With the likes of Cadet, Moleskine, Kinton Ramen, Hvor, Portus 360, La Bête à Pain Griffintown, and this insane café project now open, diverse new restaurants loom, particularly in Montreal's Sud-Ouest borough and downtown. The capital intensive revamps of Place Ville-Marie, which will include a new Les Enfants Terribles, and the Queen Elizabeth hotel aside, here are some anticipated restaurants to put on your radar this summer, and beyond.
Location: 4922 Sherbrooke Ouest, Westmount
Major Players: Lucille's
The Story: The short-lived Lea, from the Grinder and Hachoir restaurant group, has been taken over by the principals behind NDG's Lucille's Oyster Dive and Westmount's Brasserie Lucille's. Look for the Italian-ish Parm to open sometime in July.
Location: Notre-Dame Ouest across from Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier, Saint-Henri
Major Players: Sandro Soto
The Story: Soto, a veteran presence at Old Montreal's beloved Olive et Gourmando, will give the Sud-Ouest borough authentic Mexican tortas this summer, with help from her mom and sister. Soto's brother, Victor, owns Tacos Victor just down the street. Get the full story on Torteria Lupita here.
Location: Notre-Dame Ouest, Saint-Henri
Major Players: Raegan Steinberg and Alex Cohen
The Story: The couple behind Back of House catering, both Joe Beef alums, describe Arthurs as a nosh bar. Expect well-made, classic Jewish cuisine, of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic persuasion at the restaurant slated for the same block as Torteria Lupita. The full story on Arthurs here.
Location: 1142 Van Horne, Outremont
Major Players: Tina An, Hakim Rahal, and Pablo Rojas
The Story: The trio behind market restaurant Provisions has taken over Boucherie du Gourmand's lease, two blocks from the restaurant, and remade the space as a more artisanally-minded butcher shop, with sandwiches, and takeout meals. "We are going to put in a counter and some stools," says An. "The rest is mostly aesthetic." The still unnamed project is a little behind schedule; perfectly normal for Montreal.
Location: 1216 Avenue Union
Major Players: Yann Levy
The Story: The impresario who gave downtown Montreal a new wave izakaya (Biiru) and taqueria (Escondite), will open La Habanera this month with twists on Cuban classics, Cuban-style sandwiches, a fresh juice bar, a Mojito bar, and, eventually, breakfasts. This is the third new downtown Montreal restaurant from Levy and company in as many years.
Location: 1446 Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Major Players: Yann Levy
The Story: But wait, that's not all. Levy and co. also have plans to open a Hawaiian poke restaurant in the city's downtown core. Also on the menu: funky takes on the Hawaiian snack food favourite Spam musubi (grilled Spam on a block of rice, wrapped in seaweed) and fusions like a "Cuban-pressed Lau'Lau banh mi," plus pancakes and juices. ICYMI, poke is suddenly everywhere in Montreal.
Locations: Ahuntsic, Westmount, and downtown Montreal
Major Players: Dominic Bujold and Alexandre Brunet
The Story: Three new Montreal neighbourhoods (in addition to Quebec City, and the North Shore) will soon get a taste of the pizza that a food critic declared the best in the city over a year ago. Weeks after No 900 announced new restaurants for the Marriott hotel on Peel, the North Shore's Faubourg Boisbriand, and the provincial capital, owner Dominic Bujold of Le Groupe Evoluco divulged that new franchises are soon slated for 1021 Fleury Est, in what was L'Alexia, a Mediterranean restaurant, as well as the former Le Fournil bakery at 364 Victoria in Westmount. The Ahuntsic and Westmount spaces top out at approximately 1,500 square feet, with room for 50 diners, and will have the same owner as the original No 900 on Bernard, in the Outremont Theatre.
Location: 1800 Notre-Dame Ouest, Griffintown
Major Players: Kimberly Lallouz
The Story: A new Griffintown restaurant from the restaurateur behind Miss Prêt-à-Manger and Monsieur will offer its take on fried chicken in a matter of days. Lallouz: "Bird Bar will offer 13 sides, 13 sauces, and a whole lot of delicious craveable fried chicken! I've been testing recipes, batters, fryers, and oils in order to offer the best product. There are green companies and products to keep your oil cleaner and cook at even temperatures so your food, and body absorbs less of it. We're also looking at green initiatives for oil waste. We also came up with a few gluten/dairy-free recipes, and we will use very local free range chicken."
