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Junior Gives Griffintown Authentic Filipino Food Later This Month

In the former Café Aléatoire.

David Pendon

Disc jockeys, nightclub impresarios and brothers Jojo and Toddy Flores (Club Peopl) will open Junior, a Filipino restaurant, at 1964 rue Notre-Dame Ouest at the end of October.

Other principals include Julian Somera and David Pendon, of wine agency Oenopole. Pendon likens the new restaurant to an "eatery-plus, with good craft beer and good wine."

"We don’t want to come on and say we’re reinventing Filipino food. It’s not bringing fusion or French technique to the equation. It’s using methods from the Philippines that are tried and tested and that work."

With that in mind, the partners at Junior have made every attempt to style the restaurant after a vibrant hole in the wall you might stumble on in old Makati. Artist and muralist Gene Pendon, David's brother, was hired to festoon the interior with touches inspired by family trips to the Philippines.

Junior's menu will contain about a dozen hardcoded items and a rotation of specials. Pendon takes pains to stress that the kitchen won't mess with Pinoy classics. Expect on point chicken and pork adobo, lumpia, pancit, ukoy, chicharon and longganisa, in other words.

Pendon is also in charge of the beverage program:

"We’re gonna have a craft beer program with Canadian microbrews. We'll leave all the corn and rice on the plate. There will be a value-based natural wine list, with as much by the glass as I can. I ran the program at Brontë and I know my way around what sells by the glass. It’s important to me, with my background at Oenopole. It doesn’t need to be in that inaccessible price range for natural wines. It can be cheaper than industrial wines if you’re small enough and nimble enough."

Junior opens on Wednesday, October 29.

· All First Word Coverage [-EMTL-]