PLATEAU — A former longtime executive chef from famed Chicago restaurant Alinea is headed to Montreal for February culinary and cultural event Montréal en Lumière. Mike Bagale spent nearly six years at the helm of the three Michelin-starred restaurant, playing a key role in the restaurant continuously retaining all of its stars since it first received them in 2011 (he was at the restaurant since 2009, all up). In a coup for relatively young St-Denis Street restaurant Chasse-Galerie, Bagale will join chef Alexandre St-Amand on March 1 and 2 for a whopping 16 course meal. Other details are still to come, but it’s likely a highlight of otherwise not-yet-announced line-up for the winter event. Bagale left Alinea earlier this year, partly to travel — he was responsible for devising the restaurant’s (in)famous edible helium balloon dessert, iterations of which have appeared elsewhere, including at Ottawa’s Atelier.
NDG — Changes are in store for Monkland restaurant Hopkins, as chef Carter Bourassa is now in charge, stepping up from the sous chef role to take over from Liam Hopkins. It looks like he’ll be reforming the restaurant away from the relatively formal approach it has taken since opening in 2017: a statement from the resto notes that he “will now spearhead the restaurant’s transformation from fine dining to a menu showcasing authenticity and charming simplicity.” Bourassa has prior experience at Antonio Park restaurants Park and Lavanderia.
EASTERN TOWNSHIPS — Renowned North Hatley restaurant Le Hatley (at Manoir Hovey) has two new chefs — co-chefs, in the restaurant’s words, in place of a sole executive chef. Paul Roberts (left in the above photo) arrives from his most recent position at Chez Bouffe in Montreal, which he also owns. Further back in his career, he also has experience at Au Pied de Cochon’s sugar shack, and prominent British restaurants including the Michelin-starred Criterion. He’s joined by Alexandre Vachon (right), who steps over from Maison Boulud in Montreal. As reported a couple of weeks ago, previous chef Francis Wolf left to work for Sherbrooke brewery Siboire.
MILE END — Excellent Malaysian chef Nantha Kumar hosts a one-off special dinner this weekend — with a $50 set menu partly centred around Kumar’s creation of “Kuokofellar oysters”, it happens at Centrale Culinaire on Casgrain on Sunday, December 2.
ST-HENRI — Spanish spot Cordova and tiki bar Le Mal Nécessaire join forces tonight (November 29) with Alex QB bringing some of the Chinatown bar’s tropical flavours to a pairing menu courtesy of Cordova, leaning into Caribbean tastes.
ST-HENRI — Taco fave Grumman ‘78 is beefing up operations with special Sunday lunches and excellent wine deals — so it’s now open from 11:30 a.m. every Sunday.
PLATEAU — Speaking of lunch, Papineau Avenue newcomer Pineau is now open for Thursday and Friday lunches, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Read more about the restaurant over here.
LATIN QUARTER — Cocktail contest Made With Love is back in Montreal December 10, with its regional final taking place at the SAT on St-Laurent. Expect an even more raucous environment than usual — it’s the competition’s tenth anniversary year.
- Watch the Chefs at Alinea Make an Edible Helium Balloon [E]
- Alinea, Chicago’s Only Three-Michelin-Starred Restaurant, Has a New Chef [ECHI]
- Fine Bistro Hopkins Opens in NDG Today [EMTL]
- Nantha’s Kitchen Pop-up Special Edition [Facebook]
- New Restaurant Pineau Brings Creative, Seasonal Fare to the Plateau [EMTL]