The best new restaurants in the country have been selected and three Quebec newcomers have earned spots in the top 10, including two Montreal restaurants.
When he opened Le Molière par Mousso this year, Antonin Mousso-Rivard had one goal in mind.
“It’s really about prioritizing an old-fashioned kitchen with a lot of cream, a lot of butter but also a lot of love,” says Mousso-Rivard.
His bet paid off.
Le Molière, a French brasserie in Montreal’s Latin Quarter, ranked 8th on Canada’s Best New Restaurant list, published by Air Canada’s enRoute magazine.
“I always like to say that we don’t work for those awards, but when they come, we are always happy,” said Mousso-Rivard, who sees recognition as a pat on the back and thanks to hard work.
Food writer Amy Rosen hosted the awards ceremony.
He took a culinary tour across Canada to pick out the country’s best new restaurants, taking a friend with him to see the reaction.
“I knew we had something when we ordered an omelette and he took a bite and I wrote about it, and he said, ‘What is this?'” Rosen said of his visit to Le Molière.
Answer: The French classics are absolutely dead.
“It’s like you can get a bite before or after the theater, I can see it becoming more and more popular in the city,” Rosen said.
Coming in sixth hot: Bonheur D’Occasion in the Southwest region of Montreal.
“We encourage a kind of sharing style, we try to keep the portions open, the kind that when you go to your friend’s house and you have a big dinner with your friends and your family and everyone shares and laughs and there is a lot of variety. flavours on the table,” says Philippe Gauthier, chef and owner at Bonheur D’Occasion.
The small restaurant next door feels like your coolest friend’s house: the host travels a lot, picked up a collection of vintage dishes along the way and is displayed next to vinyl records on shelves and wooden crates.
But above all, what you get at Bonheur d’Occasion is amazing food.
“My friend and I didn’t pay attention as we were eating dessert that we stopped talking, we were running until we finished, and our spoons were hitting each other,” said Rosen.
The dessert was so good, Rosen chose it as the dessert of the year: a sweet mille-feuille style made with crispy phyllo dough, caramelized maple sugar and a sweet clover cream filling.
Rosen not only applauded the flavor combinations on the menu, he praised the quality of the ingredients and the genuine hospitality.
“It was definitely the whole package,” Rosen said.
Admirably, Gauthier remains humble.
“I think it’s a mixture of luck and good work and a bunch of different things,” he says, crediting his years of relationships with local suppliers.
Espace Old Mill in Quebec’s Eastern Townships took ninth place for a farm-to-table concept that Rosen called an “agricultural dream”.
With a third of the top 10 arrivals in the food scene coming from Quebec, it’s clear there must be something in the water.
“You can’t have a bad bite in Montreal,” Rosen insisted.
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