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J-P Tastet's Best of Montreal 2005--voir.ca


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Jean-Philippe Tastet's Best of Montreal 2005:

Link to article in Voir magazine...

(This link only good until Dec. 29th, 2005--after that, search the archives.)

On his top 10 list, I have only been to Bo and Juni, and loved both. Comments from others who may have been to more of his selections?

...And Happy Holidays and a warm and wonderful 2006 to all Montreal eGulleters!


"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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I've only been to a few more, being La Chronique, Jun-I, Raza, La Spaghettata and Vasco de Gamma.

La Chronique is generally flawless. Nothing more or less to be said. Just a great, delicious experience.

Jun-I is possibly my personal "new restaurant of the year". With the exception of one of the courses of the tasting menu one time (strange seafood salad with fish gelatin), everything has always been absolutely delicious. Interesting flavours, even surprizing, without trying too hard and being overwelming. Some of the most memorable meals there.

Raza is a great experience and I'm glad I went, but it's not necessarily the place I am most likely to return to regularly. Perhaps if/ when the menu changes up. Everything is so interesting, but the ambiance is not all that it could be. Tastet's description of bizarre but brilliant is dead-on. It must be tried once, though.

La Spaghettata and Vasco de Gamma I really don't feel belong on the top 12 list. Meals that were alright but simply not in the same league as the above.

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On Tastet's choices...

O Chalet: I have been there twice and both experiences were terrible.. Food served at inappropriate temperatures, mix of tastes that just don't work together, inproperly cooked food (overcooked), etc. I do not recommend it and do not get what all the hype around this place is about.

Jun i: Very good sushi/asian-inspired cuisine. Love it!

Express: Is not what it used to be. The cooking has been lackluster as of late and declining in a major way. Don't understand how this resto still makes it in the top 12 list..

Joe Beef: Havent been there yet, but heard many good things about it

Bo: Havent been there either..

Montee de lait: De food is delicious, especially for the price. My only problem with the place is the lackluster service when it gets busy. Last time I went there, we barely got any wine/food descriptions; the service was very slow; wines being served after a course was complete; etc.

Chronique: a classic.. definitly, one of the top places in MTL

CCP: well, everyone knows I am bullish on this.. well deserved

Spaghettatta & Vasco De Gamma: They are ok restaurants, but no where close to all the others.. It definitly seems that Tastet is getting some cutbacks from these restos..

XO: Haven't been; am going there on the 26th.. Can't wait to try..

Raza: His description is spot on, but i find it difficult to see this becoming more than an occasional fling unless menu changes substantially...

You got to wonder.. where are Chevres, Toque, Bronte, etc? Even places like Jolifou beat many of the restos above..

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La Chronique is in the top classic I think. No bullshit, call it a restaurant.

L'express is simply getting old (or vintage), the food to my point of view is always stable and totally standardize, you know the chef is the same for 24 years, the sous chef 20 years, and the 2 principal night cooks, Carlos a.k.a Papa 25 years and Phom a.k.a the master 18 years, i cannot imagine how the food could have change. But for sure our taste changed a lot, we are really lucky in Montreal these days...(I worked 3 years there as a waiter and Barman and trust me it's groundhoung day every day.........)

Ô chalet: just cant wait the moment he will open is own restaurant

Spaghetatta: mm under 'sous la protection de la loi de la faillite'in december a failed restart.

CCP, raza, juni really have to go soon.......really soon

My favorite tried and re-tried this year.


-Miyako sushi


-Bu for the wines and the staff. should have more piatto del giorno

-Ô chalet

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  • 3 weeks later...

I recently tried this new restaurant that opened in August 2005. It was a recommendation from a friend who knows the founder.

Meat Market is located on St. Laurent Blvd. near Mont Royal.

In one word, I was astounded. The food was superbly prepared. The menu consistes of a variety of "meat sticks" which, despite the unappealing name, were the most tender and flavorful skewers of pork, beef and chicken that I have tasted in a very long time. My main course was simply a hamburger. This delicious beef burger was topped with swiss cheese, caremelized onions and crisp bacon and served with the most delicate and savory sweet potato fries.

The selection is not vast but they really have mastered their choices. Wine selections are few as well but decent.

The most important, being the price, was the most reasonable aspect of the experience. Main dishes around 9$-11$ and appetizers from 4$-8$

I was truly, truly impressed.

The website is meakmarketfood.com

Any other new ones i should check out?

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Had dinner at Juni last night and tried his desert for the first time.... Wow..

The Gingerbread with caradamom ice cream + one other kind of ice cream (sorry I'm a bad reviewer), paper thin slices of dried pinapple and a refreshing berry sauce (sorry again about non-specificity) - it was a regular flavour riot!!

My dinner companions desert was also great.... please make a point of it next time...

But it is sad to see what terrible cost considerations even a such as great sushi chef as Juni has to work under in Montreal. I guess quality fish is just not available/too costly here. He sure makes it worth it with what his got though. His 5 sashimi starter with 5 different condiments is still great and a bargain, although not of the quailty as when he started.

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