Montreal has a macaroni-and-cheese-themed food week, so why not a stand-alone restaurant devoted to every kid's favourite comfort food? Macbar et Fromage, now open in the Village/Centre-Sud Montreal, is the culmination of a "Eureka moment" from the brothers behind the Poutineville chain. "[It's] all about taking the most basic comfort food and making it fun," principal Kosta Kariotakis, who co-owns the restaurant with brother Manny, explained in a statement. "Instead of being a side dish, our restaurant focuses on mac and cheeses being at the forefront of every meal, at affordable prices within a relaxed and easy environment. We want Macbar et Fromage to be a place where you can have fun, indulge, and have an all around good time. What more could foodies ask for?" Five dollar cocktails, maybe? Macbar et Fromage has that too. Look out L'Gros Luxe.
On the menu: eleven different mac and cheeses, served with salad, or, for the less faint-hearted, fries. Zany riffs include the Honey Smoked Bacon Mac (cheddar cheese, hickory honey smoked bacon, caramelized onions, fresh herbs, topped with panko), the Lisboa (cheddar cheese and chorizo, red peppers, caramelized onions, jalapeños), and the MacVolcan (habanero honey sauce and jalapeños). Outside the mac realm, the 100-seater also serves up grilled cheeses, burgers, pastas, sandwiches, and "cheese-oriented" apps.
Status: Macbar et Fromage, 1345 Rue Ontario Est, (514) 303-6622. Now open daily for lunch and dinner.