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Oct 7, 2013 03:53 PM

Montreal Chow - Best of 2013

Dear fellow members,

Six years ago I moved to Montreal from Edmonton after high school as an excited but clueless teenager ready to explore the city but had no idea of where to start. The chowhound board and community quickly became my go-to resource and I was able to (almost) completely grasp the Montreal food scene. It quickly became my claim to fame and I made friends quickly because everyone trusted my food recommendations.

I only lasted in Montreal for two years before moving to New York, but the city still has a warm spot in my heart, and I remain very thankful to the Montreal Chowhound community.

Today I'm working as the creative director at Toovia, a destination for social discovery. What I'd really like to do is compile a list of the best places to eat in the city for the year of 2013 based completely on your opinions and advice. Price shouldn't matter as we all know!

I'd really appreciate your help. Here's what I have so far. Some of the usual suspects and some of my personal favorites:

- Joe Beef
- Liverpool House
- Big In Japan
- Romados
- Plein Sud
- Picks (burgers) - haven't been in a while is it still good?
- Olive et Gourmando
- Kazu
- Heavenly Taste Biscotti
- Cocoa Locale
- Premier Moisson
- Chez L'epicier
- March Atwater & Jean Talon

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Well, just look at this thread and you will see the "better" restaurants now :

    Don't know what is "Heavenly Taste Biscotti"...
    Is Picks still open ? (anyway, I'm not a burger kind of guy
    )Is Plein Sud, no one talk about this one (is it still open ?)

    Première Moisson still have good bread; but other better bakeries have come around and make better stuff ( Guillaume, Joe La Croute, ... )

    Good research.


    9 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Max, trust me when I tell you to check out Heavenly Taste Biscotti, you won't regret it. I think they are located in St Leo or somewhere around there.

      1. re: hrmcf

        I don't see the appeal to Heavenly Taste. Had one last week and just thought it was an overly sweet biscotti with a mishmash of toppings piled on (nuts, chocolate, cookie crumbs, etc.).

        1. re: chefjeannine

          I really like the texture, how soft they are and the fact that the ingredients are so fresh. The fresh pistachio crumbs are unreal!

          Perhaps it has gone downhill? Full disclosure I haven't had one in a few years. Maybe I'm nostalgic

            1. re: lagatta

              Those biscotti are all around the city. Many café offer them. They are too sweet and soft, yes. It's almost a cake. Nothing to do with "the best in Montreal".

              1. re: lagatta

                Exactly... Because they're frikkin' BIS cotti.

                If they were soft, wouldn't they be more like semicotti?

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  I've actually had cookies that would have been biscotti but didn't get the second baking. Soft, somewhat chewy, firm enough for dipping in coffee but no crunch.

                  In my in-laws' family they call them "ciomolato" but googling that word turns up few results, and none that I found useful. So I'm not sure if my spelling is all wrong or if it's a rare regional term, or what.

                  And to confuse matters, "biscotti" is actually the generic word for biscuits; what we call biscotti are more properly called cantucci (for the big ones) or cantuccini (bit-sized ones).

                  To get back to the topic: I like the almond biscotti from Alati-Caserta. They have definitely had the second baking, but not to the point of being rock hard. Still a tiny bit of chew left to them. They are on the sweet side, though.

                    1. re: carolilas

                      Or simply cotti. Sono cotti, gli spaghetti?

        2. My 2 cents. I would remove Liverpool House, Plein Sud, Picks, Cocoa Locale, Premiere Moisson and chez l'epicier. Would replace with Kouing Aman, 400 coups, Club Chasse et Peche or Le Filet, Joe la croute/ boulangerie Guillaume or Christian Faure, sandwich at boucherie Lawrence, ice cream at kem Coba or havres des glaces. You should take a look at they have a very good list...

          1. Thank you for the help! Any other recommendations from other members are always welcome

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. big in japan? i've heard so many bad things about the place through the years, did they improve?

                4 Replies
                1. re: twinkie83

                  I've been twice in the past year and both times was impressed. Highly recommend going late night and trying the staff meal which changes each night (think it's only after midnight)

                  1. re: twinkie83

                    don't know about the food, but they improved their marketing with the Bourdain Posse

                    1. re: twinkie83

                      Big in Japan is as good as supermaket prepared food but more expensive.

                      1. re: marblebag

                        I finally got to try Big In Japan for lunch a few months back. I think they do somethings pretty good, but more than the food, I remember our luch bill: >$80.
                        (that's not a smiley face with a pointy chin, its a colon with a "greater than" sign...)
                        OK, we had a beer and 3 glasses of wine, but still, there was only a sandwich, a soup, and a plate of squid.

                        Me thinks they are still riding the Bourdain hype all too much.