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Grilled salmon, mussels, clams, and shrimp in a shellfish broth from Blandino.
@aj_branco

The Hottest New Restaurants in Montreal, October 2021

Where to go for a veal schnitzel sandwich, lemon poppy seed whoopie pie, or some salmon and shellfish en brodo

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Grilled salmon, mussels, clams, and shrimp in a shellfish broth from Blandino.
| @aj_branco

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater Montreal have one question: Where should I go 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 Mile End sandwich shop Nita Tout Garni, Decarie Boulevard Italian brasserie Blandino, new downtown pizzeria Hang Time, and South Shore specialty coffee shop Café Kuya. At the same time, we must bid farewell to Barranco, Pizza Bouquet, Maison Onyx, and Projet Pilote — still great options, worthy of your patronage.

Health experts consider dining out to be 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. 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.

2. 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 veggies, including options like laab dok kalaam (a spicy cauliflower salad), gai yang (a grilled half chicken with tamarind sauce) and sai krok isan (a rice-fermented Berkshire sausage). A Thai tea-infused tiramisu and hefty offering of natural wines do wonders to round out the offering.

3. Nita Tout Garni

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5687 Av du Parc, Montréal
QC H2V 4H2, Canada

Avenue du Parc’s new arrival is a fuss-free sandwich shop, private import wine purveyor, and the brainchild of a group of seven friends and Montreal hospitality workers banding together. Its bread is made in-house, and sandwich fillings range from veal schnitzel and salmon gravlax, to a vegan-friendly végé pâté.

4. Le Pontiac

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701 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal
QC H2J 1W7, Canada
(438) 375-4816
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This latest venture from chef, restaurateur, and radio personality Danny St Pierre brings Mont-Royal Avenue fruit smoothies and eggs Benedict sandwiches in the morning and crisp-edged, extra cheesy pan pizzas come afternoon and evening. Also on offer are sides to share (consider the “inverted” poutine), and for dessert, whoopie pies in flavours like red velvet, lemon poppy seed, pumpkin spice, and more.

5. 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 pork, potatoes, onions, and dill.

6. Blandino

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6939 Bd Décarie, Montréal
QC H3W 3E4, Canada
(514) 657-2622
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The on-site restaurant at the Hilton Garden Inn on Décarie might not be the most obvious pick for a dinner out on the town, but Blandino impresses on multiple fronts. Its marble- and brass-laden space is a stunner, and its menu, replete with Italian dishes like wild mushroom cavatelli, shellfish and salmon en brodo, and Milanese cutlets, is indisputably compelling. And for dessert, how about an espresso martini with some thick, but fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes?

7. 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. On top of curries, the Japanese coffeeshop now also serves sweets (please note the matcha grapefruit babka), 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.

8. Hang Time Pizza

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1390 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal
QC H3G 2E4, Canada
(514) 474-4264
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Hang Time is that rare pizza place in town specializing in not one style of the cheesy, carby dish, but two. On the one end, it’s slinging Detroit squares, drawing on its founder’s (Jordan Biberkraut) pandemic pop-up Fungool, and on the pizza in the New York style, by the slice or the 20-inch pie.

9. 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.

10. 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. Its fall menu includes fried spelt with a garlic confit emulsion, beef tartare with cranberry gel and mushroom powder, and red wine-braise rabbit with tarragon sauce. Expect a stylish interior achieved by layering chevron wood flooring, deep green marble counters, crisp white walls, and a mirrored bar nook.

11. 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 wine bar Pastek offers plenty for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner, but there’s one item in particular that’s earning extra praise: its classic ricotta gnocchi with tomato sauce and a dollop of pesto. Otherwise, expect lots of seafood — including, octopus, scallops, an array of imported conserves, and a shrimp and zucchini scialatiellii pasta — and fresh, easy-drinking wines.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. Café Kuya

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1200 Bd Rome Local M, Brossard
QC J4W 3H3, Canada

This South Shore newcomer from two long-time friends has you covered with a compact breakfast and lunch menu drawing on Filipino food traditions. They’re dishing lechón sandwiches (filled with pork belly and a grilled pineapple chimichurri), siopao (steamed buns packed with pulled pork and a calamansi sauce), and buka (a coconut- and custard-filled pie). Coffee comes from local roasters Binocle and 94 Celsius, as well Vancouver-based Kapé, which works with small female-led farms in the Philippines.

