— In what might be the most stealthy restaurant opening of the year, a new venture from Greg Paul (of Restaurant Mile-Ex) called Elda has opened on the Main, with lighter takes on Mile-Ex’s hearty street food and seafood stylings for lunch and dinner.
Elda is right across from Lawrence, at St-Laurent and Fairmount, in a spot formerly occupied by Café Kilo. Lunch keeps it casual — a couple of salads (one with marinated salmon, another with crunchy vegetables and végé páté). Clam chowder and croque monsieur serve as winter warmers, and crab cakes and Mile Ex’s classic Mother F*cker burger provide a link back to the mothership — although the MoFo appears to only be in its regular-sized or “normal human appetite” form, and not the double- or triple-stacked monsters that feature at Mile-Ex.
Some of the same plates appear on the dinner side, but there’s also cheese and charcuterie plates, a classic beef tartare, caesar-esque grilled romaine hearts, and a squid ink tartelette with chevre and smoked mackerel.
Elda is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner (11 p.m. Friday and Saturday), at 5206 Saint-Laurent.
— Classic panini-and-coffee spot Café Gentile has opened a second location in Westmount, a cool 57 years after the original Ahuntsic-Cartierville cafe-restaurant was established. Employing a sound “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, the Sainte-Catherine Street location is sticking to Nonna’s Italian style eats — pasta, parmagiana, paninis, Italian-style coffee, a few baked goods and some breakfast options. They also have very snazzy tiling.
— In other news of popular haunts expanding across the city, caffeine pro Chrissy Durcak has opened a bright new Dispatch Coffee on the corner of St-Laurent and Duluth on the Plateau. It’s the third location after the Mile Ex roastery-cafe and McGill campus counter (four, if you count the truck).
— Is it seasonal food events you’re looking for? Fletchers at the Museum of Jewish Montreal are throwing a Hanukkah cocktail party on Wednesday, featuring wiz of modern Jewish cuisine Leah Koenig, who’s in town from New York. If it’s hyper local you prefer, the SAT’s Foodlab is celebrating its fifth birthday with a surprise — pay $20, and you get a mystery meal. Foodlab’s new chef Adrien Renaud has done time with Tuck Shop and Laloux, so one would assume it’s going to be the good kind of surprise.