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The 15 Hottest Restaurants in Montreal, July 2014

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The July 2014 installment welcomes a record ten new restaurants. It has been a busy summer indeed. All in all, consider this hodgepodge of hot spots a snapshot of what is a very dynamic restaurant scene.

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
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

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Labarake / Caserne à Manger

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3165, rue Rachel Est, Montreal
QC H1W 1A3, Canada
(514) 521-0777
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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."

2. Le Sieur d'Iberville

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2490 Mount Royal Avenue East, Montreal
QC H2H 2M3, Canada
(514) 525-4448
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You have to appreciate the details at this 1950s-era tavern reboot: the salavaged wood bar top, jury chairs, restored vertical beer conveyor and custom growler bottles. Now nosh on some oak-fired rotisserie chicken, the house-ground burger and savour the fact that this part of town now has a proper, honest-to-goodness pub for after work punters and nocturnal carousers.

3. Mesón

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342 rue Villeray, Montreal, QC
H2R 1G8, Canada
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]

4. Salmigondis

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6896 Saint Dominique Street, Montreal
QC H2S, Canada
(514) 564-3842
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The newcomer with the most underground buzz includes kitchen talent like Brian Peters (Café Sardine), Robert Kaniak, Élyssa-Ann Tanguay (Arts Café) and Charles-Antoine Malenfant Beaulieu (Chez L'Épicier).

5. Cafeden

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Saint Laurent Boulevard, Montreal
QC H2S 3C4, Canada
(514) 419-1589
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Finally, a Vietnamese restaurant that deviates from the stock Tonkinoise pushers all over town - and in the vicinity of Little Italy and Mile-Ex, no less. Cafeden freshens up the concept with authentic fare that has won over more than a few area cooks in need of a pre-service pho fix.

6. Callao

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114 Laurier Ouest, Montreal
QC H2T 2N7, Canada
(514) 227-8712
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Sensing, perhaps, a trending shift away from stodgier, multi-course fine dining, Peruvian chef Mario Navarrete, Jr. halted the once-critically acclaimed Raza at the beginning of the year. The ensuing Callao avoids some of the preciousness of its antecedent with cantina staples like tiraditos, anticuchos, causes, tamales and empanadas. Still, despite the price point drop and lowbrow turn, Navarrete, Jr. isn't scuttling his arty plate presentations anytime soon.

7. T & T Tacos and Tortas

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51 Rue Rachel Est, Montreal
QC H2W, Canada
(514) 518-5331
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Bygone charcoal Portuguese chicken, in the form of Le Roi du Plateau, has made way for substantive tacos, tortas and tequila drinks. It feels like a necessary changing of the guard.

8. Sa-Fran

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3979 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal
QC H2W 2M4, Canada
(514) 439-9964
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Can a sushi bar cum French bistro lure crowds on ultra-competitive Saint-Denis? Japanese chef Satoshi Matsumoto is a protégé of Junichi Ikematsu - reason enough, perhaps, to give the concept a try.

9. Le Mal Nécessaire

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1106B Saint Laurent, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 439-9199
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Le Mal Nécessaire is a tiki bar, ostensibly, and duly serves a solid lineup of modern riffs on classic cocktails. But the food menu intrigues too, most notably for takes on siu mai, General Tao chicken and shrimp toast.

10. Scarlet Exclusive

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139 Saint Paul Ouest, Montreal
QC, Canada
(514) 507-4558
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The name is questionable but the formula of small plates, cocktails and a gorgeous garden terrasse is just what Old Montreal wants, apparently.

11. La Queue de Cheval Burger

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1181 rue de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec
H3G 1P1, Canada
(514) 390-0091
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The steakhouse swagger and swank of La Queue de Cheval is almost upon us, as the House of Peter Morentzos resets in new digs. Until then, enjoy the restaurant's back alley burger bar. Open, ludicrously, until 5:00 a.m. on weekends.

12. Chez Sophie

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1974, rue Notre-Dame O., Montreal
QC H3J 1M8, Canada
(438) 380-2365
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Chef Sophie Tabet and husband Marco Marangi, who serves as manager and sommelier, run this new French bistro in Griffintown. The couple left Lebanon in 2013 for Montreal. The Beirut version of Chez Sophie was a hit, it seems. One blogger called the restaurant Lebanon's only legit Michelin star candidate and wrote, after Tabet's departure: "I almost cried." [Photo: Marc-Olivier Bécotte]

13. Henri Saint-Henri

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3734 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal
QC H4C 1P7, Canada
(514) 303-0777
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A gaggle of experienced restaurateurs threw their collective weight behind this spiffy overhaul of a derelict space on Saint-Henri's gentrifying restaurant row. Chefs Julien Messier-Cousineau and James Rainville are whipping up nostalgic twists on Eastern Seaboard coastal fare to receptive audiences.

14. Le Slang

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5669 Monkland Avenue, Montreal
QC H4A 1C7, Canada
(514) 600-1600
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Le Slang owner Robert Sigler: "The infamous Brynley Leach leads our bar along with some other molecular lunatics." Molecular mixology in N.D.G.? Why the hell not. With food from chef Shawn Dascal, a Moonshine BBQ co-owner, by the way.

15. Gia Ba

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5766 Monkland, Montreal
QC, Canada
Andy Su whips up the most authentic - and piquant - Szechuan in Montreal. This is not up for debate. His new restaurant in Monkland Village may put his old employer on Guy out of business.

