New Montreal restaurants worth a visit in 2017

by 514Eats

With 2017 nearing its final stretch, now is as good a time as any to take stock of the year in restaurant openings so far. While the offering is diverse, covers many cuisines and spans the casual-to-upscale spectrum, it is possible to discern a few overarching themes.

[Photo credit: Mandy’s salad by Two Food Photographers]

New Montreal restaurants worth a visit in 2017

The Expandables

This year saw existing restaurants test the waters of expansion. Mandy’s – everyone’s favorite “gourmet” salad bar – added a food truck and a Phillips Square location as well as an Old Montreal outpost. The latter adds something new to the Mandy’s banner; a liquor permit means you can now make a soiree out of your salad dinner.

Down by the river on De La Commune, our beloved Burger Royal set up shop at experimental farmer’s market Marché des Éclusiers – a perfect fit given the burger shop’s farm-to-table ethos. Finally, over in Westmount, Ahuntsic’s Gentile Café opened a trattoria that’s been drawing a lunch crowd seeking options beyond food courts and chains with its salads, pastas and paninis.

The Southwesterners

No stretch of the city has been hotter than Notre-Dame Street West cutting across Griffintown, Little Burgundy and Saint-Henri in the borough known as Le Sud-Ouest. Even an anti-gentrification ban on new restaurants from opening within 25 meters of existing ones along this artery could not curb new restaurant openings.

For lunch, make a pit stop at Vietnamese Tran for a bowl of pho or a banh mi sandwich. Later on, good times around a glass or bottle of French wine are in order at bistro/brasserie Licence IV. Next up, soak up the branché scene at Le Bird Bar for some elevated comfort food classics such as wagyu pogo sticks and fried free-range chicken. And if that weren’t enough, go underground at Henden for a speakeasy experience; but keep that between us

The Casual High-Enders

Every passing year confirms the death of fine dining as we once knew it. Small, made-to-share plates married with craft cocktails in a relaxed setting have eased their way into the upper echelon of Montreal’s newcomers for 2017. Starting with the Plateau’s Kozu, Jatoba chef Olivier Vigneault concocted a menu of pan-Asian tapas such as oven-roasted black cod and soft-shell crab baos.

Over at Old Montreal’s LOV, the hipper-than-thou crowd is falling for kale mac’n’cheese and quinoa fritters – all local, organic and vegan. Finally, the stately Mount Stephen Club downtown has reemerged as a luxury hotel including Bar George, a modern British restaurant dishing out Earl Grey-cured salmon and whiskey gravy-topped sirloin steak

Bon appétit!

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