The Plateau recently lost another restaurant fixture when Portus Calle's Helena Loureiro left her kitchen of thirteen years for completely different digs downtown. The restaurateur's splashy new venture, the 200-plus-seater Portus 360, with Portus Calle partners David Barros and Dinis Seara, officially opened yesterday. "I left my Portuguese neighbourhood with a lot of emotion and a lot of sadness," Loureiro confessed during a Radio-Canada interview this week. "It's the end of a chapter. I worked really hard, seven days a week, at Portus Calle. But we all know what's been going on in the Plateau. So it's emotional to leave for a big project like Portus 360. But I wanted to be close to my other businesses [Helena and Cantinho de Lisboa, both in Old Montreal]. I wanted to be able to park my car and walk between the three. I think Portus 360 will be a unique place in Montreal."
Portus 360 sprawls over the 31st and 30th floors of the building, once home to the revolving Tour de Ville restaurant. The upper floor of Portus 360 is a fine-dining restaurant, while a bistro on the lower level leans more casual, with small plates and petiscos (think Portuguese tapas), and late-night kitchen hours and a loyalty program designed to cater to the building's students. Loureiro added that, unlike Portus Calle in the Plateau, parking's a relative cinch at Portus 360. The Evo tower has an underground lot that costs $10.
The chef-restaurateur is confident that Portus 360's location at the junction of downtown Montreal, Old Montreal, and Griffintown will be a draw, as will the promise of revolving, panoramic views of the city. Ultimately, however, Loureiro's banking on the appeal of her refined Portuguese cuisine to coax customers back more than once.
Status: Portus 360, 777 Robert-Bourassa, between Saint-Antoine and Saint-Jacques, (514) 849-2070. Now open daily as of 5:30 p.m.