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Balsam Inn

The 15 Hottest Restaurants in Montreal, December 2014

Find out what's new this month.

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The December 2014 Eater Montreal Heatmap welcomes a respectable six new restaurants to the fold in the likes of Côte-des-Neiges, Mile End, the Plateau and the Village.

Enjoy.

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
06/05/14 Added: Gia Ba, Chez Sophie, Le Mal Nécessaire, Ikanos, Sparrow
07/03/14 Added: Cafeden, Callao, Henri Saint-Henri, La Queue de Cheval Burger, Salmigondis, Sa-Fran, Scarlet Exclusive, Le Sieur d'Iberville, Le Slang, T & T Tacos and Tortas
08/07/14 Manitoba, Foyer, Grenade, Ma'tine, Rosewood, GEMA, Laurea, Brigade, Tapas24, Industria, Victoria Pier
09/04/14 Added: Café Zéphyr, Bagel St-Lo, Le Bon Vivant, Hà
10/02/14 Added: Mon Ami, Sumac, Notkins, L'Orignal, Café Sfouf, June Rose, Isle de Garde
11/05/14 Added: Balsam Inn, Cirkus, Fitzroy, Fortune, Junior, Lea, Ping Pong Club, Wilfrid sur Laurier
12/04/14 Added: La Flèche, Landry & Filles, Kinka Izakaya, Pizzeria Magpie (Village), Thazard, Uniburger

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sumac

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3618 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal
QC H4C 1P5, Canada
(514) 935-1444
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Saint-Henri has viable Middle Eastern food now, thanks to David Bloom and chef Raquel Zagury's fresh-to-order falafel, shawarma, salads and spreads. Sarah Musgrave just gave the restaurant a rave in The Gazette.

2. Ma'tine

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1310 Maisonneuve Est, Montreal
QC H2L 2A5, Canada
(514) 439-9969
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Three of the principals in the 2013 critical smash Micro Resto La Famille left the Plateau to open this breakfast and lunch café in the Village.

3. June Rose

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16 Avenue des Pins, Montreal
QC H2W 1N3, Canada
(514) 439-7054
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A new spin on à volonté retro Chinese fare and cocktails, as only Big in Japan can do. The refurb of the old Ginger feels like a cross between a film noir set and opium den.

4. Balsam Inn

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1237 Rue Metcalfe, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 507-9207
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The principals in Baldwin Barmacie, Dominion Square Tavern and Whisky Café quietly opened Balsam Inn on October 31. Like next-door neighbour Dominion Square Tavern, partners Alexandre Baldwin, Alexandre Wolosianski and Nicole Lemelin have made overt efforts to re-contextualize the century-old space to evoke the Golden Age of Downtown Montreal. As a result, all traces of recent tenant iBurger have been eradicated. The flatbread-happy menu makes good use of an original cast iron, wood-fired oven.

5. Cirkus

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1481 Laurier Est, Montreal
QC H2J 1H8, Canada
(514) 303-9030
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Toulouse native Julien Joré, formerly of Brunoise, 357c, Au Cinquième Péché and Au Petit Extra, is the owner and chef of this new restaurant in the old Pyrus Bistronomique. Girlfriend Stéphanie Labelle, who owns the excellent Pâtisserie Rhubarbe around the corner, provides the desserts.
4922 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 508-0545
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Prolific designer Zébulon Perron is responsible for this sleek new space from the restaurant group that gave us Grinder and Hachoir. The Portuguese and Spanish inflected menu comes courtesy chef Matt Doyle and sous chef Ian Milner.

7. Wilfrid sur Laurier

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222 Laurier Ouest, Montreal
QC H2T 2N8, Canada
(514) 495-4961
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All herald the return of the dynamic Brunoise duo of chef Michel Ross and Zach Suhl. The two now hope to revive the space once held by Laurier mainstay La Petite Ardoise.

