Location: 417 Notre-Dame Ouest, Old Montreal
Major Players: Richard and Jérémie Bastien
Projected Opening: Late summer
The Story: Bastien père et fils (Leméac) will open a "Gramercy Tavern-style" restaurant in the Penny Lane mixed development. Slated for April, the project has been beset by typical construction delays. One result of the holdup, however, was a complete rethink of the space. Monarque will be almost twice as large as originally planned, with a bar area that seats 65 to 70 and a main dining room with room for 100. Two separate kitchens will serve the entire restaurant.
· More on Monarque [EMTL]
2. La Petite Maison
Location: du Parc, Mile End
Major Player: Danny St-Pierre
Projected Opening: End of summer
The Story: St-Pierre, familiar for his work on Qu'est-ce qu'on mange pour souper? and stints at Derrière les Fagots, Laloux and Auguste in Sherbrooke, calls his first Montreal venture a "traditional restaurant" with a casual vibe but without casual food per se. The chef wants to keep the exact address under wraps for now but calls it "a beautiful space, under 200 square metres." The key, says St-Pierre, will be to find that bang-for-the-buck sweet spot where he can "send out quality food made with quality ingredients at a reasonable price."
Expect plates to share on the app side of the menu (spreads, a lot of vegetables) and mains that will stand alone and "have an identity." St-Pierre will soon decide whether to implement a reservation system (maybe) and install a deep-fryer (probably not). A head chef will be hired for the day-to-day management of the kitchen but the overall vision will be St-Pierre's alone.
· More on La Petite Maison [EMTL]
3. Maison Sociale
Location: 5386 Saint-Laurent, Mile End
Major Player: Dave Schmidt
Projected Opening: End of January
The Story: Schmidt, the impresario behind such spots as Maïs, Kabinet, Datcha, Le Mal Nécessaire, Thazard and the bygone Café Sardine, partners up with the likes of Na'eem Adam, Philip Tabah, Christophe Beaudoin Vallières, Marc-Antoine Clément and James Benjamin to reboot the old Green Room as a café/restaurant/cocktail bar/new wave social club. Tom Allain, now at Hôtel Herman, will make the move to Maison Sociale's kitchen.
· More on Maison Sociale [EMTL]
Location: 1106 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Downtown
Major Players: Francine Brûlé, Alexandre Brosseau
Projected Opening: April
The Story: This new restaurant, in the old Copacabana, is from the mother-son duo of Brûlé, the owner of Les Enfants Terribles, and Brosseau, of Flyjin. Other principals include chef Guillaume Daly (Les Enfants Terribles, Grinder, XO), JP Haddad (Globe), Philippe Rainville (Flyjin, Le Filet, Les Enfants Terribles), Thomas Hatzithomas and Christopher Karambatsos. Brosseau calls Soubois a "bistro du terroir" inspired by an "underground enchanted forest."
· More on Soubois [EMTL]
Location: Quartier International/Downtown
Major Player: Buonanotte
Projected Opening: Mid-March
The Story: Partner Massimo Lecas calls the new spot from the Buonanotte group modern, authentic Italian in the best possible sense—no throwback red sauce menus, in other words. Fiorellino translates as "little flower"; a nod, says Lecas, to the lullaby "Buonanotte Fiorellino" (which, incidentally, is also where the Main supper club got its name). Erik Mandracchia (Le Bremner, Impasto) is in as chef. The restaurant will feature a wood-burning oven for pizzas but, take note, will not be a pizzeria (Lecas is quick to point this out). On the beverage side, look for more of a cocktail emphasis. Bottom line: a concession to the times and "what Buonanotte would have looked like if we had opened it today instead of 23 years ago." The group, incidentally, may also have plans for the old Globe space.
· Globe Closes After 21 Years [EMTL]
6. Ichi Go Ichi E
Location: 360 Rachel Est, Plateau
Major Player: Kevin Fung
Projected Opening: Any day now
The Story: The popular Westmount izakaya Imadake opens a second restaurant on Rachel between Drolet and Saint-Denis. Incidentally, Fung also owns the property.
7. New Charles-Antoine Crête Restaurant
Major Players: Charles-Antoine Crête, Cheryl Johnson
Projected Opening: Unknown
The Story: Toqué!'s prodigal son, recently seen at Majestique and on À table avec l'ennemi, returns with a restaurant of his own. Partner Cheryl Johnson: "We are excited to be opening a place that we don't know quite what it's going to be. But one thing is for sure, it will be playful and down to earth. A place for people 0-100 years old. Oh, and we won't be serving dinosaur."
· Charles-Antoine Crête Tore Up Omnivore Paris [EMTL]
Location: 20 Duluth Est, Plateau
Major Player: Eric Rice
Projected Opening: Soon
The Story: The chef from Mile End's Fabergé and Roux food truck opens his own place in the old Triangulo.
· More on Perfecto [EMTL]
9. Le Red Tiger
Location: 1201 de Maisonneuve Est, Village
Major Players: Phong Thach and Emilie Nguyen (co-owners of Kaiji Restaurant in Villeray), Dan Pham
Projected Opening: Late February/March
The Story: Nguyen describes Le Red Tiger as an ode to Vietnamese street and soul food:
We love our culture, but Vietnamese food isn’t all pho, noodles, and soups. We see pho places everywhere in Montreal, but when we crave grilled skewered meats, Õc (sautéed sea snails in tamarind sauce), or Thịt Kho (caramelized pork and eggs braised in carbonated juice) they are hard to find, (unless we're in Vietnam, at our mom’s house, or someone else’s mom’s house). The menu will embody our 'street food' experiences in Vietnam that solely require your fingers to eat, and also home cooked meals that we grew up eating at home.
More intel on Le Red Tiger: Lawrence Picard from Nectar & Mixologie is behind the beverage program and Guillaume Menard from Atelier Mainor is in as designer. You can see Menard's work at the likes of Joverse, Mme. Lee and Voskin.
10. San Gennaro
Location: 69 Saint-Zotique Est, Little Italy
Major Players: Mauro, Massimo and Fabrizio Covone
Projected Opening: Soon
The Story: The family that gave Montreal (and Laval) Bottega Pizzeria opens a caffè and pizza al taglio spot.
11. New John Winter Russell Restaurant
Major Player: John Winter Russell
Projected Opening: Unknown
The Story: Ex-Van Horne chef Winter Russell, 2014's prince of pop-ups and a frequent collaborator with Gaspésie Sauvage, has imminent plans to open a restaurant with a "small vegetable/plant driven menu."