This year, Tourisme Montreal is launching a ten-day festival called TASTE MTL, where both local and visiting gourmands can expect creative cookery paired with upscale dining. The event, known worldwide as Restaurant Week, takes place in every major foodie capital in North America — from Vancouver to NYC — and looks to showcase each city’s finest restaurants through prix fixe samplings. Sit down for three dishes of new Quebec cuisine, Middle Eastern delicacies and everything in between for $19, $29 and $39, with some joints serving late-night menus after 10 p.m.
The festival promises to find your “heart through your stomach,” and while that’s a little visceral for the dinner table, we’re sure the organizer’s intentions are good. “Hospitality” and “conviviality” are what’s at stake here: restauranteurs across Montreal aim to win new regulars by putting their A-game on a plate.
While reservations are optional, Tourisme Montreal is expecting a door-smashing amount of people, so you might want to go ahead and book now. Especially if you want to get a taste of one of these fine establishments:
$19 Taza Flores
Mediterranean meets tapas, this candlelit bistro serves up well-portioned food in the Mile End. Taza Flores has got something for carnivores and vegetarians alike, and touts its notorious eggplant pizza as the star of the menu. 5375 du Parc, 514-274-5516.
$29 Brasserie T!
The only place where gratin dauphinos or saucisson en brioche can be thought of as unassuming, but no less immaculate, Brasserie T! highlights ingredients grown locally. The ultra-modern design compliments the elevated French cuisine, brasserie style. Think: fresh charcuteries and seafood platters aplenty. 1425 Jeanne-Mance., 514-282-0808.
$39 La Fabrique Bistrot
Rustic décor bundled up with reinvented French cuisine, chef Jean-Baptiste Marchand looks to challenge conventional flavour profiles in his restaurant, La Fabrique. We’re looking forward to the braised pork medallions, served alongside scalloped potatoes with apples and butternut squash. 3609 St Denis, 514-303-0341.