8. Ping Pong Club

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5788 Saint-Laurent, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 272-7464
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Cocktails, beers, high-low bar food, brunch and table tennis, in the former Royal Phoenix and from the same group behind Salon Officiel and Mme Lee.

9. Fortune

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6448 Saint-Laurent, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 303-3111
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The principals in this new wave taco counter and casse-croûte in Little Italy hail from Notre Dame des Quilles, the Royal Phoenix and Phoenix 1 food truck.

10. Kinka Izakaya

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1624 Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montreal
QC H3H 2S7, Canada
(514) 750-1624
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Toronto import Kinka came to shake up the Montreal izakaya game. The preliminary buzz is strong.

11. La Flèche

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1562 Mont-Royal Est, Montreal
QC H2J 1Z2, Canada
(514) 663-4700
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The reboot of Edgar Hypertaverne, courtesy architect/designer Francois-Martin Mortier d'Aumont, includes principals Francisco Randez, managers Maxime Langlois and Jonathan Fuglewicz and chef Pascal Cormier. Randez describes the space's new identity, as La Flèche, as a mature bar with good music where patrons can leisurely drink and enjoy a game-heavy menu of small plates.

12. Landry & Filles

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4764 Papineau, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 419-7766
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The food truck that gave Montreal ploye–a.k.a. New Brunswick-style buckwheat pancakes–now has a brick-and-mortar snack bar in the Plateau. Owners Marc Landry, Josée-Ann Landry and Lisa-Marie Veillette call the 32-seater a "simple yet granny-infused comfortable space."

13. Pizzeria Magpie

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1237 Amherst, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 544-2900
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Brothers Boris and Peter Popovic have taken their successful Mile End pizzeria concept to the Village with chef Federico Ghergo and general manager Will Cody of Maïs.
Photo credit: Diego Martin

14. Thazard

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5329 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal
QC H2T 1A5, Canada
(514) 802-8899
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Serial restaurateurs Edward Zaki and Dave Schmidt gave the old Cielo Tapas a facelift last month with help from chef Hachiro Fujise. The result is a Japanese bistro with French-style guéridon service, cocktails and a kitchen that closes at 2:00 a.m. A weekday lunch service (Wednesday to Friday) was recently added as well.

15. Uniburger

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5655 Côte Des Neiges, Montreal
QC, Canada
The near-consensus best burger pusher in Montreal just added a second location close to the Jewish General Hospital.

1. Sumac

3618 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal, QC H4C 1P5, Canada
Saint-Henri has viable Middle Eastern food now, thanks to David Bloom and chef Raquel Zagury's fresh-to-order falafel, shawarma, salads and spreads. Sarah Musgrave just gave the restaurant a rave in The Gazette.
3618 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal
QC H4C 1P5, Canada

2. Ma'tine

1310 Maisonneuve Est, Montreal, QC H2L 2A5, Canada
Three of the principals in the 2013 critical smash Micro Resto La Famille left the Plateau to open this breakfast and lunch café in the Village.
1310 Maisonneuve Est, Montreal
QC H2L 2A5, Canada

3. June Rose

16 Avenue des Pins, Montreal, QC H2W 1N3, Canada
A new spin on à volonté retro Chinese fare and cocktails, as only Big in Japan can do. The refurb of the old Ginger feels like a cross between a film noir set and opium den.
16 Avenue des Pins, Montreal
QC H2W 1N3, Canada

4. Balsam Inn

1237 Rue Metcalfe, Montreal, QC, Canada
The principals in Baldwin Barmacie, Dominion Square Tavern and Whisky Café quietly opened Balsam Inn on October 31. Like next-door neighbour Dominion Square Tavern, partners Alexandre Baldwin, Alexandre Wolosianski and Nicole Lemelin have made overt efforts to re-contextualize the century-old space to evoke the Golden Age of Downtown Montreal. As a result, all traces of recent tenant iBurger have been eradicated. The flatbread-happy menu makes good use of an original cast iron, wood-fired oven.
1237 Rue Metcalfe, Montreal
QC, Canada