1. Labarake / Caserne à Manger

3165, rue Rachel Est, Montreal, QC H1W 1A3, Canada
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."
3165, rue Rachel Est, Montreal
QC H1W 1A3, Canada

2. Le Sieur d'Iberville

2490 Mount Royal Avenue East, Montreal, QC H2H 2M3, Canada
You have to appreciate the details at this 1950s-era tavern reboot: the salavaged wood bar top, jury chairs, restored vertical beer conveyor and custom growler bottles. Now nosh on some oak-fired rotisserie chicken, the house-ground burger and savour the fact that this part of town now has a proper, honest-to-goodness pub for after work punters and nocturnal carousers.
2490 Mount Royal Avenue East, Montreal
QC H2H 2M3, Canada

3. Mesón

342 rue Villeray, Montreal, QC, H2R 1G8, Canada
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]
342 rue Villeray, Montreal, QC
H2R 1G8, Canada

4. Salmigondis

6896 Saint Dominique Street, Montreal, QC H2S, Canada
The newcomer with the most underground buzz includes kitchen talent like Brian Peters (Café Sardine), Robert Kaniak, Élyssa-Ann Tanguay (Arts Café) and Charles-Antoine Malenfant Beaulieu (Chez L'Épicier).
6896 Saint Dominique Street, Montreal
QC H2S, Canada

5. Cafeden

Saint Laurent Boulevard, Montreal, QC H2S 3C4, Canada
Finally, a Vietnamese restaurant that deviates from the stock Tonkinoise pushers all over town - and in the vicinity of Little Italy and Mile-Ex, no less. Cafeden freshens up the concept with authentic fare that has won over more than a few area cooks in need of a pre-service pho fix.
Saint Laurent Boulevard, Montreal
QC H2S 3C4, Canada

6. Callao

114 Laurier Ouest, Montreal, QC H2T 2N7, Canada
Sensing, perhaps, a trending shift away from stodgier, multi-course fine dining, Peruvian chef Mario Navarrete, Jr. halted the once-critically acclaimed Raza at the beginning of the year. The ensuing Callao avoids some of the preciousness of its antecedent with cantina staples like tiraditos, anticuchos, causes, tamales and empanadas. Still, despite the price point drop and lowbrow turn, Navarrete, Jr. isn't scuttling his arty plate presentations anytime soon.
114 Laurier Ouest, Montreal
QC H2T 2N7, Canada

7. T & T Tacos and Tortas

51 Rue Rachel Est, Montreal, QC H2W, Canada
Bygone charcoal Portuguese chicken, in the form of Le Roi du Plateau, has made way for substantive tacos, tortas and tequila drinks. It feels like a necessary changing of the guard.
51 Rue Rachel Est, Montreal
QC H2W, Canada

8. Sa-Fran

3979 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W 2M4, Canada
Can a sushi bar cum French bistro lure crowds on ultra-competitive Saint-Denis? Japanese chef Satoshi Matsumoto is a protégé of Junichi Ikematsu - reason enough, perhaps, to give the concept a try.
3979 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal
QC H2W 2M4, Canada

9. Le Mal Nécessaire

1106B Saint Laurent, Montreal, QC, Canada
Le Mal Nécessaire is a tiki bar, ostensibly, and duly serves a solid lineup of modern riffs on classic cocktails. But the food menu intrigues too, most notably for takes on siu mai, General Tao chicken and shrimp toast.
1106B Saint Laurent, Montreal
QC, Canada

10. Scarlet Exclusive

139 Saint Paul Ouest, Montreal, QC, Canada
The name is questionable but the formula of small plates, cocktails and a gorgeous garden terrasse is just what Old Montreal wants, apparently.
139 Saint Paul Ouest, Montreal
QC, Canada

11. La Queue de Cheval Burger

1181 rue de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1P1, Canada
The steakhouse swagger and swank of La Queue de Cheval is almost upon us, as the House of Peter Morentzos resets in new digs. Until then, enjoy the restaurant's back alley burger bar. Open, ludicrously, until 5:00 a.m. on weekends.
1181 rue de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec
H3G 1P1, Canada

12. Chez Sophie

1974, rue Notre-Dame O., Montreal, QC H3J 1M8, Canada
Chef Sophie Tabet and husband Marco Marangi, who serves as manager and sommelier, run this new French bistro in Griffintown. The couple left Lebanon in 2013 for Montreal. The Beirut version of Chez Sophie was a hit, it seems. One blogger called the restaurant Lebanon's only legit Michelin star candidate and wrote, after Tabet's departure: "I almost cried." [Photo: Marc-Olivier Bécotte]
1974, rue Notre-Dame O., Montreal
QC H3J 1M8, Canada

13. Henri Saint-Henri

3734 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC H4C 1P7, Canada
A gaggle of experienced restaurateurs threw their collective weight behind this spiffy overhaul of a derelict space on Saint-Henri's gentrifying restaurant row. Chefs Julien Messier-Cousineau and James Rainville are whipping up nostalgic twists on Eastern Seaboard coastal fare to receptive audiences.
3734 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal
QC H4C 1P7, Canada

14. Le Slang

5669 Monkland Avenue, Montreal, QC H4A 1C7, Canada
Le Slang owner Robert Sigler: "The infamous Brynley Leach leads our bar along with some other molecular lunatics." Molecular mixology in N.D.G.? Why the hell not. With food from chef Shawn Dascal, a Moonshine BBQ co-owner, by the way.
5669 Monkland Avenue, Montreal
QC H4A 1C7, Canada

15. Gia Ba

5766 Monkland, Montreal, QC, Canada
Andy Su whips up the most authentic - and piquant - Szechuan in Montreal. This is not up for debate. His new restaurant in Monkland Village may put his old employer on Guy out of business.
5766 Monkland, Montreal
QC, Canada

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