Fine dining: Lesley Chesterman’s Best Dishes of 2014

Montreal Gazette

At the end of every year, I cringe a little bit thinking that I’ve sampled about 500 restaurant dishes over 48 weeks of restaurant reviewing. And after every bite, came an opinion: was it perfectly seasoned, properly cooked, appealing in texture or the right temperature? If it was a classic dish, did it hit the mark? If it was a creative dish, did it elicit a wow? Was it the best thing I ate? Or the worst? And if neither, where did it fit in between?

In 2014, there were fewer tartares but plenty of seafood, less pork and more aged beef. Plate presentations were often too fussy, but then there were others that just looked thrown together. Lobster is everywhere, desserts have never been as homey, the cheese course is on life support and the amuse-bouche is practically extinct. The food sometimes seemed to be taking a back seat…

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