Vallier bistro on McGill's restaurant row has gone under the knife. The Old Montreal spot, a neighbourhood standby for the last nine years, was recently sold by Martin Poitras to a group that includes the couple behind the Sésame restaurant chain, Vallier Dufour (Vallier's namesake and an original principal) and Éve Desmarais, and Étienne Borgeat and Vincent Borgeat, both of whom are minority Sésame partners, as well as franchisees.
With new management in place, Vallier has closed for a complete overhaul. The restaurant will re-emerge in April with a new look, courtesy Appareil Architecture (Hoogan & Beaufort, Quebec City's Le Bouchon du Pied Bleu), and a new concept: contemporary Quebec bistro.
Lawrence Picard, the cocktail consultant behind Nectar & Mixologie, is part of the revamp. Picard has overseen the beverage programs at Montreal bars and restaurants like Damas, Biiru, Escondite, Red Tiger, Mayfair, Fitzroy, and Ikanos. "You'll see a lot of Quebec ingredients in the cocktails and premium local beers on tap. All of this without becoming too fancy."
Dufour and Desmarais' Sésame group operates six pan-Asian style restaurants (billed as brasseries asiatique that offer the "best of Asia"), located in the Quartier des Spectacles, Atwater Market, Old Montreal, Boucherville, Gatineau, and Quebec City. The duo previously started the SushiGo chain, which counted seven franchises when it was purchased by Stanley Ma's powerful MTY Group in 2013 for $1.05 million.