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The 12 Hottest Restaurants in Montreal, May 2014

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What is the most difficult reservation in town? Where is the buzz? Welcome to the ever in flux Eater Heatmap - where we take the pulse of Montreal's restaurant scene.

The May 2014 installment welcomes newcomers in the Plateau, Rosemont, the Village and Villeray. All in all, a hodgepodge of hot spots that best represents what the culinary landscape of the city is all about.

Enjoy, and remember, this list is in no particular order.

12/05/13: Added: La Bête à Pain, Maïs, Lili Co., Hof Kelsten, Orange Rouge, Racines, Le Richmond
01/02/14: Added: Brasserie Bernard, Moteur, État-Major, Cardinal Tea Room, La Récréation
02/06/14: Added: Sel Gras, Le Shinji, Bethlehem XXX, Anabel, Le Serpent, Café Parvis, Au Pied de Cochon, Barcola
03/06/14: Added: Bishop & Bagg, Mercuri, Patrice Pâtissier, Saka-Ba!
04/03/14: Added: Les Coudes sur la Table, Galt, Taverne F, Biirū
05/01/14: Added: Labarake, Mesón, La Réserve, L'Gros Luxe, Majestique, Cantinho de Lisboa, Bar Mercuri

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Labarake / Caserne à Manger

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Labarake has a surefire, first impression advantage in old caserne de pompier digs in the Rosemont Angus Shops. The comfort food menu serves up burgers, ribs, a raw bar and a foie gras "du moment."
Can we call Mesón a Spanish bistro? You get the sense this is the vibe owners Sébastien Muniz and Victor Afonso and chef Marie-Fleur St-Pierre, all of Tapeo, want to inculcate. Casual with finesse, once more, rules the day. Plus brunch. [Photo]

Saka-Ba!

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Junichi Ikematsu (of Juni on Laurier) has gone downscale and is sans chef whites at his new izakaya. Saka-Ba! feels at home in a part of town that needs amnesty from greasy spoons and bistros. The liquor permit is in now, so you can enjoy a tallboy Asahi (or Red Stripe) with that soba.

Les Coudes sur la Table

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The corny, staged photos from this bistro's launch party in September felt like a bad omen but, happily, none of that nonsense translates to the food. When you snag the best review of 2014 from Lesley Chesterman (so far) and a rave from Jean-Phillipe Tastet, as Les Coudes did recently, you deserve a place on this map.

L'Gros Luxe

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L'Gros Luxe, a new restaurant/bar/café that "serves up fresh, affordable food and drinks 7 days a week in the heart of the Plateau", includes principals from SuWu and Cabaret Underworld and a designer whose work is on display at the former, as well as 3643 St-Laurent Apt. 200. Food is in the haute snacks/tacos/burgers/poutine mold, with emphasis on drinks. [Photo]

La Réserve du Comptoir

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Lawrence has a butcher shop and now Le Comptoir is in on the act, sort of, with La Réserve. While not next door to the original Mile End restaurant, the charc shop and sandwich counter enlivens a 'hood in need of a jolt. No, not a sit-down restaurant per se but notable nonetheless.

Majestique

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The good word on Majestique thusfar hinges on the Charles-Antoine Crête-curated menu, which includes a titanic 12-inch hot dog, and décor by Thomas Csano. [Photo]

Café Parvis

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This new project from Furco and Buvette Chez Simone principals has salads and Romano-style pizza on the menu, a full booze permit and good buzz from critics like Sarah Musgrave and Jean-Philippe Tastet.

Cantinho de Lisboa

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The MTL Cuisine group's expansion in Old Montreal took on a new twist this week with Cantinho de Lisboa, a gourmet shop slash lunch counter with Helena and Portus Calle chef Helena Loureiro at the helm.

Mercuri / Bar Mercuri

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Of Mercuri, Lesley Chesterman recently wrote: "Innovative, creative, complex and oh-so-flavourful, the dishes offered fireworks we taste all too rarely on the Montreal scene." And now, as of today, Bar Mercuri is open in a larger, adjacent space, with a more casual menu to complement the prix fixe fare next door.

