Turquoise Blog’s 14 Favorite Montreal Restaurant Discoveries of 2019
This year, I had the pleasure of eating at and trying more than 90 new restaurants! Wow! Many were very good, but not all were able to reach the “excellent” level that I’m looking for. So for me, if a restaurant made this list, then it is a MUST TRY! Which will you try? Have you tried any of these yet?
Restaurant Prince (Plateau) – French, BYOW, table d’hôte
First on the list, Restaurant Prince, my first favorite discovery of the year! Its one of the first restaurants I went to this year and it definitely had a great impact on me. I chose it as my birthday restaurant with my friends and was not disappointed. If you like non-standard French menus, then you’ll be very happy here. I got to eat some excellent dishes, like the homemade agnolotti and the beef tartare with bone marrow croquettes. However, its important to note that since I visited, the chef has changed. For more on Restaurant Prince, click here!
Darna Bistroquet (Petite-Patrie) – Moroccan-French fusion, sharing plates
Darna Bistroquet is a discovery I made late this year and absolutely loved my experience. We ordered 5 dishes and all 5 were excellent; something I can’t say about many restaurants I’ve been to. All dishes were executed to perfection, savoury, flavourful, beautifully plated and just so damn good! Two must try dishes: duck egg “façon meurette” and the chicken tajine; both to die for. For more on Darna Bistroquet, click here!
Olé Tapas (West Island) – Tapas, Spanish, wines, imported Spanish products boutique
So I actually had the pleasure of trying 3 Spanish restaurants this year in Montreal and all 3 of them were excellent and made it on this list! First up, Olé Tapas in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, which is worth the trek all the way to the West Island not just for their stunning tapas and paellas, but also for their imported products boutique. Their menu actually features more than 40 different kids of tapas, so lots of variety for everyone (meat, vegetarian, fish/seafood, dairy options). But, if the West Island is too far, or if you don’t have a car, keep reading for 2 more options located more centrally in the city. For more on Olé Tapas, click here or here!
Hispania (Outremont) – Fancy, Spanish, tapas, classic Spanish dishes, Spanish brunches – **UPDATED January 13th 2020: Hispania is permanently closed**
**UPDATED January 13th 2020: Hispania is permanently closed** The second Spanish restaurant I got to try was Hispania; a brand new higher end Spanish restaurant located in Outremont. Again, you’ll find delicious tapas and paellas on the menu, as well as some super creative dishes like beef tartare over bone marrow! In fact, one of the owners of Hispania, Josep, is the main if not the only importer of jamón 100% ibérico de bellota; literally one of the greatest things I’ve ever put in my mouth. They’ve also recently launched their Spanish brunches on weekends so two reasons to check out Hispania! For more on Hispania, click here or here!
Bo’ Dégât (Petite-Patrie) – Tapas, Spanish
The third Spanish restaurant I got to try this year, was Bo’ Dégât; a classic Barcelona style tapas bar (no paellas on the menu). They have an extra-extensive tapas menu, all separated in hot and cold tapas. Pretty much every single hand-picked tapa by Carmen was delicious and I adored the bikini trufado; a truffle and jamon grilled cheese (how could you go wrong?). For more on Bo’ Dégât, click here!
Bloomfield (Outremont) – Middle Eastern & Mediterranean inspired brunches
I’d seen many photos of Bloomfield‘s stunning floral ceiling-hung structure and their beautiful brunch dishes on Instagram many times, so I decided it was finally high time I go myself. I was totally charmed as soon as I walked in (even though its flake flowers hanging from the ceiling) – the whole thing is so pretty. The dishes were also not just beautifully plated but excellent too. I was super happy to be able to host one of my Insta Foodies events here and to share a wonderful brunch with 30 other foodies! Everything was great and super flavourful. I really liked the soft-boiled eggs over garlicky labneh, which mixed together very nicely. For more on Bloomfield, click here or here!
MUCCA Steakhouse (Little Italy) – Italian steakhouse, Northern Italian & Sardinian cuisines, local eats
MUCCA presents a unique concept in Montreal, offering Northern Italian and Sardinian cuisines and an Italian steakhouse, featuring an ever-changing menu (weekly) reflecting local produce and availability. All of their steaks are Canadian and aged in-house. The entire menu sounded very appealing, but the three dishes we did get to try were all outstanding. Super smooth aged beef carpaccio, fluffy pea gnocchi and melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon with bone. I highly recommend if you are looking for a different Italian dining experience in Montreal! For more on MUCCA, click here!
