It comes as no surprise that Montreal’s local food movement is a force to be reckoned with. As a result, scores of chefs have jumped on the bandwagon; some do it out of an ideological drive, others to satisfy an increasingly demanding and scrutinizing clientele. The following list of restaurants place an emphasis on sourcing locally, relying heavily on nearby farms, game and fishing. [Image credit: iStock]
Can a place be both intimate and trendy? Barroco manages to do just that. This fabulous Spanish restaurant prides itself on sourcing directly from farmers. Drop by for date night or party night and be sure to check out Quebec ingredients such as red cabbage, watercress and Cornish hen; you won’t regret it.
If freshly ground, beefy, juicy burger patties are up your alley (why wouldn’t they be?), be sure to hit up The Main’s Burger Royal; without a doubt one of the best burger joints in town. Complement your order with a long list of sides such as fried chicken, chili or mac n’ cheese. And yeah, farm-to-table is a way of life here.
The year 2013 saw the founding of a restaurant empire when seasoned chef Michele Forgione joined forced with TV’s Stefano Faita. The duo’s flagship Little Italy ristorante, Impasto, was shortly followed by GEMA across the street, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria suggesting a seasonal, local-driven menu mostly sourced from nearby Jean-Talon Market. Be sure to check out the ever-changing featured pizza of the month, paying tribute to local culinary influencers.
This five-year-old Mile-End eatery is often heralded as a top brunch destination in town. The weekend menu strikes a nice balance of sucré/salé with crowd-pleasers such as scones, French toast and smoked salmon, in addition to lesser-known items including kedgeree, scrapple and bubble & squeak – say what now? Chef/owner Marc Cohen makes it a point of sourcing from local, responsible producers as much as possible.
A quaint BYOW bistro de quartier, Le Smoking features a concise, handwritten chalkboard menu listing classics such as smoked salmon and steak-frites. Desserts are particularly strong here, with the likes of a parfait glacé with caramel or a white chocolate cake showcasing Quebec strawberries.
Following several shake-ups in the kitchen, Les 400 Coups is still dishing out sophisticated dishes made of 100% local terroir ingredients. Discover a plethora of Quebec produce, seafood and game ranging from juniper and kohlrabi to arctic char, snow crab and venison.
The self-described buvette gourmande struck a chord with the gentrified Saint-Henri crowd with its focused menu of (mostly) Quebec beers, complex yet whimsical cocktails and elevated bar grub showcasing in-house and local ingredients.
Opening to critical acclaim in 2012, Mezcla suggests a nuevo latino cuisine using produits du terroir. While the menu is very seasonal and changes often, their signature ceviche mixto is a mainstay; and aren’t we glad for that! Otherwise you are likely to run into Cornish hen, bison or Gaspor farm porcelet, all from la belle province naturally.
Chef Martin Juneau’s magnum opus made enRoute Canada’s Best New Restaurants list of 2012. Check out the made-to-share plates showcasing Quebec’s best produce and complement your dinner with a natural wine. Finish off with one of the very “local” desserts showcasing Quebec ingredients such as the deconstructed apple pie.