OLD MONTREAL — Some big changes were afoot in the last month for Old Montreal restaurateur Thomas Vernis. Beyond opening aperitivo bar Alfie’s, he shut down his St-Paul Street Italian restaurant Dolcetto Et Co, turning it into a second location for his popular Notre-Dame Street coffee shop Tommy Café. The often jam-packed original Tommy Café (with a prime location next to the Notre-Dame Basilica) is arguably Vernis’ most successful venture, so the substantially larger St-Paul edition of it will allow the café to spread its wings a bit more. That means a bigger menu with more sit-down breakfast, brunch, and lunch options: omelettes, sandwiches, a “French toast waffle” dish, and hearty “bageldictine” are all on offer at some fairly affordable prices, particularly for the neighbourhood.
OLD MONTREAL — Tasting menu-only restaurant Chef’s Table has landed in the heart of the neighbourhood at Place d’Youville. The co-owners come from McGill Street’s Le Speakeasy (they’re also involved with ice creamery Freeze Brothers) — chef Marie-Anne Bédard also comes from that restaurant. She’s heading up the kitchen with a menu that has eyes firmly fixed on local produce — see deer tataki with a camerise berry compote, or coffee-beer lacquered beef with cauliflower couscous and marinated beets, pictured below. The six-course menu is going for a very reasonable $68.
PLATEAU — Taking a similar approach to prioritizing Quebec products is St-Denis Street newcomer Mon Marché Gourmet (or MMG), open since early April in the former Tasso Mezze location. Chef Nicolas Pelletier is a “Montrealer but Magdalen Islander at heart”, so fittingly, the menu specializes partially in seal meat, a Magdalen Island specialty, but there’s no shortage of generally earthy Québécois flavours for those who aren’t inclined towards that particular form of seafood. As the name implies, there’s also a boutique on site with a range of products that MMG says are exclusive to its store — for example, Fernando Pensato brand olive oil, imported from Italy.
MILE END — Laurier Avenue is now home to pan-Southeast Asian restaurant Mayhem, which takes over the former La Petite Tonkinoise space. That means dishes like satay chicken, lemongrass beef, and a fusiony tartare option.
PLATEAU — In case you missed it, go-to Duluth Avenue Venezuelan spot Arepera (known for its titular arepas, corn patties with various meat and bean fillings) moved into bigger digs just a few blocks south on the Prince Arthur pedestrian street.
- Chef’s Table [Official]
- Tommy Café [Official]
- Mayhem Saveurs Asiatiques [Facebook]
- Four-Time Restaurateur Thomas Vernis on Why He Does Business in Old Montreal [EMTL]