Hotels are enigmatic places where the world comes to town, bringing to our city colourful characters from all walks of life. By extension, hotel restaurants are the gathering places of travellers and locals alike, both searching for a different kind of culinary experience. In most instances, travellers looking to see the world and explorers looking to deepen their knowledge of strange new places start their trips with a drink or a meal at the restaurant located in their home away from home.
With the opening on Montreal’s latest and highly touted Renaissance Hotel and subsequent restaurant, EAST we have been inspired to put together a list of our city’s most entertaining hotel restaurants. These are some of our favourite places to eat in the city because of the food, the ambiance and the excitement of the unknown. You never know who you will meet at a hotel restaurant or bar.
Maison Boulud at the Ritz-Carlton
A pinnacle of old-world style and world-class service, the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal is home to the opulent Maison Boulud. Lead by world renowned chef, Daniel Boulud, the restaurant is well known throughout the city (and across the globe) for its delectable French cuisine, its incomparable wine list and its amazing, year-round view onto the Ritz-Carlton interior garden. It doesn’t hurt that some of the biggest parties of the year happen steps away from the restaurant. Maison Boulud also features a must-try brunch and some of the best cocktails found along the Golden Square Mile. Reservations are recommended. 514-842-4224; www.maisonboulud.com/montreal
Suite 701 at the Place d’Armes Hotel
Located at the gateway into Old Montreal, the Place d’Armes hotel is one of the most beautiful structures in the city. Suite 701 has been a staple (and at the top of our list) for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner for over a decade. With its high-end modern decor and vaulted ceilings the space feels fresh and airy, no matter how crowded it gets. The bistro style menu is constantly updated, the cocktail and wine lists keep the bar and the top of many 5a7 lists around the city and with access to best most awe-inspiring rooftop terrasse (offering a 360 degree view of Montreal), Suite 701 is hard to beat. 514-904-1201; www.suite701.com
EAST at the Renaissance Hotel
If you are a Montrealer with any access to social media, then you have no doubt been introduced to the artistic style of the newly opened Renaissance Hotel (part of the Marriott group) on the corner of Robert-Bourassa and Cathcart. EAST, the house restaurant is a voyage out of the Occident and into the flourishing flavours of pan-Asian cuisine. The restaurant’s setting is an architectural marvel that, like the cuisine, perfectly marries Asian influence with Western modernity. Contemporary takes on Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese specialties can be sampled at EAST, which also features a vast wine selection and a cocktail list that demands you pull up a seat to their central bar. 438-386-9088; www.eastpanasiatique.com
Renoir at The Sofitel Golden Square Mile
Montreal’s Sofitel Hotel has become an example of French hospitality in Montreal through sharp design, delicate style and warm welcomes to anyone entering the lobby. Connected to The Sofitel Hotel is Le Renoir restaurant featuring iconic Montreal executive chef, Olivier Perret. At Le Renoir, impeccably trained service, high-end gastronomy and comfortable atmosphere are paramount. Le Renoir features both an elegant dining room and a trendy bar where you can grab a quick drink and bite if a full meal isn’t what you’re looking for. No matter what your taste, Le Renoir has you covered. 514-285-9000; www.restaurant-renoir.com
Êat at The W Hotel
Être-avec-toi (or Êat for short) has been the talk of the town since it opened last December. Located in the lobby of the W Hotel, the restaurant has been well received by critics throughout the city. Following a series of expertly executed updates to the hotel’s fabulous rooms, Êat was the latest space in the hotel to undergo a massive (and excellent) overhaul. Featuring the work of chef Sebastien Giannini, Êat is adventure in freshly served seafood, meats and more. The restaurant recently launched a weekend brunch menu that lasts well into the afternoon and features a unique partnership with artists from across the city. Expectations for Êat were sky-high and the result has not disappointed. 514-395-3195; www.etreavectoi.com