LAVAL — With certain Montreal neighbourhoods becoming saturated with eateries, could the next big restaurant zone be in Laval? Probably not, but La Presse reports on one promising spot to have opened up in the city’s Sainte-Rose area. Its name is Oregon and it’s fittingly inspired by various food-oriented aspects of the west coast state. It’s the project of five young restaurateurs, including chef Jean-Francois Perron (formerly of wine bar Accords). Speaking to Iris Gagnon-Paradis, one of the owners cites the Oregon Valley’s natural wines and Portland’s street food scene as inspirations. The restaurant has a farm to table ethos, which is hardly uncommon, but between that and the clear interest in the west coast food hub, it does come close to territory covered by sketches in the comedy series Portlandia. Oregon is open Wednesday to Sunday nights — check out the menu below.
PLATEAU — Portuguese newcomer (but with decades of family experience) Aldea is now open on St-Laurent, serving warming Portuguese classics from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch, and Tuesday to Saturday for dinner — that includes these cod croquettes, below.
VILLERAY — Swanky Plateau charcuterie and natural wine spot Le Comptoir now has its own gourmet grocery store — sort of. The Sainte-Cécile Épicerie is now open on de Castelnau, selling charcuterie and various gourmandises, as well as house-made soups and sandwiches. It’s a partnership between Le Comptoir chef and owner Ségué Lepage, and Adèle Prud’homme of prêt-à-manger delivery service Adèle Super Épicerie.
PETITE-PATRIE — Supreme being on Montreal’s jams and preserves scene Camilla Wynne is leaving town, meaning her company, the Preservation Society, is in effect closing its doors. The St-Laurent Boulevard workshop is still open for its regular Wednesday to Friday hours at least through this week; Wynne notes that she’ll be back in Montreal from time to time to host preserving classes and the like.
OLD MONTREAL — Modern Mediterranean restaurant Ikanos has taken a new approach to degustation menus in its new set menu set-up. It’s akin to a flexi-tasting menu, where customers talk the menu over with a server, meaning the dishes can vary and the exact menu is tailored to eaters’ wants, needs, loves, and so on.
THE MEDIA — While L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon may have opened almost two weeks ago, various media outlets got around to debating the worth of the Montreal Casino-based high end restaurant only last week. Le Devoir kicked it off, with a news piece about restaurateurs’ reactions (i.e. that many were “scandalized” by the choice of Robuchon), featuring one of many repetitions of Joe Beef owner Dave McMillan’s description of L’Atelier as “McDonald’s de luxe”. Journal de Montréal columnist Sophie Durocher then took the torch, arguing that the ambivalence towards Robuchon means that Quebecers were scared of luxury and/or expensive things. On Friday, the Gazette had a double-whammy: an article reporting that the government agency behind the restaurant, Loto-Québec, stood behind their choice of Robuchon. The Gazette also ran a debate of-sorts between critic of the venture Lesley Chesterman, and Atelier proponent Kevin Tierney, arguing over its merits. And now it all seems to have spun off into general hand-wringing about the state of the industry, as a widely-published Canadian Press story featured Montreal restaurateurs suggesting that Quebec’s restaurant industry should have more regulation — possibly a “be careful what you wish for” situation in this province.
- Restaurant Oregon: l'Oregon, façon Laval [La Presse]
- Aldea Wants To Add New Life To Plateau Portuguese [EMTL]
- Joël Robuchon’s Montreal Restaurant Opens With Very Expensive, Publicly Funded Cutlery [EMTL]
- Le choix du chef français Joël Robuchon au Casino indigne les restaurateurs [Le Devoir]
- Pourquoi le Québec a peur du luxe? [Le Journal de Montréal]
- Casino stands behind decision to hire superstar chef Joël Robuchon [Montreal Gazette]
- The pros and cons of picking a celebrity chef like Robuchon over home-grown talent [Montreal Gazette]
- Montreal’s great debate over the role government should play in the restaurant industry [The Star]