Popular Mile End restaurant Les Deux Singes de Montarvie has a new lease on life, with its reincarnation Île Flottante now open.
As reported last month, Île Flottante takes over the small space on St-Viateur Street where Les Deux Singes used to be, but has expanded into the adjacent business (where sneaker and magazine retailer Oxford used to be), going from 30 to 50 seats. The co-owners (chef Sean Murray Smith and Nada Abou Younes on front of house) remain the same, despite the name change since Les Deux Singes closed in August.
Île Flottante comes with an impressive makeover: where Les Deux Singes’ cozy room leaned more towards rustic and homey, Île Flottante is rather contemporary. The design — with refreshed wooden floors, dark walls and furniture, and both the kitchen and bar encased in glass, is clean and light on bells and whistles. It’s inspired by the glass pyramid of the Canadian Pavilion at Montreal’s Expo ‘67, but avoids being too literal about its muse, or being a ‘60s throwback — take a look.
The design might be chic, but it was the food that helped propel Les Deux Singes to being the city’s top-rated restaurant on reviews site TripAdvisor. Chef and co-owner Sean Murray Smith previously suggested it will echo the offerings at Les Deux Singes with some maturing: he said it would take “international cuisine to another level and not get hung up over whether something is Italian or not.”
The evening menu is degustation only, with three, five, and seven course options, and shifts regularly. Île Flottante is also branching out into lunch service, a welcome addition in a stretch that has plenty of fast food options to cater to the large Ubisoft office nearby, but is lighter on sit-down choices.
The menu feels local and seasonal, with entrées like a beet carpaccio with goat cheese butter, horseradish and miso, and a bison tartare. Mains include warming upscale bistro options such as Cornish hen with celeriac and cranberries, and pork-clam-potato cabbage rolls.
STATUS — Île Flottante is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.