 9, the café’s biergarten-esque, picnic table-replete terrasse plays host to a vibrant Nicaraguan-style barbecue pop-up called Espadon.

7. Mici D’ici

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19 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal
QC H2T 1N4, Canada
(514) 534-6424
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Mont Royal Avenue’s casual new nook specializes in a quintessential Romanian barbecue food: mici, cylindrical patties of minced meats — spiced, grilled, and preferably enjoyed with mustard. Also up for grabs: truffle-salted fries, a spirally sausage “lollipop,” and chiftele, a deep-fried, panko-encrusted mound of ground pork, potatoes, onions, and dill.

8. Barranco

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4552 R. Saint-Denis, Montréal
QC H2J 2L3, Canada
(514) 282-9000
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Named after the vibrant seaside district in Lima, this St-Denis newcomer comes from three partners and friends, all natives of Peru. They’ve tapped Daniel Silva (formerly of other Montreal Peruvian spots Tiradito and Chifa) as executive chef, and he’s thought up a menu including causas (mashed potato terrines filled with ingredients like avocado, grilled octopus, shrimp, and more); pollo a la brasa, the nation’s famous crispy-skinned roast chicken; chicharrón (succulent fried pork) in taco and sandwich form; and a whole gamut of mahi-mahi ceviche.

9. Pizza Bouquet

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45 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal
QC H2S 1P8, Canada
(438) 320-6069
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Locals will recognize the name as that of the pizza counter once tucked at the back of Beaubien Street bowling alley bar Notre Dame des Quilles. But now, the pizzeria has its own space, allowing it to crank out three times the number of 16-inch, crisp, yet chewy, olive oil-coated pies. Crowd pleasers include the “soppressata,” with Italian spicy salami, red onions, goat cheese, and a drizzle of honey; and the “a l’envers,” an upside-down pizza with mozzarella on the bottom and garlic-infused tomato sauce on top. Get a slice, a soda can, and a cup of dip for $7.

10. Mokili

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93 Rue de Castelnau E, Montréal
QC H2R 1P1, Canada
(514) 416-3335
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After exploring the world of pop-ups, catering, and meal-prep service, chef Epepe Tukala Vuvu and Baka Serkoukou have given Mokili its own standalone location poised to become Villeray’s hub for African street food. Primarily a takeout/grocery situation, the project is committed to showcasing — via a continuously rotating menu — all the nuances and variety of the continent’s anything-but-uniform culinary traditions.

11. La Maison Onyx

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7070 Av. Henri-Julien, Montréal
QC H2S 3S3, Canada
(514) 937-7754
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Not a full-fledged restaurant per se, but this new stall at Jean-Talon Market is dishing out some exciting street food menus from a rotating roster of Black and Indigenous Montreal chefs. So far it’s hosted two-time MasterChef Canada contestant Marissa Leon-John, the folks behind Afro-Québécois restaurant Maquis Yasolo, and chef Jae-Anthony Dougan of Saint-Henri restaurant Tropikàl, among others. The project is an offshoot of Little Burgundy nonprofit DESTA’s community food program, dedicated to overcoming food insecurity in the city.

12. Le Pontiac

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701 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal
QC H2J 1W7, Canada
(438) 375-4816
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At Pontiac, it’s fruit smoothies and eggs Benedict sandwiches in the morning and crisp-edged, extra cheesy pan pizzas come afternoon. Equipped with a takeout window and laid-back Mont Royal Street-facing terrasse, this latest venture from chef, restaurateur, and radio personality Danny St Pierre is particularly well-suited for summer days in Montreal; after all, it was the spot where Mayor Valérie Plante, albeit controversially, chose to kick off her deconfinement.

13. Restaurant Pichai

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5985 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal
QC H2S 2L8, Canada
(514) 419-1606
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From the folks that brought us standout Little Italy curry shop Pumpui, there’s a newcomer on St-Hubert Street that’s also spotlighting Thai flavours, though in a more formal, wine bar-esque setting. Pichai’s menu focuses on Isaan grilled meats and veggie salads, including options like sup nor mai, a braised bamboo shoot dish, and sai krok isan, a grilled rice-fermented Berkshire sausage, supplied by local butcher shop Aliments Viens. A Thai tea-infused tiramisu and hefty offering of natural wines do wonders to round out the offering.

