Montreal Restaurant Experts Predict the Headlines for 2019
As is tradition at Eater, we close the year with a survey of food critics, writers, bloggers, and people about town. This year we posed eight questions, from meal of the year, to top restaurant newcomers. This is the final instalment of the survey. Responses are unedited, except for grammar and translations, which are italicized.
Q: What are your headline predictions for 2019?
Lesley Chesterman, Montreal Gazette dining critic:
Beats me (insert emoji of person shrugging).
Jean-Philippe Tastet, Le Devoir dining critic:
More and more chefs will promote local products, all year long. It is not a trend, it is an obligation and the right answer to public demand.
Ian Harrison, Ricardo magazine; Eater Montreal founding editor:
Eating in Laval: Less Sucky Than Before, But Still Not Worth the Commute.
JP Karwacki, Eater Montreal and Cult MTL contributor:
In terms of dining trends, I hope (but don’t necessarily expect) there will be more innovative vegan replacements for time-honoured proteins, and that the current trend of fine dining techniques being democratized into lunch counters and grab ‘n’ go spots will continue well into the next year. As for Montreal as a whole? Huge projects and more international names will be coming to town, for sure, but the questions remains as to whether it’s for tourism, for locals, or a balanced mixture of the two.
Food halls and other higher-end fast-casual options will be a mainstay, as seen by places like McKiernan making headlines towards the end of 2018.
Iris Paradis-Gagnon, La Presse restaurant reporter and critic:
Certainement, de plus en plus d’offres et/ou de restaurants véganes et végétariens, toujours beaucoup plus de produits locaux dans les assiettes et surtout les verres (bières, mais aussi alcools et vins québécois) et le développement d’une offre gastronomique de qualité en banlieue : rive-sud, rive-nord, Laval… Ah, et sans oublier l’explosion des offres alimentaires renouvelées dans les centres d’achats (Centre Eaton, Place ville-Marie,…)
For sure there’ll be more vegan and vegetarian menu items and restaurants, and as always, more local products on plates and especially in glasses (beers, but also spirits and Quebec wines), as well as the rise of high-quality gastronomic options in the suburbs — the South Shore, North Shore, and Laval. Oh, and the explosion of new food halls in downtown shopping zones (Eaton Centre, Place Ville-Marie).
Ève Dumas, La Presse restaurant reporter:
Huge projects (Time Out Market, the gastro food court Le Central, etc.) and teeny-tiny neighbourhood restaurants like brand new Moccione, in Villeray. A lot of people in the restaurant business are trying to figure out the best ways to make a decent living without sacrificing ethics in this very demanding and competitive field.
Mayssam Samaha, Will Travel For Food blog:
More regional cuisine, more veggies, more casual spots that do one thing and do it well. It would be nice to have better desserts, more pastry chefs in the spotlight, and more outstanding pastry shops in Montreal.
Élise Tastet, Tastet blog:
Less ego, more vegetarian and vegan options, more eco-friendly places, more sustainability. More local produce…more smiles.
Mélanie Boudreau, La Pique-Assiette blog:
More sustainable practices in restaurants and bars, more lab-grown meat, and maybe some cannabis dishes?!
Tommy Dion, Nightlife.ca critic and writer, blogger for Le Cuisinomane:
An Asian trend invasion (that already started with large fried chicken from HotStar, Bubble tea, soufflé pancakes, liquid nitrogen ice cream, Japanese cheesecake, and more).
Technology in the kitchen and in the dining room.
Less is more. We consume less but better quality and we want the food to be traceable.
Allison Van Rassel, food columnist at CBC/Radio-Canada Quebec City (note: these are Quebec City restaurants):
La Tanière will definitely catch Canada’s culinary scene by surprise. After nearly five years in the waiting, Québec City’s prestigious five-diamond rated experience reopens its door in the heart of Place Royale. The venue is historical, and the theatrical production surrounding the culinary mise en scène promises a grand experience.