JP Miron is certainly a larger-than-life presence in the kitchen, but part of that comes from his drive for excellence when it comes to putting out the perfect plate. The Montreal chef hails from an Italian background and has worked at some of the city’s top eateries, and is now the chef de cuisine at Bocata Restaurant.
Part of why JP is so intent on winning Top Chef Canada is to showcase his city in all its culinary glory—something he says is due. So when this chef dishes on his favourite Montreal restaurants, we’re all ears and hungry tastebuds.
The locally sourced cuisine is infused with a variety of worldly flavours on the ever-evolving menu at this establishment. Chef Maksim Morin is known for incorporating multiple textures into each dish, giving diners an elevated sensory experience.
“[It’s the] best for late night food,” says JP. “Go in for the donairs and make sure you’re hungry enough for a rib steak.”
Executive chef Chuck Hughes and chef du cuisine Danny Smiles (of Top Chef Canada season three fame) have transported the dinner service at this Old Montreal restaurant to an intimate eating experience for special occasions and great meals alike.
“[It’s] good for a date night. Make sure to get the lamb heart with remoulade,” JP says.
The best part about eating at this self-described “Americanized French diner”—aside from the classic dishes of garlic snails, onion soup or entrecote frites—is that it’s a part of a club. That means lots of delicious late night eats and interesting cocktails also grace the menu.
“[They serve] food until 2 a.m., the owners are my business partners. They serve a simple take on bistro/diner food. And after having a great burger or some frog legs you cross over to Atwater Cocktail Club and get the best drinks in town,” JP promises.
There’s pizza, and then there are the handcrafted pizza pies from this casual ristorante and snack bar that feature fresh, Italian ingredients and flavours. Whether you’re in the mood for a bianco or rosso style ‘za, this spot has you covered.
“It’s probably one of the best pizzas in town; I used to work with the head chef back in the day,” JP says. “You go for the pizza, any, they’re all good. Make sure to order some octopus and gnocchi as well.”
Steaks and seafood are the norm at this Old Montreal restaurant. The name is an homage to Charles “Joe-Beef” McKiernan, the 19th-century Irish innkeeper and working-class hero. But, since its opening, the spot has earned its own reputation—in 2016 it was ranked the 81st best restaurant in the world by 50 World’s Best Restaurants group.
“You get a bunch of friends and sit on the patio in the summer, then you ask them to make you a menu and take care of the wine,” JP says. “And that’s how you spend an amazing evening.”