When Lea opened in Westmount in September 2014, designer Zébulon Perron's revamp of the former café space garnered a lot of buzz, as did the fact that the Spanish-Portuguese restaurant was the latest project from the owners of Grinder and Hachoir. A year and a half later, Lea's voicemail cheerily informs callers that the restaurant has closed for a facelift. It appears, however, that the restaurant that once described itself as a “tall, striking blonde” has closed for good. The restaurant's OpenTable reservation page has been pulled, and principal (and namesake) Léa D'Amboise confirmed this week that a sale was in progress, but refused to elaborate beyond that. Sources say that the group behind the successful Lucille's Oyster Dive and Brasserie Lucille's, in NDG and Westmount respectively, has purchased Léa, which makes a lot of strategic sense.
Three of the city's food critics reviewed Lea over the last year. Le Journal de Montréal's Thierry Daraize gave the restaurant three and a half stars on five, and wrote that "cette première expérience culinaire est bien prometteuse." Lesley Chesterman opined in the Gazette that Léa had a lot of potential, and, on the strength of a few standout plates, gave it two and a half stars on four. The kitchen's mains fell flat for La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie, but starters were delicious enough to merit a return visit. No word yet on what will become of the Sherbrooke street restaurant, concept or name-wise — stay tuned for developments.