One part restaurant, one part late-night bar, Garde Manger offers innovative seafood and a seat at the hottest party in town. Set in a historic Vieux-Montréal building, the dining room keeps things rustic with exposed-stone walls, chalkboard menus that change often (try the spicy General Tao lobster and jerk shrimp), and brown paper covering a collection of wooden tables. After midnight, the music is turned up (loud) and the restaurant fills with thirtysomethings in their hip finery. Don’t miss the enormous (almost eight-foot-wide) chandelier, ripped—or so it appears—straight from the dining hall of a pirate ship.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.