Location: 5700 Monkland, NDG
Major Players: Matthew Rouleau and Stephanie Russell
The Story: A move next door for this popular Monkland Village comfort food restaurant means 50 seats, compared to the current 38, a lot more elbow room between tables, and a new look, says Russell. "The design on the new dining room is really beautiful. It won’t look anything like our current location. The style will be much more sophisticated and put together. We really wanted a space that would help us create a nice ambiance for our dinner services, but would also be functional for the huge volume of customers we serve at brunch on the weekends." Brunch favourites from chef Joseph Harkanson, like fried chicken and challah french toast, will remain on the menu, but Russell says to keep an eye on an updated dinner menu from new dinner chef Jon Hastings. Sous Sol will take the place of Prohibition's original digs. A more casual, counter-service-style spot with big salads, and finger food, the restaurant will open sometime in July.
Location: corner of Notre-Dame and Atwater, Saint-Henri
Major Players: Barroco Group
The Story: A group that includes Roberto Porres (of Old Montreal's Barroco and Bocata), brothers Toby and Taylor Gauley, and others will take over the old La Belle Province on the corner of Notre-Dame and Atwater, and convert the space into what the restaurateur describes as a "French diner" with a back-alley bar, open seven days a week. Other principals include Christophe Beaudoin of La Societé (ex Barroco), and Marcus Gnosiam (chef de cuisine at Bocata). More from Porres: "Basically Barroco (Jérémie Falissard, Louis Koorevaar, and myself) is joining forces with these super passionate people so we can still focus on the daily tasks at Barroco and Bocata and be able to deliver something great to St. Henri." Falissard, executive chef and business partner at both Barroco and Bocata, will helm the kitchen at Foiegwa.
Location: 1108 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Downtown
Major Players: Carlos Ferreira
The Story: This still unnamed poultry pusher next to Soubois, in the former Royal Photo camera store and photo lab, was originally slated for May, but has since been delayed. The concept seems like a natural: an ostensibly casual complement to the more formal Ferreira Café and Taverne F, that's still firmly connected to the Ferreira brand. Consider, too, that chef João Dias's piri piri grilled Cornish hen is a popular menu item at Ferreira Café; Taverne F, for its part, serves a pretty mean churrasco chicken. All this in a part of town that's not exactly rife with Portuguese chicken.
Location: Casino de Montréal
Major Players: Joël Robuchon
The Story: In a coup of coups, Loto-Québec announced a year ago that it had lured Robuchon, the widely-proclaimed Chef of the (last) Century, to open a Montreal version of his Michelin-decorated L'Atelier concept on Île Notre-Dame, at the casino. Like others in Paris, London, Hong Kong, and Las Vegas, L'Atelier à Montréal will sport a vast open-plan kitchen and a 70-seat wraparound bar. Chef Éric Gonzalez, late of Casino de Mont-Tremblant, is in as chef, and the restaurant is expected to open this fall.
Oliver & Bonacini at Hôtel Mount Stephen
Location: Golden Square Mile, Downtown
Major Players: Toronto's Oliver & Bonacini restaurant group
The Story: The co-owner of Montreal's historic Mount Stephen Club confirmed last November that Oliver & Bonacini—the Toronto restaurant group behind Canoe, Bannock, Luma, and others—would helm food and beverage once the property completed its boutique hotel makeover this spring. "Oliver & Bonacini does an incredible job in Toronto. We started talking to them over a year and a half ago," said Mike Yuval. The developer purchased the venerable George Stephen House a decade ago with Jack Sofer, his business partner in Tidan Inc., a real estate and hospitality group.
"We invested a lot of money to refurbish the architecture, improve the heating, add air conditioning, and so on," added Yuval. "Then three years ago we made a decision to turn the outdoor parking lot in the back into a boutique hotel with 90 rooms." Hôtel Mount Stephen will operate under the Leading Hotels of the World banner. Andrew Oliver, Oliver & Bonacini president, told Eater that "O&B is excited to partner with Tidan Inc. on Hôtel Mount Stephen, and be involved in Montreal’s amazing dining scene. As with any project as large as this, we’re still working through details [i.e. the restaurant's name] and will share more information in the near future." The makeover of the National Historic Site has not been without controversy.
Location: 417 Notre-Dame Ouest, Old Montreal
Major Players: Richard and Jérémie Bastien, of Leméac
The Story: A full two and a half years after it was announced, Monarque is almost here. Bastien père et fils will open a "Gramercy Tavern-style" restaurant in the Penny Lane/Projet Europa development, in a space they themselves have purchased. The project was beset by holdups from the start, but is now slated for spring/summer. Bonus: Monarque will be twice as large as originally planned, with a bar area that seats 65 to 70, and a main dining room that seats 100. Two separate kitchens will serve the entire restaurant. Brace, Old Montreal, brace.