MTL à TABLE: Anne-Marie Withenshaw's top picks

As part of the MTL à TABLE event held in Montreal from October 29 to November 8, the very energetic host and producer Anne-Marie Withenshaw shares her recommendations for must-visit restaurants in Montreal.

Restaurant Mercuri

1
645, rue Wellington, Montréal, QC H3C 1T2

Chef Joe Mercuri is a legend, and I’m pretty sure your meal at Mercuri will be equally legendary. Try the home-made mushroom ravioli with brown butter, pancetta and leek ashes (yes ASHES!), made in Mercuri’s open wood fireplace.

Restaurant Bocata

2
310, rue Saint-Paul O, Montréal, QC H2Y 2A3

I’ve been a huge fan of Barroco, Bocata’s ‘big sister’ resto next door, but recently I’ve taken to the small plates and tapas at Bocata. The gorgeous baroque, almost-gothic stone and candlelight décor is the perfect setting for a glass of wine and an oyster platter. And DO have the patta negra ham and the tomato toast! It’s basically Barcelona by way of Old-Montreal.

Restaurant Imadake

3
4006, rue Sainte-Catherine O, Westmount, QC H3Z 1P2

Montreal’s most-colourful izakaya: from the giant manga-inspired and koi fish murals, to the way the whole staff screams ‘irrashaimase’ when you walk in … and dont forget to down a sake-bomb (or 4) with your yakitori or ramen!

Wilfrid sur Laurier

4
222 Laurier O, Montreal, QC H2T 2N8

Chef Michel Ross is a quiet force in Montreal’s resto world. This place is perfect for an elegant night out in Outremont, and the $31 menu is a steal for his perfect seasonal takes on French and American classics.

Pastaga

5
6389, boul Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2S 3C3

Yes, star-chef Martin Juneau owns what seems like half the restos in his neighbourhood, from a wine bar to an ice cream joint. But Pastaga is the crown jewel of his collection. His organic wine list is extensive, the pastis menu is fun and refreshing (Pastaga being a slang word for the French drink), and the glazed pork belly on a pancake is heavenly!

Laika

6
4040, boul Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Y8

It’s literally my second home. At least once a week, you’ll find me at a table for hours, behind my laptop, with one of their perfect lattes. But along with the coffee, I ALWAYS end up eating something from their ever changing ardoise. It’s always fresh, seasonal, and perfectly done. Dont be fooled by the relaxed WiFi café with a DJ booth appearance. Laika is the real deal!

Thursday's

7
1449, rue Crescent, Montréal, QC H3G 2B2

Not my parents' Thursday’s anymore! Actually, my parents STILL love it as much ad they did in the 90s, but chef Jean-Francois Vachon has revitalized this Crescent Street institution to take its menu to a higher level.

Renoir

8
1155, rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC H3A 2N3

Nothing beats the fancy feeling you get from eating in a great hotel restaurant. I love planning a 24-hour ’staycation’ and being a tourist in my own city, and the Renoir in the Sofitel hotel really does it for me. Chef Olivier Perret was so creative when he came on the TV show “À Couteaux tirés”, and his menu is no different. Fresh and seasonal, with an attention to detail that can’t be beat.

Brasserie Central

9
4858, rue Sherbrooke O, Westmount, QC H3Z 1H1

Westmount doesn’t have a great deal of amazing restos, so if you’re in the hood, stop and say hi to Paolo, Brasserie Central’s owner and official chatterbox/storyteller, while you savour a plate of hand-carved Serrano ham with parmesan and truffle honey oil at the bar.

Les Enfants Terribles — Outremont

10
1257 av Bernard, Outremont, QC H2V 1V8

My go-to bistro when our large group of friends needs to get together for a celebratory evening. The menu is full of great staples, like a to-die-for mac and cheese and a perfect salmon tartare, but the daily carte is full of surprising, more refined plates based on seasonal ingredients. Kiss Francine the owner for me!

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