14. Le Projet Pilote

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980 Rue Rachel E, Montréal
QC H2J 2J3, Canada

Though technically more of a bar, brewery, and distillery, Le Projet Pilote takes its food offering extremely seriously. Shepherded by Léon Buser-Rivet (formerly of Old Montreal fine dining spot Monarque), its kitchen churns out a tidy array of snacking dishes, including Nordic shrimp tartines and creamy buttermilk and dill cucumbers, as well as some daily mains listed on a chalkboard menu. Bonus: lots of the veggies and herbs that figure are grown on-site — on the bar’s 700-square-foot rooftop garden.

1. Café Entre-Deux

5930 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Unite 102, Montréal, QC H4A 1X7, Canada

This trim Sherbrooke Street West newcomer is a coffee-and-sandwich shop by day and wine bar with a polished food and drink menu by night. Options include fried spelt with a garlic confit emulsion, a Thai vinaigrette sea bass crudo with lemon balm, coriander, and pickled finger hots, and seared pork with braised fennel and apple puree. Expect a stylish interior achieved by layering chevron wood flooring, deep green marble counters, and 1970s-style rattan seating.

5930 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest Unite 102, Montréal
QC H4A 1X7, Canada

2. La Sobremesa

4922 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Westmount, QC H3Z 1H3, Canada

Behold, Westmount’s newest restaurant takes its cue from from the Spanish custom of “sobremesa,” where diners linger at the table long after the meal is complete. Courtesy of chef Dany Bolduc (also behind H4C and La Pantry), La Sobremesa offers up a tapas menu including standbys like grilled calamari and patatas bravas, as well as mackerel confit in chorizo oil, shiitake mushrooms with a pea and basil butter, and charcoal-grilled clams served with sorrel butter. Spanish charcuterie, cheese, and an ample selection of wines complete the meal.

4922 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Westmount
QC H3Z 1H3, Canada

3. Sep Lai

2601 Rue Centre, Montréal, QC H3K 1K2, Canada

Pointe-St-Charles’ Machiavelli has been remade into Sep Lai, a new Laotian restaurant that maintains the same BYOB formula — and head chef, Natassia Marier. Expect fragrant curry-based soups, herby salads, and an array of spring rolls fried crisp and golden, and in one case, filled with mozzarella.

2601 Rue Centre, Montréal
QC H3K 1K2, Canada

4. Place Carmin

740 Rue William, Montréal, QC H3C 1P1, Canada

The team behind highly regarded Quartier des Spectacles restaurants Bouillon Bilk and Cadet have made their way west, to Cité Multimédia, with a new French brasserie serving up luxe seafood platters, foie gras terrines, and zucchini vichyssoise. Make sure to save room for dessert: they’ve got a bevy of tried-and-true confections, including Paris Brest, crème brûlée, and strawberry shortcake.

740 Rue William, Montréal
QC H3C 1P1, Canada

5. Buvette Pastek

209 Rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2A1, Canada

Old Montreal newcomer Pastek offers plenty for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch, but there’s one item in particular that’s earning extra praise: a classic ricotta gnocchi with tomato sauce and a dollop of pesto. And though nominally a “buvette” (wine bar), Pastek can’t uncork its bottles just yet — it’s waiting on an alcohol permit before it can open evenings to do so, plus add razor clams, scallops, and a shrimp and zucchini scialatelli pasta to the lineup.

209 Rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal
QC H2Y 2A1, Canada

6. OSMO X MARUSAN

51 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC H2X 1X2, Canada

The Japanese curry experts at Marusan had been plating dishes at Café Osmo for about a year before permanently taking over and rebranding the space as Osmo x Marusan. The Japanese coffeeshop now also serves sweets, sakes, and sandos, including a katsu option, with pork cutlet, 30-day-aged Worcestershire, bonito mustard, and cabbage; and one filled with eggs in salad and soft-boiled form. Until September 9, the café’s biergarten-esque, picnic table-replete terrasse plays host to a vibrant Nicaraguan-style barbecue pop-up called Espadon.

51 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal
QC H2X 1X2, Canada

7. Mici D’ici

19 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2T 1N4, Canada

Mont Royal Avenue’s casual new nook specializes in a quintessential Romanian barbecue food: mici, cylindrical patties of minced meats — spiced, grilled, and preferably enjoyed with mustard. Also up for grabs: truffle-salted fries, a spirally sausage “lollipop,” and chiftele, a deep-fried, panko-encrusted mound of ground pork, potatoes, onions, and dill.

