Montreal is lucky to have so many restaurants that specialize in fresh fish and seafood. Conscientious restaurants are advertising seafood and fish that’s caught in an ocean-friendly manner, as well as sustainable seafood which means that it’s caught or farmed in a fashion that ensures the long-term vitality of the species. Seafood restaurants have come a long way in Montreal.
Lucille’s Oyster Dive & Brasserie Lucille’s
Lucille’s Oyster Dive is a neighbourhood gem in NDG and big sister to Brasserie Lucille’s in Westmount. They both have a similar menu filled with fresh seafood and aged meats. Even their Bloody Caesar is loaded with an oyster, a crab leg and shrimp. They both have some of the best lobster rolls in the city and a large variety of oysters. Indulge in a seafood platter filled with shrimp, oysters, lobster and crab. Or you can have surf n’ turf with their in-house aged cuts of meat. They boast some succulent Diva-approved grilled octopus, and a plate of heavenly steamed clams in a garlic and white wine broth that will make you want to lick your plate clean. And keep an eye out for their food truck too — they really do it all!
Chef Antonio Park’s name is linked to the best sushi in Montreal and rightfully so. He creates masterful platters of nigiri, sushi and sashimi that has everyone flocking to Park restaurant in Westmount, celebrities included. The Omakase menu is the best way to enjoy all that Park restaurant has to offer, as your menu is the chef’s choice and includes available seasonal ingredients like sea urchin, wild sockeye salmon and more. And if you get a chance to sit at the counter, you’ll be in for a treat watching the master create delicious plates.
La Boîte aux Huîtres
Montreal is full of markets and the Jean-Talon Market is bursting with stalls of local products, including La Boîte aux Huîtres which is all about oysters. They have an outdoor kiosk in the summer, and they can be found in Poissoinnerie Aqua Mare during the colder months. Our love of oysters knows no bounds and the experts at La Boîte aux Huîtres serve many varieties, which vary in price and size, as well as a killer lobster roll, crispy calamari and more treats depending on the season. You can enjoy the oysters at their bar with the traditional accompaniments or take a couple dozen of the aphrodisiacs home!
It’s hard to go wrong when such a stellar team is behind a restaurant. Downtown Montreal’s Jatoba excels on all fronts, with a special emphasis on Japanese tapas, fish and seafood. The black cod melts in your mouth like butter and the Albacore tuna tataki is simply unreal. Give the king oyster mushrooms a try, they’re simply decadent. If you love sashimi, ask to order the sashimi platter, which is off-menu, filled with an abundance of fish and seafood! Jatoba has some fantastic dumplings and unique cocktails too.
Crownsalts Restaurants: Garde Manger & Le Bremner
Chef Chuck Hughes’ first restaurant, Garde Manger, has been a staple in the heart of Old Montreal for locals and celebrities alike. His second venture, Le Bremner, quickly followed suit, with charismatic Chef Danny Smiles at the helm. At Garde Manger, you would be remiss if you missed chalkboard item favourites like the jerk crab or their infamous lobster poutine. The seafood platters at both these restaurants will take you to seafood heaven. After 11 p.m. at Garde Manger things start to get rowdy, with a DJ spinning and people dancing, sometimes even on the bar! We fell in love with the lobster pizza and snow crab cakes with homemade kimchi at Le Bremner. But save room for dessert — Le Bremner’s popular pancakes are often sold out!
If you love oysters as much as the Divas do, then Maestro SVP is the place for you! Featuring a large variety, Maestro SVP serves their oysters raw, cooked, baked, in oyster shooters and even for dessert! They even have seafood classics like oysters Rockefeller, a lobster gratin, crab cakes and coconut shrimp. Maestro SVP is a seafood lover’s paradise right in the Plateau. And if you’re feeling daring, take their oyster eating challenge and see how many of the bivalves you can slurp down in record time.
Comptoir 21 is a fish n’ chips joint that has several locations in Montreal and is great for a quick bite in a diner-like atmosphere. Be sure to have a bowl of their clam chowder, full of plump clams and chunky potatoes, that’s served with the traditional oyster crackers. Their fish n’ chips are flaky with just the right amount of batter and they’re served with different dipping sauces. We adore their cod croquettes, and they also serve shrimp, burgers, calamari and salads. Comptoir 21 is a fun place for a quick bite to eat, and take-out is also available for those on the go.
Marché 27 is THE tartare restaurant in the Plateau that’s all about raw. What’s great about them is that you can create your own tartare combinations by choosing a base, whether it’s meat or fish, and then choosing the style in which it’s prepared. Tuna, lobster, scallops and salmon are just some of the raw fish options that can be made in various styles. Marché 27’s menu is full of seafood dishes like their tartare tasting platters, and a few cooked seafood appetizers. They also have a food truck roaming around Montreal and two express locations downtown.
La Sirène de la Mer
La Sirène de la Mer is a mix of traditional Mediterranean dishes with an emphasis on fish, seafood and a few Middle Eastern treats. This fine dining establishment has an adjoining fish and seafood shop which guarantees freshness and high quality seafood. If you’re at the restaurant try their sumac shrimp, which can be grilled, sautéed or fried, or their lobster if it’s in season. You can order a whole fish at La Sirène de la Mer; they’ll actually cook anything from their fish shop for you, never mind what’s on their menu. If you’re dining on a Wednesday, a dozen oysters are only $18, and for lunch during the week they also serve a table d’hôte menu.
Jun – I
Recommendations from chefs should always be followed and that’s what we did when Chef Antonio Park said Jun-I, on Laurier, was somewhere we had to eat. The selection of sushi is vast and everything is mouth-watering. The fried red tuna may sound strange but trust us, it’s delicious! The soft shell crab maki exceeds expectations, and we loved their raw scallops. Everything is so fresh and the nigiri platter will leave you yearning for more.
The Montreal Food Divas have been frequenting Montreal restaurants on Thursdays since November 2011. In some (most) circles, we are known for causing trouble, therefore, our Thursday nights are reserved for plotting (bitching), drinking (getting tipsy) and eating great food (gluttonous indulgence) with great company (an unholy alliance). We just love food and want to share our Montreal dining experiences.
Follow the Divas on Social Media