Le Serpent

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White-hot Le Serpent seems to have it all: cool digs (the industrial chic contemporary art space that is La Fonderie Darling), proven ownership (Hubert Marsolais and Claude Pelletier of Le Club Chasse et Pêche and Le Filet) and a name chef in Michele Mercuri.

Patrice Pâtissier

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Patrice Demers and partner Marie-Josée Beaudoin finally unveiled the soigné and savoury wine bar side of Patrice Pâtissier last week. Menu items range from sunchoke pancakes with mushrooms and chèvre to trout with carrots, dill and crème fraîche. There's also a dessert dégustation, naturally, at $22 per.

Labarake / Caserne à Manger

Labarake has a surefire, first impression advantage in old caserne de pompier digs in the Rosemont Angus Shops. The comfort food menu serves up burgers, ribs, a raw bar and a foie gras "du moment."

Mesón

Can we call Mesón a Spanish bistro? You get the sense this is the vibe owners Sébastien Muniz and Victor Afonso and chef Marie-Fleur St-Pierre, all of Tapeo, want to inculcate. Casual with finesse, once more, rules the day. Plus brunch. [Photo]

Saka-Ba!

Junichi Ikematsu (of Juni on Laurier) has gone downscale and is sans chef whites at his new izakaya. Saka-Ba! feels at home in a part of town that needs amnesty from greasy spoons and bistros. The liquor permit is in now, so you can enjoy a tallboy Asahi (or Red Stripe) with that soba.

Les Coudes sur la Table

The corny, staged photos from this bistro's launch party in September felt like a bad omen but, happily, none of that nonsense translates to the food. When you snag the best review of 2014 from Lesley Chesterman (so far) and a rave from Jean-Phillipe Tastet, as Les Coudes did recently, you deserve a place on this map.

L'Gros Luxe

L'Gros Luxe, a new restaurant/bar/café that "serves up fresh, affordable food and drinks 7 days a week in the heart of the Plateau", includes principals from SuWu and Cabaret Underworld and a designer whose work is on display at the former, as well as 3643 St-Laurent Apt. 200. Food is in the haute snacks/tacos/burgers/poutine mold, with emphasis on drinks. [Photo]

La Réserve du Comptoir

Lawrence has a butcher shop and now Le Comptoir is in on the act, sort of, with La Réserve. While not next door to the original Mile End restaurant, the charc shop and sandwich counter enlivens a 'hood in need of a jolt. No, not a sit-down restaurant per se but notable nonetheless.

Majestique

The good word on Majestique thusfar hinges on the Charles-Antoine Crête-curated menu, which includes a titanic 12-inch hot dog, and décor by Thomas Csano. [Photo]

Café Parvis

This new project from Furco and Buvette Chez Simone principals has salads and Romano-style pizza on the menu, a full booze permit and good buzz from critics like Sarah Musgrave and Jean-Philippe Tastet.

Cantinho de Lisboa

The MTL Cuisine group's expansion in Old Montreal took on a new twist this week with Cantinho de Lisboa, a gourmet shop slash lunch counter with Helena and Portus Calle chef Helena Loureiro at the helm.

Mercuri / Bar Mercuri

Of Mercuri, Lesley Chesterman recently wrote: "Innovative, creative, complex and oh-so-flavourful, the dishes offered fireworks we taste all too rarely on the Montreal scene." And now, as of today, Bar Mercuri is open in a larger, adjacent space, with a more casual menu to complement the prix fixe fare next door.

Le Serpent

White-hot Le Serpent seems to have it all: cool digs (the industrial chic contemporary art space that is La Fonderie Darling), proven ownership (Hubert Marsolais and Claude Pelletier of Le Club Chasse et Pêche and Le Filet) and a name chef in Michele Mercuri.

Patrice Pâtissier

Patrice Demers and partner Marie-Josée Beaudoin finally unveiled the soigné and savoury wine bar side of Patrice Pâtissier last week. Menu items range from sunchoke pancakes with mushrooms and chèvre to trout with carrots, dill and crème fraîche. There's also a dessert dégustation, naturally, at $22 per.

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