The partners behind Pullman, the veteran Montreal wine bar on du Parc, have plans to open a new restaurant next door. Moleskine, from Bruno Braën and Catherine Bélanger, will open next month, reports La Presse. Chef Frédéric St-Aubin (late of private club 357C) is also a principal, and Pullman's sommelière, Véronique Dalle, will lend her talents to the Milton Parc/McGill Ghetto project as well.
There are a few different dimensions to the concept slated for 3412 avenue du Parc. A takeout window will allow patrons to order small plates to go, as well as ice cream come summer. The first floor of the restaurant will be more casual, with a simple, seasonal menu, coffee (competition for Pikolo café next door?), and wines on tap. Moleskine's second floor will serve a more complete menu, replete with a huge wood fired pizza oven. Braën, a designer with the likes of Club Chasse et Pêche, Bily Kun, L'Auberge Saint-Gabriel, Big in Japan, and, indeed, Pullman, in his extensive portfolio, will handle the makeover of the former Acropolis Ouzerie Greek restaurant. No word yet on why the partners chose to name their new restaurant Moleskine, after the Italian manufacturer of luxury notebooks, but the presence of Nota Bene, an upmarket stockist of stationery and paper products, next door, might be a clue. Look for Moleskine to open sometime in May.
Update, April 11, 2016: Catherine Bélanger offered this explanation for Moleskine's name today: "Yes, effectively, Moleskine is a trademark in Canada for those famous notebooks. However, the registered trademark does not extend to the restaurant industry. But moleskine (moleskin in English) is, above all else, a common name for a type of fabric, which you'll see hints of in our project." Bélanger added that the partners particularly appreciate Pikolo, and have no intention of competing with the popular coffee shop. "We adore our neighbourhood, and want to be conscientious about how we integrate our new business."