A warm new brewpub arrives in downtown Montreal this week, as Bar Pamplemousse arrives on St-Laurent, bringing Quebec beers and wood-fired bites.
It comes from a trio with some hefty food and bar experience: Augustin Rizk of modern tiki spot Le Mal Nécessaire; Pelopieas Brisson-Tsavoussis, bringing experience from Joe Beef, Liverpool House, and as chef de partie at Michelin-starred Brussels restaurant Hof ter Eyken; and David Schmidt, who opened smooth basement bar Pelicano just weeks ago.
Pamplemousse seems to be split evenly between focusing on beer and food. On the beer side, Schmidt tells Eater that the ownership team spent days paying visits to craft brewers in Montreal and beyond, in order to carefully select how the bar will fill out its 20 taps.
One thing is for sure — there won’t be Molson. Prominent names like Dunham and Dieu du Ciel are locked in, and while Pamplemousse isn’t a microbrewery (that is, no brewing is happening at its Latin Quarter location), his team are getting into the fermenting business with a brewing co-op off-site.
Schmidt adds that Pamplemousse wants to showcase whatever it deems high-quality local offerings — for example, Lawrence owner Ethan Wills’ oat-based Ghost Farm Ale, or Mile End pub Bishop & Bagg’s special bitter. He also says to expect a “democratized” range of acidic and lighter beers, alongside some ciders, and an affordable wine list.
On the food side, Brisson-Tsavoussis is in charge — Pamplemousse’s menu will centre around its wood-fired oven, but it’s not going to be used for pizza-making purposes, says Schmidt.
“He wants to evoke a bit of nostalgia with this menu and bring back some of the Caribbean food from when he grew up: lighthearted fare with a French Caribbean flair.”
That means a creative menu with some tropical touches, in the form of guava glazes or jerk spices, as seen in a few of the tentative menu items:
- Jerk cauliflower, pineapple chutney, watercress
- Flatbread with whelks in white sauce, caviar, and braised celery hearts
- Roasted lettuce with guava glaze and tomme de brebis, brown butter croutons
- Lamb meatballs, charred tomatoes, sumac yogurt, and honey
Pamplemousse is also planning spent yeast from breweries to make its own bread.
The space itself has had a big turnaround from its past life — the owner of a wholesale smoke shop unexpectedly handed it over to Schmidt and team when they suggested that his business would work better online.
Designer Sarah Pelletier put the interior together, and while Pamplemousse might be a brewpub in name, it certainly won’t look have a classic pub feel.
“We’re completely avoiding the pub look with the dark woods,” Schmidt says.
That means a peachy colour scheme with some green touches — take a look at the initial photos.
STATUS — Pamplemousse is expected to open this weekend (May 26 or 27) at 1579 St-Laurent. Hours are to be determined, but it should be open late, and for lunches.