In Toqué, co-owners Normand Laprise and Chirstine Lamarche have create a restaurant that celebrates market-fresh cuisine and local produce. A true Quebec institute for over 25 years, the restaurant draws from the fields, rivers, ocean and forest in the surrounding areas. Their philosophy extends to their cocktails which, in addition to local ingredients, support local microdistilleries as well.
Built in a grand old Greystone rectory, Candide is brought to life through wood, exposed brick and rich leather banquettes. The menu changes monthly and features chef John Inter-Russell’s love of regional, seasonal cooking. Every meal follows the same format: two fixed starters, and a choice from two mains and two desserts. The wine list which accompanies is composed of private imports focused on biodynamic, organic wine.
Garde Manger $$$
Garde Manger pulls together the different experiences of a pubs across countries to create one energetic, relaxed, fun-loving seafood experience in a little nook in Old Montreal. The ever-changing blackboard menu features various fresh seafood catches and is accompanied with a drinks menu that is renowned across the city.
A new kind of snack bar, located beside the Palais de Congrès, Tiradito features mostly bar seating around an open kitchen and bar. A blend of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, Tiradito’s fare is packed with colour, character and flavour. The area surrounding is equally as stylish as the restaurants interiors (neon lights and tropical colours), making it the perfect spot for dinner or drinks.
Elegance is the name at Leméac. This chic restaurant in the posh neighbourhood of Outremont serves French cuisine all the way till midnight, every night. All the restaurants on this list feature ever-changing menu, but Leméac has kept its own the same for the better part of two decades. The wines are pricey but you can expect to find them nowhere else—most are imported exclusively to Leméac.
Restaurant Beba $$
Beba is a stunning example of Montreal’s diversity. This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant is located far from the busy downtown—a factor that blesses it with a quaint neighbourhood feel—and is a hidden gem for real, seasoned Montrealers. Opened by the Schor brothers, the restaurants food reflects their strong sense of place, spanning Argentine, Mediterranean and Quebecois fare.
Marcus Restaurant $$$
Marcus Samuelsson’s Canadian debut takes him to the Four Seasons Montreal and inside Marcus Restaurant. The space is sweeping, the design is grand, and the outdoor terrace is possibly one of downtown Montreal’s most exciting. The emphasis here is seafood and the wine list features many small produces and natural wines.
Le Serpent $$$
Le Serpent is an Italian restaurant located in what has been a cavernous ex-foundry since 1888. The menu here is divided into four: starters, pastas, mains and deserts, with each dish a work of art and an explosion on the palate. The space is a hidden haven of high ceilings and white brick walls.