In the last week or so, not one but two new venues have touched down in Cité-du-Multimédia (the zone between Old Montreal and Griffintown) — and they’re two well-rounded additions to the neighbourhood.
First up is Restaurant Mélisse, which comes from Caroline Desgagné, former owner of a Soupesoup nearby on Wellington Street. It’s set to be open morning, noon, and night, not dissimilar to the model of Mile End’s Larrys (staying open for long hours and doing everything from coffee to cocktails)
, although at present, the restaurant is still waiting on a liquor license and as such, closes at 5 p.m.
UPDATE — Mélisse now has a liquor license and will be open evenings imminently.
Chef Bertrand Giguere put Mélisse’s menus together, and they’re simple yet appealing — breakfast is light (a breakfast sandwich, and a breakfast tartine that’s a riff on egg salad). Lunch has mostly tartines and salad, but the tartines, which include salmon gravlax and asparagus, have some bulk to them. Desgagné says the focus is on both healthy and affordable eats.
They’re rounded out with a couple of bigger plates, including oven-baked trout with grilled vegetables. Evenings, when they start, are more apéro style (as opposed to a full dinner service), with charcuterie, seafood, and grill plates to share — peep the menu below.
According to food site Tastet, Mélisse recruited Rouge Gorge wine connoisseur Alain Rochard to take care of wine, and there will be a short cocktail list on offer. Desgagné tells Eater that she’s hoping the restaurant can be all all-round neighbourhood spot.
“A relaxed space for people who work and live in the neighborhood, as well as people just passing by... place where people can come for an early coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at the end of the day.”
The space is, well, pretty — design-wise, it’s in a similar vein to bright, airy spaces like LOV, decorated with plants and hints of vintage — there’s also a terrasse.
Just a couple of blocks away on Wellington, and even newer, is Monopole. Styled as a café-buvette, it’s also doing day and night operations for much of the week.
It’s more of a casual, coffee shop vibe during the day — a slim menu has a few toast, sandwich, and salad options, with coffee from 49th Parallel and Bows & Arrows, according to Tastet.
At night, the beans go away and bottle openers come out, with a solid focus on natural wines from private importers. The evening menu is bigger, featuring mostly small plates — tartare, lobster rolls, to name a couple.
It all happens in somewhat of an industrial space — concrete floors and exposed ventilation are two features in a sparse space that fits around 30.
Monopole comes from a mixed bag of owners — two, Gabriel Gallant and Ngoc-An Trinh have prior experience with Normand Laprise at Toqué, while co-owner Daniel Alvarez (ex-Café Différance) is a coffee guy, and François Larose cut his teeth as a wine importer.
STATUSES — Mélisse is open at 719 William from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends, but hours will be extended to evenings very, very soon. Monopole is open at 782 Wellington from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.