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St. Leonard Deli Adds Butcher-to-Table Restaurant

A new concept, design and boutique reboot an institution

Chef Domenico Armeni at the new La Grotte des Fromages
Chef Domenico Armeni at the new La Grotte des Fromages

Montreal has seen a little surge in butcher shops in the last few years — the most notable and recent of which are a Provisions spinoff and Pascal Le Boucher. This week, La Grotte des Fromages enters the brand new butcher shop playing field.

This small St. Leonard deli is a secondary operation of ten years to its neighbouring butcher shop Boucherie A G A, a decades old institute of meat supply for restaurants across the city — both are owned by Anthony Gatto.

Now, the deli has transformed itself, newly flanked by a 50-seat, BYOW butcher-to-table restaurant concept freshly designed by Nick D’Urbano (whose work can also be seen in Café Olimpico’s new location). The gist is simple: Customers select their cut of choice, be it milk-fed veal, organic pork, AAA beef, or Quebec lamb offered by A G A next door. Then there's the option to have the meat cooked to eat in house or to take-away — all at a lesser cost than typical sitdown restaurants.

An impressive hydra of seasoned chefs are behind the stoves. Domenico Armeni (Ristorante Lucca), Tony Monsour (Prima Piatti), and Steven Wilkins (Cavali) commandeer the kitchen with Italian and French techniques. Arte & Farina’s Sandro Carpené (Buonanotte) and Mirko d’Agata (who earned his stripes from the master baker Gianfranco Fagnola of Bra, Italy) oversee bread and pastries.

And there's more: A food boutique attached to the butcher shop offers all manner of Italian imports for sale. Here Armeni and Carpené will flex the importation knowhow they gained while working with the gourmet emporium Nicola Travaligni in Little Italy. Here, they'll strive for a slightly greater diversity of products than they've curated in the past.

La Grotte des Fromages soft opened on July 25 and aims to be fully stocked and operational by the end of this week. The deli and boutique hours run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant’s lunch service runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Dinner service from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Visit La Grotte des Fromages at 4919 Rue Jarry E Saint-Léonard, QC H1R 1Y1. Phone: (514) 321-2733