VILLAGE — The Haitian hotspot from Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg Agrikol (also known as “the Arcade Fire restaurant”) is rumoured to be expanding after just eight months in its Amherst Street location. A bar called ‘Ti Agrikol is reportedly in the works for this fall. Agrikol’s high profile initially caused a stir in the neighbourhood a year ago when some residents worried about it causing excessive noise, and at the time they were reassured that it wouldn’t be so bad as Agrikol wouldn’t have a bar license. It remains to be seen whether residents will cause drama over the addition of a bar. Oh, Agrikol also just extended its opening hours to seven days a week.
GRIFFINTOWN — Also expanding its opening hours is hot 2015 addition to the scene Le Fantôme, now open
daily Sundays (but not Mondays).
DOWNTOWN — The Ferreira Group of Portuguese restaurants have ventured into cheaper territory and it appears to be paying off. A tipster reports that Campo on Maisonneuve downtown has been consistently packed since its opening in early September. Keeping with classic Portuguese roast chicken takeout, they offer combos with fries and salad as well as sandwiches and ribs on a straightforward menu. The reviewers haven’t offered their thoughts yet but in a zone where the options are either higher-end or food courts, it seems to be a welcome addition for the office crowds.
QUEBEC CITY — OK, this one applies everywhere in Quebec: if you like your drinking holes served with a side tacky video poker machines, rejoice! Le Journal de Québec reports that the provincial government has eliminated the limit of five gaming machines (sometimes known as VLTs) per alcohol permit. That means government gambling agency Loto Québec can install as many machines as they like in a venue, a veritable win for those who like throwing away money on games that aren’t particularly fun.
DOWNTOWN — NDG burger spot Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce is expanding again, with a new restaurant opening on a hodgepodge block of de Maisonneuve downtown, between Crescent Street and Concordia University. It will join two other new openers on the same block: another outlet of fish and chippery Brit and Chips and Pigeon Espresso, a café who appear to be banking on reverse psychology as an advertising technique, advertising the “world’s worst coffee” in their window.
SAINT-HENRI — Another newcomer making changes is Notre-Dame Street wine bar Chez Lavigne. After a not entirely positive review from La Presse, principal Éric Bernard tells Eater that the restaurant has refocused its food menu somewhat, with some input from Food Lab chef Seth Gabrielse. The adjusted menu will be simpler and more wine bar oriented, while the selection of biodynamic “vins vivants” will keep the same approach.
EVERYWHERE — Online restaurant reservation company OpenTable put out a list of the top 100 restaurants in Canada, although presumably only restaurants listed on OpenTable were eligible. 12 Montreal restos made the list and another two from elsewhere in Quebec. On the list were some of the usual suspects, including Toque! and Le Club Chasse et Peche and some up-and-comers such as Bistro Nolah in Dollard and H4C Place St-Henri. The full list can be viewed here.