You can rest easy, secure in the knowledge that your city's culinary future is in good hands, when so many young chefs and entrepreneurs open restaurants that pay homage to, improve upon, and update the food they grew up with, without sacrificing any of the soulfulness. It's happening all over Montreal; the southwest borough particularly, where talented people are putting it all on the line to inject new life into the neighbourhood. Now here comes Arthurs, a promising new nosh bar from Raegan Steinberg and Alex Cohen, the owners of Back of House Catering. With its penny-tiled floor, black-and-white family photos, bistro chairs, letter board menus, and pickle jar lined back bar, the first new Jewish restaurant in Montreal in years feels deferential to tradition, and modern, all at the same time. There are wine glasses on the tables and counters, an herb garden, and coffee from cult roasters like 49th Parallel. And there will be brunch. This ain't your bubbe's deli, in other words. In fact, Arthurs isn't a deli at all.
“We're not trying to do smoked meat, karnatzel, or be Schwartz's or anything like that,” Steinberg told Eater last month. “Russ & Daughters was sort of my inspiration. Their history is so rich — you can't recreate that. But we'll be very concentrated on fish. I'm working with some friends who are smokers, and we'll eventually have our own smoker here.” Such good news, for fans of the traditional foods of the Jewish diaspora, and for Montreal, in general.
Arthurs Nosh Bar
4621 Notre-Dame Ouest
Wednesday to Friday for lunch, weekends for brunch and lunch
Opens June 29