GRIFFINTOWN — Hvor was a hot new arrival when it arrived with a focus on seasonal and locavore fare almost exactly a year ago, with chef S’Arto Chartier-Otis at the helm in the kitchen. Now after 12 months of glowing reviews (plus, cough, an Eater Award). No drama here — Chartier-Otis tells Eater he’s just taking a little break. As Hvor shares its owners with Old Montreal’s La Champagnerie, they’re bringing Champagnerie chef Jacques Coutu in, although this may be only transitional. Coutu brings one other change: Hvor will switch from tasting menus to an à la carte program.
MISCELLANEOUS — Pizzeria No 900 has been rapidly planning and opening new locations for wood-fired pies around Montreal and beyond — it’s now out that the chain’s Old Montreal location will be on the recently-closed Da Silva restaurant Nolana’s premises (opening June), and Eater’s tipsters note that the Griffintown venue will be in the also recently-closed Griffintown Café space. The Westmount 900 is still in the works, albeit at a glacial pace, recently putting a call out for staff.
OLD MONTREAL — Jacques-Cartier Place cocktail hub The Coldroom seems to be a good spot to have a drink while eyeballing celebrities these days: after Ben Stiller visited not long ago, former Mouseketeer and genie (if you rub her the right way) Christina Aguilera was hanging out there — see photo evidence below. Owner Kevin Demers also reports Ewan McGregor dropping by.
MILE END — A few weeks after the Habs were ousted from the playoffs, Mile End rodeo-ish bar Chez Serge is holding on to its jokey name change to Chez Subban — even though one expert wrote a whole column for Forbes about how the bar might be asking for a lawsuit by doing so. That said, suing the bar might not be a good look for the much-loved ex-Montrealer P.K. Subban.
DOWNTOWN — The W Hotel’s restaurant Ê.A.T. has a new chef after Sébastien Giannini departed for Washington, D.C. The new guy is a Toronto import: Stefan Gadit, formerly of Peter Pan Bistro (amongst others).
ALL OVER — The results for Cult Montreal’s massive annual reader poll is here, and you can check out the very thorough food and drink results here. Notable results include Dan Geltner winning best chef (again), while Joe Beef’s Dave McMillan sits at seventh place. LOV then Kampai Garden were voted best newcomers, and true to the “plants are so 2017” attitudes around some parts, veganism was voted the top food trend. Democracy can still make egregious errors, though: The Keg was voted tenth-best “pricey eat”, Tim Hortons as third-best doughnuts, and Starbucks as fifth-best coffee, proving that there’s no accounting for taste.
SUD-OUEST — Fast-growing seafood-oriented outdoor food festival the Lobster Clam Jam is coming up on May 28 along the Lachine Canal — it’s the event’s fifth anniversary, and the company behind it are looking into exporting the idea to a number of Canadian and US cities (there’s already a Toronto edition). Details are here.
DOWNTOWN — Affordable “Italian comfort food” spot Parma Café is now doing dinner, with student discounts to boot.
- At Hvor, Chef S'Arto Chartier-Otis Has a Stunning New Griffintown Home [EMTL]
- Critics Overflow with Praise for Hvor and Butterblume [EMTL]
- Eater Awards 2016: Announcing the Montreal Winners [EMTL]
- Look Inside Cold Room, the Basement Cocktail Bar Under Jacques-Cartier Place
- Dumpling Royalty Trilogie is Closing This Friday — And Other Shutters [EMTL]
- From Chez Serge to Chez Subban [CBC]
- Restaurant Chez Subban Inviting Chez Lawsuit [Forbes]
- Best of MTL 2017: Food & Drink [Cult MTL]
- Lobster Clam Jam [Official]
- Prince Takes BYOB Up A Notch on Rachel, and Other Openings [EMTL]