19 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal
QC H2T 1N4, Canada

8. Barranco

4552 R. Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2J 2L3, Canada

Named after the vibrant seaside district in Lima, this St-Denis newcomer comes from three partners and friends, all natives of Peru. They’ve tapped Daniel Silva (formerly of other Montreal Peruvian spots Tiradito and Chifa) as executive chef, and he’s thought up a menu including causas (mashed potato terrines filled with ingredients like avocado, grilled octopus, shrimp, and more); pollo a la brasa, the nation’s famous crispy-skinned roast chicken; chicharrón (succulent fried pork) in taco and sandwich form; and a whole gamut of mahi-mahi ceviche.

4552 R. Saint-Denis, Montréal
QC H2J 2L3, Canada

9. Pizza Bouquet

45 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, QC H2S 1P8, Canada

Locals will recognize the name as that of the pizza counter once tucked at the back of Beaubien Street bowling alley bar Notre Dame des Quilles. But now, the pizzeria has its own space, allowing it to crank out three times the number of 16-inch, crisp, yet chewy, olive oil-coated pies. Crowd pleasers include the “soppressata,” with Italian spicy salami, red onions, goat cheese, and a drizzle of honey; and the “a l’envers,” an upside-down pizza with mozzarella on the bottom and garlic-infused tomato sauce on top. Get a slice, a soda can, and a cup of dip for $7.

45 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal
QC H2S 1P8, Canada

10. Mokili

93 Rue de Castelnau E, Montréal, QC H2R 1P1, Canada

After exploring the world of pop-ups, catering, and meal-prep service, chef Epepe Tukala Vuvu and Baka Serkoukou have given Mokili its own standalone location poised to become Villeray’s hub for African street food. Primarily a takeout/grocery situation, the project is committed to showcasing — via a continuously rotating menu — all the nuances and variety of the continent’s anything-but-uniform culinary traditions.

93 Rue de Castelnau E, Montréal
QC H2R 1P1, Canada

11. La Maison Onyx

7070 Av. Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada

Not a full-fledged restaurant per se, but this new stall at Jean-Talon Market is dishing out some exciting street food menus from a rotating roster of Black and Indigenous Montreal chefs. So far it’s hosted two-time MasterChef Canada contestant Marissa Leon-John, the folks behind Afro-Québécois restaurant Maquis Yasolo, and chef Jae-Anthony Dougan of Saint-Henri restaurant Tropikàl, among others. The project is an offshoot of Little Burgundy nonprofit DESTA’s community food program, dedicated to overcoming food insecurity in the city.

7070 Av. Henri-Julien, Montréal
QC H2S 3S3, Canada

12. Le Pontiac

701 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2J 1W7, Canada

At Pontiac, it’s fruit smoothies and eggs Benedict sandwiches in the morning and crisp-edged, extra cheesy pan pizzas come afternoon. Equipped with a takeout window and laid-back Mont Royal Street-facing terrasse, this latest venture from chef, restaurateur, and radio personality Danny St Pierre is particularly well-suited for summer days in Montreal; after all, it was the spot where Mayor Valérie Plante, albeit controversially, chose to kick off her deconfinement.

701 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal
QC H2J 1W7, Canada

13. Restaurant Pichai

5985 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal, QC H2S 2L8, Canada

From the folks that brought us standout Little Italy curry shop Pumpui, there’s a newcomer on St-Hubert Street that’s also spotlighting Thai flavours, though in a more formal, wine bar-esque setting. Pichai’s menu focuses on Isaan grilled meats and veggie salads, including options like sup nor mai, a braised bamboo shoot dish, and sai krok isan, a grilled rice-fermented Berkshire sausage, supplied by local butcher shop Aliments Viens. A Thai tea-infused tiramisu and hefty offering of natural wines do wonders to round out the offering.

5985 Rue St-Hubert, Montréal
QC H2S 2L8, Canada

14. Le Projet Pilote

980 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, QC H2J 2J3, Canada

Though technically more of a bar, brewery, and distillery, Le Projet Pilote takes its food offering extremely seriously. Shepherded by Léon Buser-Rivet (formerly of Old Montreal fine dining spot Monarque), its kitchen churns out a tidy array of snacking dishes, including Nordic shrimp tartines and creamy buttermilk and dill cucumbers, as well as some daily mains listed on a chalkboard menu. Bonus: lots of the veggies and herbs that figure are grown on-site — on the bar’s 700-square-foot rooftop garden.

980 Rue Rachel E, Montréal
QC H2J 2J3, Canada

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