Pastel was undeniably conceived as a restaurant made for the Instagram age, offering intricate and beautiful dishes that are always photo-ready. Fortunately, this Old Montreal spot from the ever-hospitable Kabir Kapoor delivers on more than just the visuals; dishes from founding chef Jason Morris and his successor, Yoann Van Den Berg, taste as good, if not better, than they look. Choose from the six- or ten-course tasting menus, with optional wine pairings. Offerings change with the seasons, but staples include differing takes on their “beet mosaic” with tiled layers of red, Chioggia and yellow beets draped atop a decadent layer of foie gras mousse, as well as a vibrant green parsley pasta that may come in gnocchi or lasagna form, depending on the chef ’s whim. The kitchen plays with techniques and takes risks, presenting a thoughtful multi-course menu of delicate dishes in a city where the popularity of homey, shared plates is undeniable. With its white tablecloths and sophisticated wine list, Pastel is obviously aiming to attract fine dining tourists. But it wins over locals, too, with its refined sense of hospitality.
Photos: CHAWANMUSHI, MICKAËL A. BANDASSAK, GUY LAVIGUEUR