Chef Takeshi Horinoue now calls Montreal his home, but the Cordon Bleu graduate has a world of flavours under that chef’s jacket of his. As the chef and partner at Antonio Pak’s Argentine cuisine eatery Lavanderia, Takeshi takes flavours to the next level through his passion and drive.

Naturally, he expects the same heartfelt cooking at his favourite local restaurants. We grilled the chef to find out his Top 5 spots to visit whenever he wants to hit up the town in search of soulful plates.

Foxy

This spot, which is the second from Olive et Gourmando owners Dyan Solomon and Eric Girard, is named after the pair’s dog. The intimate dining room allows guests to catch up over a simple but meaty menu of items like the aged rib steak or duck confit, while starters like the fresh oyster selection or grilled Boston calamari are definitely meant for sharing.

Meanwhile, ordering the grilled anything translates into an actual fire-cooked experience.

Tuck Shop 

It doesn’t get much more seasonal than this upscale bistro, which recently revamped its service with an upgraded kitchen (including a raw bar), a sleek new dining room, and a rotating daily menu showcasing anything and everything from Chef Theo Lerikos’ mind.

That includes hearty dishes like braised beef cheeks or golden, crusty pies. Basically, all of the things you just want to tuck into head first when you’re having a really hungry day.

See more: Top Chef Canada Restaurant Guide

Le Vin Papillon

First there was Joe Beef and Liverpool House and now, completing the trifecta, is this vegetable-loving restaurant. Chef Marc-Olivier Frappier foraged his menu from a plant-based mind but his creations are anything but vegetarian—the veggies here serve simply as a launch point.

So what does Takeshi tend to order when he stops by? Go for the Carrot Pastrami Éclair, he recommends.

 

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Carrot Eclair at Le Vin Papillon was to die for #levinpapillon #carroteclair #montreal

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Maison Publique 

At this pub house once financially backed by Jamie Oliver, Chef Derek Dammann (who worked under Oliver in London) is intent on bringing the pub experience to guests while serving elevated and uniquely Canadian dishes like rabbit or locally sourced fish. As such the menu is constantly changing, but we—and Takeshi—are totally here for it.

 

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Pork loin and garlic sausage

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Triple Crown

Takeshi swears by the smoked brisket at this Montreal jewel, which features a curated selection of sandwiches, fried chicken and meat à la carte. Meanwhile the robust sides (think mac-n-cheese, hushpuppies and bean soup) are as filling as they are comforting.

 

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Un lunch parfait!! #macncheese #ilovemontreal #montrealfood #mtl #petiteitalie #brisket

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