5. Cirkus

1481 Laurier Est, Montreal, QC H2J 1H8, Canada
Toulouse native Julien Joré, formerly of Brunoise, 357c, Au Cinquième Péché and Au Petit Extra, is the owner and chef of this new restaurant in the old Pyrus Bistronomique. Girlfriend Stéphanie Labelle, who owns the excellent Pâtisserie Rhubarbe around the corner, provides the desserts.
1481 Laurier Est, Montreal
QC H2J 1H8, Canada

6. Lea

4922 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, Canada
Prolific designer Zébulon Perron is responsible for this sleek new space from the restaurant group that gave us Grinder and Hachoir. The Portuguese and Spanish inflected menu comes courtesy chef Matt Doyle and sous chef Ian Milner.
4922 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal
QC, Canada

7. Wilfrid sur Laurier

222 Laurier Ouest, Montreal, QC H2T 2N8, Canada
All herald the return of the dynamic Brunoise duo of chef Michel Ross and Zach Suhl. The two now hope to revive the space once held by Laurier mainstay La Petite Ardoise.
222 Laurier Ouest, Montreal
QC H2T 2N8, Canada

8. Ping Pong Club

5788 Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC, Canada
Cocktails, beers, high-low bar food, brunch and table tennis, in the former Royal Phoenix and from the same group behind Salon Officiel and Mme Lee.
5788 Saint-Laurent, Montreal
QC, Canada

9. Fortune

6448 Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC, Canada
The principals in this new wave taco counter and casse-croûte in Little Italy hail from Notre Dame des Quilles, the Royal Phoenix and Phoenix 1 food truck.
6448 Saint-Laurent, Montreal
QC, Canada

10. Kinka Izakaya

1624 Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montreal, QC H3H 2S7, Canada
Toronto import Kinka came to shake up the Montreal izakaya game. The preliminary buzz is strong.
1624 Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montreal
QC H3H 2S7, Canada

11. La Flèche

1562 Mont-Royal Est, Montreal, QC H2J 1Z2, Canada
The reboot of Edgar Hypertaverne, courtesy architect/designer Francois-Martin Mortier d'Aumont, includes principals Francisco Randez, managers Maxime Langlois and Jonathan Fuglewicz and chef Pascal Cormier. Randez describes the space's new identity, as La Flèche, as a mature bar with good music where patrons can leisurely drink and enjoy a game-heavy menu of small plates.
1562 Mont-Royal Est, Montreal
QC H2J 1Z2, Canada

12. Landry & Filles

4764 Papineau, Montreal, QC, Canada
The food truck that gave Montreal ploye–a.k.a. New Brunswick-style buckwheat pancakes–now has a brick-and-mortar snack bar in the Plateau. Owners Marc Landry, Josée-Ann Landry and Lisa-Marie Veillette call the 32-seater a "simple yet granny-infused comfortable space."
4764 Papineau, Montreal
QC, Canada

13. Pizzeria Magpie

1237 Amherst, Montreal, QC, Canada
Brothers Boris and Peter Popovic have taken their successful Mile End pizzeria concept to the Village with chef Federico Ghergo and general manager Will Cody of Maïs.
Photo credit: Diego Martin
1237 Amherst, Montreal
QC, Canada

14. Thazard

5329 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T 1A5, Canada
Serial restaurateurs Edward Zaki and Dave Schmidt gave the old Cielo Tapas a facelift last month with help from chef Hachiro Fujise. The result is a Japanese bistro with French-style guéridon service, cocktails and a kitchen that closes at 2:00 a.m. A weekday lunch service (Wednesday to Friday) was recently added as well.
5329 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal
QC H2T 1A5, Canada

15. Uniburger

5655 Côte Des Neiges, Montreal, QC, Canada
The near-consensus best burger pusher in Montreal just added a second location close to the Jewish General Hospital.
5655 Côte Des Neiges, Montreal
QC, Canada

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