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The Most Anticipated Montreal Restaurant Openings, Spring 2015

Get the lowdown.

Damas gets a fresh start after the snow melts
Damas gets a fresh start after the snow melts
Damas

2015 may not be as crazypants as 2014 but several significant restaurant projects are in the works—and are rumoured to be in the works. Big name chefs like Richard and Jérémie Bastien, Danny St-Pierre and Charles-Antoine Crête all have plans. Then, on the horizon, you have blockbusters like this. For now, try to focus on what's in store over the next few months.

Damas

Photo: Damas

Location: 1201 and 1205 Van Horne, corner Bloomfield, Outremont
Major Players: Fuad Alnirabie
Projected Opening: Soon
The Story: After a suspicious fire razed the original Damas in February, Alnirabie decided to start fresh. The chef told Eater last month that "we're working as fast as possible to reopen within two months or so. The sign permit for Outremont apparently takes two months. In addition to the transfer of the alcohol permit and the terrace permit, which is not the biggest priority now. We lost everything so I guess a couple of weeks extra won't hurt. Trying to be positive."

Lili Co.

Photo: Randall Brodeur

Location: 4675 Saint-Laurent, Mile End
Major Players: Catherine Draws and David Pellizzari
Projected Opening: Soon (Update: now certified open)
The Story: One of the most lauded restaurants of the past two years moves from the Plateau to bigger digs in Mile End. Draws told Eater in December that the old French Connection will look much different when Lili Co. is done with it: "Louis Béliveau from La Firme and Emilie Schoofs from L'atelier 3/4 fort are (involved with) the project. They are going to rebuild and redesign (the space)." The new Lili Co. kitchen will make a few adjustments too. The restaurant will develop 5 à 7s, add a later service and beef up the cocktail program. Look for lunch a few days a week too.

Marché Le Richmond

Photo: Groupe Le Richmond

Location: Griffintown
Major Players: Luc Laroche and Paul Soucie
Projected Opening: May
The Story: The duo behind Le Richmond will soon unveil a 6,000 square-foot bistro and market, adjacent to the restaurant. The bistro will seat 100 and the market will carry more than 2,000 privately imported products.

Soubois

Photo: Google Street View

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."

Fiorellino

Photo: Buonanotte

Location: Quartier International/Downtown
Major Player: Buonanotte
Projected Opening: mid-June
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. Erik Mandracchia (Le Bremner, Impasto) is in as chef. The restaurant will serve wood-fired pizzas but will not be a pizzeria, per se. 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."

Le Red Tiger

Photo: Google Street View

Location: 1201 de Maisonneuve Est, The Village
Major Players: Phong Thach and Emilie Nguyen (co-owners of Kaiji Restaurant in Villeray), Dan Pham
Projected Opening: April
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 (the restaurant is still waiting for its permit) 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.

San Gennaro

Photo: Google Street View

Location: 69 Saint-Zotique Est, Little Italy
Major Players: Mauro, Massimo and Fabrizio Covone
Projected Opening: mid-April (Update: now certified open)
The Story: The family that gave Montreal (and Laval) Bottega Pizzeria opens a caffè and pizza al taglio spot. Massimo Covone recently told Eater that San Gennaro will "mostly be a daytime café but will be open until 9 p.m." The new spot will have a "top of the line Faema espresso machine, will serve Neapolitan viennoiseries like bomboloni, fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juices and homemade gelato. For lunch, pizza al taglio, salads, maybe arancini." San Gennaro will share a terrasse with Bottega as well.

Le Mousso

Photo: MACM

Location: Ontario and Amherst, The Village
Major Players: Antonin Mousseau-Rivard and Katerine Mousseau
Projected Opening: mid to late June
The Story: Antonin Mousseau-Rivard, who helms Le Contemporain in the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, partners with his mother, actress Katerine Mousseau, to open a 40-seater with a bar permit. The 31-year-old chef plans to serve "minimalist plates, with ambiance and music." You can see more of what Mousseau-Rivard has in mind here.

Escondite

Photo: Escondite

Location: 1206 Union, Downtown
Major Players: Biiru
Projected Opening: Soon (Update: now certified open)
The Story: A year after he gave Downtown Montreal Biiru izakaya, principal Yann Levy and co. are about to drop a self-described bar and taqueria on the neighbourhood. Escondite will be "a cool non-intimidating place that will serve medium-sized Mexican tapas at very afforable prices. We'll have a cool selection of cocktails and tacos as well."

Deli Sokołów

Photo: Deli Sokołów

Location: 4350 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, corner Sainte-Marguerite, Saint-Henri
Major Players: Shayne Gryn
Projected Opening: Soon (Update: now certified open)
The Story: Principal Shayne Gryn reports that Deli Sokołów will be "something in the vein of Bens. A Jewish deli with burgers, fries, poutine, varenekes, latkes, matzo ball soup." A counter will offer well-sourced "good quality ice cream." The restaurant will start with breakfast and lunch for now but will eventually add dinner service.

Guaca & Molé

Photo: Google Street View

Location: Marché de l'Ouest, 11597 boul. de Salaberry, Dollard-des-Ormeaux
Major Players: Hugo Leon de Gante
Projected Opening: early June
The Story: Hugo Leon de Gante, a native of Mérida, Yucatán and a member of chef Marcel Olivier Larrea's brigade at Mezcla, opens his own restaurant in the 'burbs. "We are cooking authentic Mexican food in a contemporary way. Tasty, traditional local food from different parts of Mexico with our little touches but with respect for the the true flavour and soul of each dish and recipe." This is good news for the West Island.

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