Less than 18 months after opening, Old Montreal vegan-vegetarian hub Lov has expanded again — this time, it’s beefing up the meagre vegetarian options up north, in Laval.
Lov got its start on McGill Street in December 2016, and rapidly expanded, with a much bigger location opening downtown on de la Montagne in summer 2017. The concept was devised by Dominic Bujold, who has created a number of other successful chainlets around Montreal, most notably Neapolitan-style pizzeria No 900, and burrito store M4.
Its success suggests that it has filled a gap in Montreal’s vegan eating scene. With a slightly upscale approach, it goes a step up from some of the much more casual spots out there like Aux Vivres, with creative cocktails and natural wines. The food menu, overseen by ex-Crudessence chef Stéphanie Audet, can swing both ways — it covers both familiar but creative ground with items like a vegan Caesar salad, occupying a sweet spot that’s neat and tidy without getting too ostentatious. There are enough health-nut items to satisfy those herbivores who want a strictly quinoa-adjacent diet, yet also carbs, in the form of poutine and pasta.
And reviews have been generally warm (although not flawless) — Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman deemed the veggie burger top notch, no small feat for a much-maligned, often screwed-up vegetarian menu item.
Evidently, it’s been successful enough that nothing needs a shake-up: the Laval location, as part of the Centropolis mall complex, is sticking to the same menus (with brunch available too). The design from Jacinthe Piotte sticks to similar motifs, with an airy space, lots of green and white, plenty of plants, and a few hanging chairs — pretty, and the type of photo-friendly stuff that should satisfy the Instagram crowd.
STATUS — Lov is open at 140 Promenade du Centropolis from 11:30 a.m. weekdays until 10 p.m. (Monday to Wednesday) and 11 p.m. (Thursday, Friday), and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends.