DOWNTOWN — A press release widely disseminated yesterday to Montreal's media touted French chef Jérôme Ferrer's next big eureka moment: Jerry Ferrer, a rockabilly-themed snack bar and food truck concept. A dozen franchises of the "casse-croûte du terroir" are apparently slated to open soon in the likes of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Sainte-Anne de-Bellevue, Saint-Hubert, Boucherville, Laval, and Longueuil. This is a rebrand, of sorts, of the Europea group's Chez Jerry restaurant in downtown Montreal, which replaced Ferrer's troubled Andiamo restaurant last fall. The Europea press release declares that "les consommateurs pourront découvrir les établissements Jerry Ferrer partout à travers le Québec, tous différents. En encourageant ses partenaires à développer un sentiment d’appartenance pour leur restaurant, chaque établissement aura sa propre personnalité et chaque client vivra une expérience hors du commun."
MILE END — Gault&Millau celebrated its inaugural foray into Canada last night with a bash at Théâtre Rialto. The French brand's launch of its first restaurant guide for Montreal honoured chefs like Antonin Mousseau-Rivard (Le Mousso), Jason Morris (Le Fantôme), the aforementioned Jérôme Ferrer, and sommelière Isabel Bordeleau. In an interview this past March, Gault&Millau's Emilie Paulhiac said that Montreal was chosen before any other city in Canada because the city "is known for its diversity and quality of cuisine, and of course the city and province have strong historical and cultural bonds with France." Le Mousso and Toqué! are the only two "très grandes tables" in Gault&Millau's 2016 Montreal restaurant guide.
OLD MONTREAL — Place Jacques-Cartier restaurants are taking a page from the playbook of Old Montreal's endangered calèche drivers in a bid to block a proposed redesign of the fabled square's terrasses. The city wants to consolidate Place Jacques-Cartier's restaurant patios in a central area in time for Montreal's 375th anniversary next year. Over a dozen restaurateurs who operate on the perimeter of the square, however, have rejected the plan as unsafe, and ultimately harmful to business. "If Coderre doesn't reconsider the plans, then a group of about 14 restaurant owners are threatening legal action and considering filing an injunction," the CBC reported this week.
MONTREAL — Other than a few grumbles from some disenchanted bar and restaurant owners, Quebec's new anti-smoking measures kicked off late last week without much notice. The new rules mean that smoking is now prohibited on all commercial patios and terrasses. Repeat business offenders can expect to be fined as much as $25,000. "It's going to be a big thing to manage for restaurant and bar owners because they will have to play police. They will have to intervene when somebody is smoking," a spokesperson for the Association of Quebec Restaurateurs told the CBC.