1. 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

2. 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 veggies, including options like laab dok kalaam (a spicy cauliflower salad), gai yang (a grilled half chicken with tamarind sauce) and sai krok isan (a rice-fermented Berkshire sausage). 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

3. Nita Tout Garni

5687 Av du Parc, Montréal, QC H2V 4H2, Canada

Avenue du Parc’s new arrival is a fuss-free sandwich shop, private import wine purveyor, and the brainchild of a group of seven friends and Montreal hospitality workers banding together. Its bread is made in-house, and sandwich fillings range from veal schnitzel and salmon gravlax, to a vegan-friendly végé pâté.

5687 Av du Parc, Montréal
QC H2V 4H2, Canada

4. Le Pontiac

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

This latest venture from chef, restaurateur, and radio personality Danny St Pierre brings Mont-Royal Avenue fruit smoothies and eggs Benedict sandwiches in the morning and crisp-edged, extra cheesy pan pizzas come afternoon and evening. Also on offer are sides to share (consider the “inverted” poutine), and for dessert, whoopie pies in flavours like red velvet, lemon poppy seed, pumpkin spice, and more.

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

5. 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 pork, potatoes, onions, and dill.

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

6. Blandino

6939 Bd Décarie, Montréal, QC H3W 3E4, Canada

The on-site restaurant at the Hilton Garden Inn on Décarie might not be the most obvious pick for a dinner out on the town, but Blandino impresses on multiple fronts. Its marble- and brass-laden space is a stunner, and its menu, replete with Italian dishes like wild mushroom cavatelli, shellfish and salmon en brodo, and Milanese cutlets, is indisputably compelling. And for dessert, how about an espresso martini with some thick, but fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes?

6939 Bd Décarie, Montréal
QC H3W 3E4, Canada

7. 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. On top of curries, the Japanese coffeeshop now also serves sweets (please note the matcha grapefruit babka), 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.

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

8. Hang Time Pizza

1390 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal, QC H3G 2E4, Canada

Hang Time is that rare pizza place in town specializing in not one style of the cheesy, carby dish, but two. On the one end, it’s slinging Detroit squares, drawing on its founder’s (Jordan Biberkraut) pandemic pop-up Fungool, and on the pizza in the New York style, by the slice or the 20-inch pie.

1390 Boulevard de Maisonneuve O, Montréal
QC H3G 2E4, Canada

9. 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

10. 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. Its fall menu includes fried spelt with a garlic confit emulsion, beef tartare with cranberry gel and mushroom powder, and red wine-braise rabbit with tarragon sauce. Expect a stylish interior achieved by layering chevron wood flooring, deep green marble counters, crisp white walls, and a mirrored bar nook.

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

11. Buvette Pastek

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

Old Montreal wine bar Pastek offers plenty for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner, but there’s one item in particular that’s earning extra praise: its classic ricotta gnocchi with tomato sauce and a dollop of pesto. Otherwise, expect lots of seafood — including, octopus, scallops, an array of imported conserves, and a shrimp and zucchini scialatiellii pasta — and fresh, easy-drinking wines.

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

12. 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

13. 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

14. Café Kuya

1200 Bd Rome Local M, Brossard, QC J4W 3H3, Canada

This South Shore newcomer from two long-time friends has you covered with a compact breakfast and lunch menu drawing on Filipino food traditions. They’re dishing lechón sandwiches (filled with pork belly and a grilled pineapple chimichurri), siopao (steamed buns packed with pulled pork and a calamansi sauce), and buka (a coconut- and custard-filled pie). Coffee comes from local roasters Binocle and 94 Celsius, as well Vancouver-based Kapé, which works with small female-led farms in the Philippines.

1200 Bd Rome Local M, Brossard
QC J4W 3H3, Canada

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