The best restaurants in Montreal
1. Floating Island
What to expect: This restaurant, formerly Les Deux Singes de Montarvie, first climbed the TripAdvisor grid to gain recognition. Owners Nada Abou Younes and Chef Sean Murray Smith have changed the establishment’s name for a bit of a revival. Why? The new concept is a tasting menu, focusing on vegetables, which would make even Alain Passard smile for the delectability of his innovations.
Why go: For the 3-course tasting menu ($45.00) for a great evening but for the 7-course ($85.00) to really enjoy it.
2. Wine My Rabbit
What to expect: The old adage that good things come in small packages is all too true when you consider this tiny but terrific wine bar created by a former Joe Beef team. Prodigies Marc-Olivier Frappier and Jessica Noël turn the gold in the kitchen, while sommelier Vanya Filipovic keeps the wine flowing, and it’s rare for a seat to go empty here.
Why go: To experience a new side to Team Joe Beef, their seasonal market cuisine on small plates.
What to expect: Combining rigorous classical training with an almost youthful vitality results in a restaurant gem, housed in our favorite eastern hood, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. A dangerous trio made up of chef David Ollu, pastry chef Mélodie Perez-Mousseau and sommelier Youri Bussières Fournel, deliver impeccable service and food for a modest sum both in the main restaurant and at Café Hélico, its more modest neighbour.
Why go there: For the musicality of the textures and flavors that are developed there.
4. And the Woman
What to expect: Be swept away by a cuisine that dares and is not afraid to break convention and provoke, while taking the art of gastronomy to another level. Thanks to his creative and artistic talents, Chef Mousseau-Rivard wasted no time in gaining critical acclaim, notably crowned “Grand of Tomorrow” by the prestigious Gault & Millau guide, and then winning the award for Restaurant of the Year in Quebec by the Gala Les Lauriers. Exceptional ingredients, modern techniques where several fermentation techniques are applied, unique presentations, unique service.
Why go: You will have no choice but to let yourself be guided by the chef, with the unique tasting menu.
5. I touched!
What to expect: The restaurant Toqué! is certainly one of the reasons why Montreal is an unmissable gastronomic destination in North America. An evening at the grand table of renowned chef Normand Laprise leaves no one indifferent: the Holy Grail of refinement, unparalleled technicality and infallible service.
Why go: Refined ultra-local cuisine, with perfectly executed French techniques. We take the tasting menu!
6. Joe Beef
What to expect: Incredibly gourmet cuisine, mastered and uninhibited, which magnificently pays tribute to the great French classics. It’s heaven for meat, seafood, and… plenty! No need to mention that the wine list does honor to this great Montreal institution.
Why go: Seafood (say hello to the famous lobster spaghetti), prime rib, Burgundy snails.
What to expect: Jason Morris and Kabir Kapoor made a solid name for themselves with their flagship business, Le Fantôme (now closed), and doubled that reputation with this restaurant. A bright and colorful counterpart to their first establishment, this restaurant is more experimental in crafting its menu, to the delight of all who dine there. Morris is now gone, but Yoann Van Den Berg carries the torch brilliantly. Enjoy the airy interior while watching the cooks busy in their fully open kitchen producing flavors that are both classic and playful.
Why go: For the best combination of cutting-edge presentations, unforgettable flavors and fine cuisine.
What to expect: A gourmet cuisine where seasonal vegetables, meat and fish from local agriculture are in the spotlight and prepared like nowhere else. Half an heirloom tomato buried in herbs, bathed in smoked beef fat served piping hot. A braised leek in a spice crust with old-fashioned mustard cream and gravy. A celeriac “steak” in a smoked ham and brown butter broth, topped with fish eggs. With Mastard, chef and owner Simon Mathys can finally express all of his talent — and his imagination — without barriers.
Why go: The 6-course tasting menu to really taste the chef’s medicine, with an essential extra bread service to take advantage of his generosity by finishing each plate in due form.
9. Hoogan and Beaufort
What to expect: This Rosemont-located restaurant offers rustic sophistication for chef Marc-André Jetté and William Saulnier’s open-fire cooking; the menu excels at anything grilled, caramelized, roasted or smoked. It’s easy to find the taste of the wood fire in Montreal, but to find a restaurant where the taste is as delicious as in Hoogan and Beaufort is much less so. To complete the experience offered by this place, take a seat at the central bar to have a view of the kitchen while sipping a wine or a beer of private imports.
What to expect: Brothers Ari and Pablo Schor turned a lot of heads when they took to this little street corner restaurant to write a love song to their Argentinian roots with local and seasonal Quebec ingredients – a mandate that chef Ari takes from his time at Liverpool House, no doubt. It’s impossible to classify this place as a strictly Argentinian restaurant, although the empanadas are excellent. Italian and Spanish creep in here and there on the menu in a satisfying way, with glasses of natural wine choices.