NDG — One of the owners of hit Monkland neighbourhood spot Prohibition is back in business less than a year after the seven-year-old mainstay shuttered. Stephanie Russell recently opened up salad bar Frisette, keeping with the Monkland Village crowd by taking over a former Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois location. The menu is fairly extensive, covering plenty of flavour profiles with everything from falafel to Caesar and southwest-style salads; it appears to be mostly vegetarian, but still with a mix of lighter options and more robust salads to satisfy the less health-focused (see items like chicken, egg, avocado). Oh, and the prices are a notch lower than, ahem, some other swanky salad places in town. A salad spot has been in the works for a long time for Russell — she initially had plans as early as summer 2016 for a salad bar named Sous Sol.
MILE END — One member of Chiac electro hip-hop band Radio Radio has got into the café business, opening Pastel Rita on St-Laurent between Bernard and St-Viateur. Per Le Journal de Montréal, Rita is going full Mile End, serving viennoiseries from nearby bakery Guillaume and some light meals from Soupesoup (headquartered just a few minutes away). Oh, and coffee (in third wave format), of course. Owners and partners Gabriel Malenfant and Véronique Orban are also planning to get into evening service with oysters, other seafood, and natural wines once they get the appropriate permits.
MILE END — The name might seem expensive but this new resto-bar on Laurier certainly isn’t: Veuve Chalet has opened in the former Wilfrid sur Laurier space. It’s promising a menu priced entirely at the very particular number of $6.49 (a similar concept to the Latin Quarter’s Cinko). That menu leans into snacky items like popcorn shrimp, Italian-style meatballs, a rabbit poutine, and onion soup; there’s also dollar oysters on Tuesdays. Cocktails are the focus on the alcohol side, and the space itself is rather tidy with a host of half-moon booths.
ST-LEONARD — Out east, St-Léonard has a sleek looking new neighbourhood bar by the name of Léo’s Taproom. It comes from two owners of the Plateau “sports bar but fancy” spot Fitzroy, along with design work from Amlyne Phillips (Kampai Garden, Jatoba). The bar has a hefty selection of microbrews and a trio of brews specially made for it, and comforting pub standards on the food menu. There are also billiards tables, arcade games, and babyfoot, and a rather classy space — a welcome addition to an area not known for great bars.
MILE END — St-Hubert Street taqueria Mr. Azteca has duplicated and opened a new location on Bernard Street in Mile End in the former Café Matina. Expect the same classics like al pastor, lengua, and chorizo tacos; no word yet as to whether the Wednesday dollar tacos of the original location are available here.
LITTLE ITALY — Long-time Dante Street pizzeria Napoletana now has a grocery counter open directly across the street from the original location. It’s selling wine and beer and a range of Italian goods, including ready to eat options including charcuterie and cheeses
LITTLE ITALY — Bread-centric Boulangerie Louise has opened up on the Main in Little Italy, and for every three items purchased, a fourth one is free. It’s a new venture but Louise already has a South Shore expansion in the works, for Boucherville. There’s also a neon sign that reads “CHAUD CHAUD CHAUD”, for those unsure how ovens operate.
PLATEAU — The Buonanotte restaurant group has added a cocktail bar to its line-up — Hydan is now open at 3612 St-Laurent, rather near the original Buonanotte supperclub on the Main, going for that popular “speakeasy” feel with dim lights and not so many windows.
VERDUN — And finally, Verdun has a new neighbourhood bistro in the form of Pigor. According to food blog Tastet, it’s going for the French brasserie approach but using Quebec produce — think beef tartares and tataki, and on the more creative site, a faux-risotto made with celery root in place of rice. There’s also ample cocktails.