Authentic barbecue from a former competition judge and champion pitmaster has come to de la Commune, just west of Saint-Laurent, in the former Léché Desserts. Montreal native John Lattuca told Eater this summer that he hoped to open Lattuca Barbecue by September. Mission accomplished—Lattuca will shift from soft launch mode and open, officially, this weekend. The 46-seater is now knee-deep in brisket, and pulled pork, and sides like slaw, mac and cheese, and pit beans. The full menu will eventually include ribs, smoked chicken, and more. The restaurant also has a liquor permit (beer, wine, and, soon, spirits) and, for now, a terrasse (construction on de la Commune may shut that down, however).
Montreal poses some obstacles for barbecue aficionados, declared Lattuca last August—consistent, quality suppliers that offer the requisite cuts, namely, and a lack of mainstream customer awareness about Southern U.S. barbecue traditions. The knowledge gap has improved of late, however, thanks to the likes of Blackstrap BBQ, whose own pitmaster, Dylan Kier, recently took home some more competitive hardware of his own
Although Lattuca's recipes will include nods to St. Louis, Kansas City, and Carolina barbecue styles, the pitmaster's heart is in Texas, and specifically Texas-style brisket. More from Lattuca's website
Limited-batch barbecue is a Texas concept. Beef brisket, pulled pork, and spare ribs that are cooked low and slow on a wood-burning fire that can take as long as 14 hours. Each day a pre-determined amount of barbecue is cooked through the night and early morning. The amount of meat cooked will depend on the weather, the season, and the activities in the Old Port.
When the meat comes off the barbecue, it is rested and served at its optimum—within three hours. When it’s gone, it’s gone, and the doors are closed. John’s barbecue is never re-heated. Limited-batch barbecue has no leftovers and customers can be sure they are getting the freshest and finest barbecue meat served at its prime.
Early reviews of Lattuca have been pretty enthusiastic. Pascal L. writes on Yelp: "In my opinion, this is the place to go if you want proper BBQ. Montreal has finally found its Pitmaster." Over on Chowhound, EaterBob writes: "As far as I can tell, there is an extremely limited menu (the aforementioned brisket and pulled pork) and the only complaint I would have is that I think that his bun should have been slightly toasted. The brisket itself is moist, and delicious. While his BBQ sauce is quite nice, the brisket actually doesn't need it. The sides of cole slaw and beans are as good, if not better than the brisket, and the whole thing comes in at $15."
Status: Lattuca Barbecue, 15 de la Commune Ouest, opens this weekend. Call (514) 246-1680 for hours and barbecue availability.