LAVAL — The giant downtown restaurant part-owned by the Montreal Canadiens, 1909 Taverne Moderne, has opened up in Laval. Unsurprisingly, it’s very similar to the first one — with a slight industrial vibe, it’s aiming for the “upscale sports bar” category, and the menu runs the gamut from charcuterie and cheese plates through to poutine and nachos. Even the physical location is similar — the original is next to the Bell Centre, while the Laval one is next to Place Bell, the home arena for American Hockey League team Laval Rocket. The original location — which was billed as Canada’s largest restaurant when it opened in October — has had a mixed reaction. Critics that visited found some things to like, yet stopped short of fully positive reviews. And most notoriously, it was at the centre of a controversy where three servers who were fired at the same time alleged that their dismissals were racially motivated. Cara, the corporate giant tasked with running the restaurant, brought in an independent firm to investigate — there’s no word yet on how that was resolved.
ROSEMONT — If mega sports bars aren’t appealing, perhaps this new arrival is: 45-seat bistro Crème Fraîche is now open at Rosemont and de la Roche, in the space that was formerly oyster bar North End. Chef-owner Joaquim Henni comes from Old Montreal’s Auberge St-Gabriel, and has experience under Michelin-starred French chef Jacques Chibois. An ever-shifting menu has classical touches that lean Mediterranean from bouillabaisse to a Basque-style chicken dish. In one of the restaurant’s opening announcements, the trio behind it cited Plateau haunt Le Chien Fumant as an inspiration for the kind of neighbourhood restaurant they’d like to be — and the hearty, no-nonsense menus suggest that this is something pretty achievable for them. Take a look inside.
PLATEAU — “Salads, but based on your personality” restaurant Hillary Salad is now open on St-Denis near Roy, doing a variety of lunch-friendly bowls in a casual comptoir setting (it’s also very pink-tinged). They even have an online portal that can tell you which salad matches your personality, if that’s the sort of thing that takes your fancy.
- 1909 Taverne Moderne Laval [Official]
- Crème Fraîche [Facebook]
- Hillary Salad [Official]
- The Montreal Canadiens Open Canada’s New Largest Restaurant Today [EMTL]
- 3 Servers Accuse Habs’ Restaurant of Racism over Firings [EMTL]
- This Upcoming Comptoir Will Do Salads Based On Your Personality [EMTL]