No single design trend dominated Montreal’s restaurants in 2017 — some worked with beautiful heritage buildings as their backdrops, some went for light and bright Instagram-friendly fixtures, and others leaned into a more specific source of inspiration (Wes Anderson, in one case). Here’s some of the prettiest
This Hawaiian snack bar in the Village did a lot with a little space — the Sainte-Catherine locale was previously just a dépanneur. Yet designer Guillaume Ménard morphed it into an ‘80s-meets-Wes Anderson fantasia of pink, with lots of plants to top it off.
Perles et Paddock
A former mechanics’ garage isn’t necessarily the easiest source material to work with, yet architect Maurice Martel and FX Studio worked some magic at this Griffintown location, converting it to a shimmering, gleaming white space that’s contemporary, without any unnecessary whizz-bang futurism.
Designer Guillaume Ménard strikes again: he worked closely with Village restaurateur Dan Pham on Kamehameha earlier in the year, then returned for this stunner a few blocks away on de Maisonneuve. Here, Ménard eschewed bright colours for something a little more blunt — but the rather geometric bar and lighting are offset by a huge blossom tree centrepiece, with natural and man-made elements working together neatly.
The new restaurant in the revived Mount Stephen Club may not have fared well with the critics, yet it’s hard not to appreciate the opulent dining room that the heritage building downtown offered up, replete with woody fixtures and warm lighting.
LOV de la Montagne
Vegetarian-vegan spot LOV got its design right when it first opened on McGill Street in 2016. When it added a second location on de la Montagne in the summer, that template had to be upsized for a big new space — the result was an Instagram-ready space that pulled off the unusual feat of feeling clean, yet earthy, courtesy of ample plant life.
La Femme Fontaine
The winner of Eater’s Design of the Year award might not have been the most objectively beautiful arrival in the city this year, but it conveys the feeling of a sultry, den-like space to a T — and the bizarro set of fixtures (including mannequins and a luminous plastic shellfish with oyster inside) combined with art project videos on the walls only makes it more fascinating to look at.