Sammi & Soupe Dumpling (Downtown) – Best downtown dumplings
I know, I’m extremely late to the whole dumplings game by only trying Sammi & Soupe Dumpling this year (shame on me, really). With that said, after my first visit at Sammi & Soupe Dumpling, I could proudly say that I’d been and that they were the BEST soup dumplings in Montreal. If you’re looking for an excellent place for soupy, juicy, flavourful and yummy soup dumplings that are centrally located (downtown), you 100% cannot go wrong with Sammi & Soupe Dumpling. I liked it so much, I actually went twice in like 9 days. For more on Sammi & Soupe Dumpling, click here!
Yum Yum Soupe Dumpling (Plateau) – Best Plateau dumplings
After finally trying Sammi & Soupe Dumpling this year, I figured, these really are the best soup dumplings in Montreal. Well, half a year later, I tried the all-new Yum Yum Soupe Dumpling in the Plateau and now I’m definitely torn between the two! Yum Yum Soupe Dumpling’s dumplings are definitely yum yum, soupy, flavourful and juicy. They also offer dishes from other Asian cuisines, like laksa and noodle dishes, if you feel like mixing things up. Their fried dumplings are also very good and juicy too. For more on Yum Yum Soupe Dumpling, click here!
La Belle et la Barbe (St-Hubert, South Shore) – Urban bistro, elevated comfort food, generous portions
Another discovery I made earlier on this year, La Belle et la Barbe in St-Hubert on the South Shore! We got to eat many delicious dishes here, like their pan-seared foie gras and their deconstructed coquille Saint-Jacques, which is the best I’ve ever had. The mashed potatoes were super rich and creamy and the whole thing was topped with perfectly seasoned and cooked seafood; a real delight! For more on La Belle et la Barbe, click here!
Lucille’s Laval (Laval) – Seafood, steaks
Lucille’s Laval was a very pleasant surprise and discovery for me this year. I was invited to their media night and it was the best media event I’ve ever attended. We got to sample many of their menu items – Kansas cut steak, key lime pie, salmon tartare, grilled octopus, tacos and more – as well as sip on copious amounts of alcohol. Initially I thought the Lucille’s locations (there are a few across the Greater Montreal Area) only served seafood but I was wrong; they basically do it all and very well. For more on Lucille’s Laval, click here!
Patrice Pâtissier (St-Henri) – Desserts, pastries, Sunday brunch
2019 was a year of many firsts for me, like Patrice Pâtissier. If you’re not a big fan of sweets, Patrice will surely be able to convert you. As you step into the place, the overwhelming smell of butter immediately fills you up (I love butter). Everything Patrice makes is excellent and you can really see, smell and taste the quality in their products. One of my favorite things there are the profiteroles, which change with the seasons and available produce. The best ever profiterole, is their raspberry cream profiterole smothered in hot caramel sauce which they typically serve in August – a MUST try! They also serve brunch on Sundays, which I’ve been dying to try. For more on Patrice Pâtissier, click here!
Monsieur B (Plateau) – French, BYOW, table d’hôte
For a full year, I would walk past Monsieur B twice a day (I used to take the metro nearby) and was always curious to try it out but never got around to it. This year, finally, we went for my bachelorette party. The menu is quite simple, offering only a handful of options for entrées and for mains, as well as a $59 tasting menu option. Everything was absolutely delicious and I loved it! I had two pasta dishes when I went (yes, I really like pasta) – gnocchi and ravioli – and both were excellent. I very much look forward to going back! For more on Monsieur B, click here!
Impérial Dim Sum (Chinatown) – dim sum, dumplings, Chinese brunch
I actually went to Impérial at the tail-end of 2018, and possibly before that, but shhhhh. For those who don’t know what dim sum is, first of all, its a must try. Second, its basically Chinese brunch, where ladies push karts around the restaurant filled with various small plates (like dumplings) for you to choose from. Impérial is located in Chinatown and serves up delicious dim sum; its my favorite one in Chinatown and Montreal too! Everything is excellent and the assortment is very extensive, from your more popular dim sum dishes like hargow (steamed shrimp dumpling) and shumai (pork and shrimp dumpling), to xiao long bao (soup dumplings). The service is also very good and attentive and the prices are very good, at less than $20 per person and a full belly. For more on Impérial, click here or here!
*All photos and opinions are mine
**A special mention to Le Clairon, which was one of my first “coup de coeur” of the year. Unfortunately, they closed not too long ago.