— Arcade Fire, David Byrne, New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and others inaugurated Agrikol last Thursday with a Kanpe Kanaval rehearsal. On Friday the Centre-Sud newcomer, in a re-zoned house that last held the former Coo Rouge, hosted a de facto satellite party for the Haiti fundraiser. And with that, Montreal's most anticipated restaurant was declared open, albeit from Thursday to Monday for now. Aside from the phalanx of musical talent, Agrikol welcomed scores of restaurant industry and media people over the weekend. La Presse food critic Marie-Claude Lortie, for one, took in the scene on Friday. Principal Jen Agg kept her social media followers up to date with glimpses of her new baby.
— It was a much softer launch for another anticipated project, Le Diplomate, over the weekend. Chefs Aaron Langille and Kyle Croutch have themselves a liquor permit now, and quietly hosted a few friends to celebrate the launch of the Mile-Ex restaurant. Diplomate will open this week, in a limited capacity. Stay tuned for an official announcement.
— J-P Miron's stint at the helm of La Société Montreal's kitchen has come to an end. The ex Globe chef took over food service at the downtown Loews Hôtel Vogue a little over a year ago. The chef announced that he will return in March with a new project.
— Marusan, a donburi and bento spot, will open soon at 401 Notre-Dame Ouest, corner McGill.
— Mile End recently welcomed Café Thomas, a casual breakfast and lunch restaurant from a former auto mechanic-turned-cook. Owner Thomas Crick writes on the café's website: "I have decided to give up the motor oil for some olive oil and swap my career of fixing cars for my passion to fix food."
— Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman announced on Saturday that Old Montreal standby Chez Queux had closed after more than four decades.
— Another week, another new third wave coffee shop. This time it's Café Osmo, which recently opened in the Notman House tech campus on Sherbrooke, corner Clark.
— NDG burger peddler Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce has rebranded itself with brunch. Among the restaurant's new menu items: challah French toast and fried chicken. Served every Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
— Word on the street is that slow business has forced downtown supper club Rosalie to halt food service.