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The Eater Montreal Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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mtlheat.jpgWhat 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 December 2013 installment of this regular look at front-of-mind restaurants with diners in the 514 sees newcomers in Ahuntsic, Chinatown, the Plateau, Mile End and Old Montreal. All in all, a mish-mash of hot spots that best represents what Montreal's culinary landscape is about - at present.

So enjoy, and remember, this list is in geographic order.


12/05/13: Added: La Bête à Pain, Maïs, Lili Co., Hof Kelsten, Orange Rouge, Racines, Le Richmond Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

La Bête à Pain

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Ahuntsic champion Marc-André Royal and co. have a special sister spot for Le St-Urbain that comes strong on the boulangerie front and, most recently, private import wines as well.

Impasto

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Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita have struck gold with their finely-tuned Little Italy collaborazione.
Will Cody, Gil MacNutt and Dave Schmidt operate this spirited taco slash cocktail joint. The food is rock solid and bartender Lon Benattar pours a mean drink.

Lili Co.

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Bistro Bienville had followers galore but Lili Co. has made converts of the old regulars and done well with Montreal's food critics too.

Micro Resto La Famille

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The deft crew behind this pygmy café serves impeccable plates and provocative natural wines. Expect to queue.
Café Sardine's Third Wave (and doughnut) bona fides have been widely disseminated but now that the Mile End spot has transformed into a ramen-dispensing izakaya by night, the stakes have been upped.

Hof Kelsten

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Jeffrey Finkelstein's ways with flour and water have won him cult-like baker's status but Hof Kelsten's lunch menu may be the sleeper hit of the year. Soulful soups and sandwiches all score.

SAT FoodLab

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Laloux expats Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse run the most inventive, experimental restaurant in the city. The unlikely venue (the Société des Arts Technologiques) and neighbours (Café Cléopâtre and Montreal Pool Room) make it all the more alluring.

Orange Rouge

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After a memorable stint at Café Sardine, many were keen to discover chef Aaron Langille's next move. That it was to a kitchen in Chinatown, in historic digs adjacent to Wing's noodle factory no less, was a major surprise.

Racines

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Racines is a stunner, no doubt. Much of the talk about the Old Montreal restaurant hinges on the room and the décor. The fact that it provides a platform for chef Simon Mathys' talents to shine, however, is the big story.

Le Richmond

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Space-wise, Luc Laroche and Paul Soucie have built one of the most impressive restaurants of 2013 and proven that Griffintown is a comer.

Le Vin Papillon

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Dave McMillan, Fred Morin, Vanya Filipovic and Marc-Olivier Frappier's no reservations wine bar is an elegant companion to Joe Beef and Liverpool House.
This buvette gourmande is yet another recent notch in Saint-Henri's belt. A menagerie of regulars love-tweet about the mindful cocktails and bar food on the regular.

Le H4C

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The architect owners of this shiny new Saint-Henri spot did a tidy refurb job on heritage post office digs. But chef Dany Bolduc's food (late of Réservoir) is the story here.

BlackStrap BBQ

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One of the thrills of Blackstrap BBQ, besides Dylan Kier's champion brisket, pork, turkey and chicken, is placing bets on how early in the day his wife Clara Barron will tweet that the restaurant has run out of meat.

La Bête à Pain

Ahuntsic champion Marc-André Royal and co. have a special sister spot for Le St-Urbain that comes strong on the boulangerie front and, most recently, private import wines as well.

Impasto

Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita have struck gold with their finely-tuned Little Italy collaborazione.

Maïs

Will Cody, Gil MacNutt and Dave Schmidt operate this spirited taco slash cocktail joint. The food is rock solid and bartender Lon Benattar pours a mean drink.

Lili Co.

Bistro Bienville had followers galore but Lili Co. has made converts of the old regulars and done well with Montreal's food critics too.

Micro Resto La Famille

The deft crew behind this pygmy café serves impeccable plates and provocative natural wines. Expect to queue.

Iwashi

Café Sardine's Third Wave (and doughnut) bona fides have been widely disseminated but now that the Mile End spot has transformed into a ramen-dispensing izakaya by night, the stakes have been upped.

Hof Kelsten

Jeffrey Finkelstein's ways with flour and water have won him cult-like baker's status but Hof Kelsten's lunch menu may be the sleeper hit of the year. Soulful soups and sandwiches all score.

SAT FoodLab

Laloux expats Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse run the most inventive, experimental restaurant in the city. The unlikely venue (the Société des Arts Technologiques) and neighbours (Café Cléopâtre and Montreal Pool Room) make it all the more alluring.

Orange Rouge

After a memorable stint at Café Sardine, many were keen to discover chef Aaron Langille's next move. That it was to a kitchen in Chinatown, in historic digs adjacent to Wing's noodle factory no less, was a major surprise.

Racines

Racines is a stunner, no doubt. Much of the talk about the Old Montreal restaurant hinges on the room and the décor. The fact that it provides a platform for chef Simon Mathys' talents to shine, however, is the big story.

Le Richmond

Space-wise, Luc Laroche and Paul Soucie have built one of the most impressive restaurants of 2013 and proven that Griffintown is a comer.

Le Vin Papillon

Dave McMillan, Fred Morin, Vanya Filipovic and Marc-Olivier Frappier's no reservations wine bar is an elegant companion to Joe Beef and Liverpool House.

Ludger

This buvette gourmande is yet another recent notch in Saint-Henri's belt. A menagerie of regulars love-tweet about the mindful cocktails and bar food on the regular.

Le H4C

The architect owners of this shiny new Saint-Henri spot did a tidy refurb job on heritage post office digs. But chef Dany Bolduc's food (late of Réservoir) is the story here.

BlackStrap BBQ

One of the thrills of Blackstrap BBQ, besides Dylan Kier's champion brisket, pork, turkey and chicken, is placing bets on how early in the day his wife Clara Barron will tweet that the restaurant has run out of meat.

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