Here’s a slightly late Christmas gift to enjoy: much-loved Montreal chef Antonio Park reopened his Westmount Argentine restaurant Lavanderia more than a year after it closed down unexpectedly.
A four-alarm fire broke out in the restaurant in November 2016, also damaging neighbouring restaurant Park, and other businesses. Park (the restaurant) was able to reopen in a matter of weeks, but extensive damage kept Lavanderia out of action for 13 months, though Park (the chef) hoped to reopen faster, although he also opened casual spot Café Bazin on the same block during the summer.
The Chopped Canada judge announced Lavanderia’s return on Christmas Day via Twitter, with the first service on Tuesday evening (December 26).
It’s a low-key reopening: no menu has been posted yet (although the menu for a Park-Lavanderia New Year’s Eve crossover is online) but the approach should be as it was before: a meat-centric restaurant that harks back to Park’s upbringing in Argentina. Parilla, an Argentine type of barbecue, is the focus. Park was the first person in Canada to wield a Kobe beef license, allowing him to import and serve a limited amount of the premium meat, so that will likely be offered, alongside other primo cuts. There’s also seafood and vegetables, treated with the same grill skills as the meaty lead act.
LAVANDERIA IS BACK TOMORROW!⁰Thank you to all my family/team & friends, I would of never been able to do this alone ⁰MERRY CHRISTMAS pic.twitter.com/BuopmKCiI2— Antonio Park (@ChefAntonioPark) December 25, 2017
Of course, there’s no need for Park to make drastic changes for the reopening: the “if it ain’t broke” idiom comes to mind, given that Lavanderia in its original form charmed all four of the city’s newspaper restaurant critics after it first opened in 2014.
STATUS — Lavanderia is open at 374 Victoria Avenue in Westmount for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday (brunch instead of lunch on Saturday and Sunday, closed Mondays). Special menu for New Year’s Eve.