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Montreal's Top Ten Restaurants

I would like to know how much in agreement folks are with Lesley Chesterman's "Fine Dining Top 10" list that appeared in the Gazette Dec 22:

Toqué!,
Restaurant Le Saint-Christophe,
Brontë
Europea
Laloux
Nuances (in the Montreal Casino
Liverpool House
Le Duel
Kitchen Galerie

I enjoy reading her colum and I am sure these are good places, but I am curious if you folks were to make your top ten list what restaurants would be on it.

It seems from the posts that I have read that Club Chasse et Peche and Au Pied Du Cochon would be somwhere on the lists.

Thanks for your input.
Ps. Hope that this question has not been done to death.

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  1. Well, it's always in the eye of the beholder, or in that case, the mouth of the beholder.

    IMO, Duel, Kitchen Galerie and Liverpool House are the (still) new kids in the list, will need to wait at least 6 more months to know if they hold their own.

    As for the list itself, why not, they are all good restaurants, what makes Bronte better than Club Chasse et Peche for example ? it's highly subjective.

    1. Well, I believe her list is based on the restos she's reviewed during the year. In any case, goodness knows that APDC and CCeP receive constant raves. In fact, a few weeks ago I once again read a glowing APDC recco for a tourist, and I really wondered, "Is there any dining dilemma that APDC cannot answer?"

        1. I've been to le Toque and it was awesome. Especially the part where we were lost and my wife went in a shop across the street and asked for le turkey and the shop keeper couldn't stop laughing! LOL
          We also really enjoyed Queue de Cheval (sp?). How can you not love a place with a freakin mongo grill and custom stem ware. Steaks were incredible.

          1 Reply
          1. Taste really is subjective. I can't imagine putting together a top ten list of Montreal restaurants and leaving CCeP off!

            2 Replies
            1. re: phedre

              Amen. Though the criteria is restaurants she reviewed in 2007. Still, do people agree that Liverpool House and Kitchen Galerie are fine dining establishments?

              1. re: rcianci

                Personally, not a fan of Liverpool House but I know I am in the minority here. It just doesn't wow me.

                Lemeac wowed me.

            2. Toque! I will not set foot in. Normand Laprise is a very skilled chef, but if I see that Salmon Tartare on Avocado one more time.... He was great at Ctirus, I am less of a fan of his more recent efforts.

              Liverpool House, fine dining? It depends on how you define fine dining. Yes, they have a skilled kitchen, and a lot of inspiration, but I think some may question whether you would qualify fine dining on the kitchen alone. A bit loud, very busy.

              Same goes for Kitchen Galerie. They shine in the kitchen, and it is a very nice bistro, but where do we cross the line from bistro to fine dining?

              5 Replies
              1. re: fedelst1

                The whole dining experience is highly subjective and really cannot be quantified. Montreal's scene has so much variation. I would not be caught dead in Q de Cheval as I get turned off by gluttony. On the other hand I hesitate to recommend places like Bronte where I have had best evenings of my life because not everyone is appreciative of Alchemy which that whole experience is about ie food\wine pairings\superb service/ ambiance. A top 10 list is what public wants at year end and has little to do with real life. I have eaten my way across Manhattan (DB, Gramercy Tavern etc) and Montreal and find that what is a great dining experience can be found in many different places ( Chalet Bar-b-que?) depending on what you are looking for, who you are with, appetite,mood etc. HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE!!!

                1. re: crispy1

                  Hear hear, crispy1! That's what is so great about food, something to match all tastes.

                  I am embarrassed to admit, I have only eaten in two of these places on the list, and not recently... It's not that I don't like fine dining, I love it. But I tend to save my high end experiences for when I travel, and there is just so many good places in Montreal to eat for much less money... plus I like to cook at home. Perhaps I need to explore a bit in my own backyard.

                  Of this list, how would people prioritize it? What should I try first? Or rather second. I have not yet eaten at Club Chasse et Peche, and I am going to try to rectify the situation soon! And I have never eaten at Cafe Ferrier and really want to. Suggestions please! (and if any of them are particularly suited to a peson on a diet, please encourage me. Stupid diet. This is so not happening).

                  1. re: moh

                    You must go to CC+P - it should be at the top of anyone's list (imho).

                    From the list above, I'm a big fan of Liverpool House (others on this list may disagree, but I've really enjoyed my meals there).

                    Neither are particularly suited to people on diets, sorry (unless it's a lots of rich yummy food and alcohol diet)...

                  2. re: crispy1

                    Agree that this is highly subject. That said, I'm with you on the alchemy thing. When I think of fine dining, I want magic. I want transcendence. I want thrills and surprise. The old Anise did that for me. CC&P does it for me now. Bronte sounds like it would be right up my alley.

                    1. re: rcianci

                      I have the same expectations as rcianci re. fine dining. And for me, service is a huge part of the equation. I had such a transcendant meal at Laloux on Saturday; but it was our 10th anniversary, and the evening was magical to begin with. Everyone who served us was absolutely exquisite; they were professional, warm and understated. To top it off, Patrice Demers served our mignardises himself, wished us a happy anniversary and gave us a little chocolate cake to take home. I was so light-headed from all the sugar I had ingested I thought I was going to faint, but even that didn't detract from the honeyed glow of the evening.

                2. Just to be clear, that list was made up only of the restaurants I reviewed in 2007. Of course CCeP would be on a "Best of the City" list, as would La Chronique and probably Milos as well.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Lesley

                    Milos just might be the most over-rated restaurant in all of Montreal. I have been several times (not my choice) for dinner and there is always one fish on the menu priced exorbitantly. They always claim that all the fish has sold out (at 8 pm!!!). And, frankly, their staple appetizer of zucchini fritters is absolutely forgettable. I simply do not understand how one can mention La Chronique and it in the same breath.

                    1. re: Lesley

                      Rather than a top 10 "Best of the City" list, do you have any suggestions regarding a top 10 "Hot Spots List"?

                      What I'm looking for are operators (casual, fast casual, fine dining) that are truly being innovative and cutting edge in terms of ingredients, food prep, combinations, etc. The problem with a regular top 10 list is that it tends to include tried and true restaurants that, while good and reliable, may not offer a unique and innovative food experience.

                    2. I think its a fair list. I have not yet been to Duel, Galerie or Nuances, but I like the others on the list. The only one resto I would leave out would be La Porte--maybe it was an off night, but the evening we were there it was very quiet, and while the service was excellent, the food was just so-so.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: foodismyfriend

                        Many thanks for all the feedback.
                        The objective of my post was "I am curious if you folks were to make your top ten lists what restaurants would be on it".
                        I guess it would probably be some of places on Lesley's list and a few other gems you have experienced.

                        1. re: InterFoodie

                          My top ten would definitely include l'atelier and APDC.