Skip Barcelona and take a trip to Outremont: wine bar and bistro Alma opens on a leafy street in the neighbourhood as of today (Friday, May 11).
As previously reported, it comes from the duo of Lindsay Brennan, a sommelier and wine importer, and Juan de Dios Lopez Luna, who opened Mile End bakery-café Farine.
Expect plenty of private import natural wine from Catalonia — Brennan has spent extended time in the northeastern Spanish region putting together a wine repertoire. But it’s not strictly a wine spot: it will share centre-stage with a fairly coastal menu that leans into seafood and fresh pasta dishes. In the name of sustainability, it will entail fish from the Gaspésie rather than Catalonia. Expect mid-sized share plates, including patatas bravas with grilled octopus and spicy mayo, bourgots with brown butter and parsley, house-made spaghetti nero with clams, and tomato bread with white anchovies and black pepper.
On Sundays, Alma will also do a vermut, a casual Sunday afternoon tapas and cocktail session (common in Barcelona) at $30 for a selection of small plates.
It’s all in a cozy 35-seat space that used to be Thai bistro Galanga — when weather permits, a terrasse on the very tranquil Lajoie Avenue will almost double the capacity.
STATUS — Alma is open at 1231 Lajoie Wednesday to Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m.