Alumni from the highly-lauded Bouillon Bilk and Cadet are bringing a new restaurant-café combo to Hochelaga-Maisonneuve this spring.
The spot comes from pastry chef Mélodie Perez-Mousseau, chef David Ollu, and sommelier Youri Bussières-Fournel, all of whom are striking out to open Hélico and Hélicoptère, a pair of brand new projects that will combine their collective skills. The stage is set for a large, three-fold space: On one side will be Hélico Café with coffee, desserts, and lunch served by day. On the other side, brunch services on Sundays and dinners with curated wines by night will be served to Hélicoptère’s 40 seats—and the wine’s something worth distinguishing, as every other surrounding restaurant is a BYOB. In between the café and restaurant is a 20-seater dining space to be shared by both businesses. The plans have been in the works for a year, but after having put enough elbow grease into the old space (once an old shoe repair shop), everything is set to be open just before the summer season starts.
These new projects aren’t to be misconstrued as extensions of Boullion Bilk or Cadet. “It’s a very different identity,” stresses Ollu. “We all grew with them and learned from them, but we wanted to do something different and start a new project.” However, there is some tribute being made to their roots. “I wanted to replicate the same energy that went into Bouillon Bilk,” Ollu explains. “I was there since it was a small place, (since) it grew into what it is now, and that’s what I wanted to replicate: To start from the ground up, to put my personality into it.”
That tribute extends to the name, which comes from the Quebecois term for the samara fruit, a winged seed which floats down from trees. “When we’re kids, we called them les hélicoptères. They fall from the maple tree—which connects to our Quebecois roots—and it represents our team leaving the ‘big tree’ of Boullion Bilk.”
The connection to the maple tree is no hint as to the menu, however. “With the way I cook... it’s more of a fusion (approach),” Ollu explains, noting that the menu is set to change as often as weekly. “When the season’s there and the products are in Quebec, I’ll use them, but if I need something else I’ll use it.”
With that said, there’s no precise plan for the menu yet beyond being divided into four snacks and fourteen items, all of which is meant to be shared. Hélicoptère’s dessert menu comes from Perez-Mousseau, who will also be covering what’s on sale in the daytime café. She notes that Café Hélico’s pastries will lean more towards savoury-sweet offerings alongside classic choices like scones and croissants.
Hélicoptère and Hélico are expected to take off in the late spring. For now, stay updated on how the space is taking shape on the restaurant’s Instagram account.