There’s a big new venue in town from the Antonopoulos Group (Bevo, Modavie, Maggie Oakes, Perché, and many more), in conjunction with Kevin Demers (The Coldroom, El Pequeño), with La Terrazza now open in Old Montreal.
It takes over a plus-sized space on Place Jacques-Cartier that was formerly French bistro Le Fripon. La Terrazza is straddling the line between restaurant and bar, but Demers tells Eater that there’s one common thread throughout.
“We’re trying to bring the spirit of Italy to Place Jacques Cartier, and we’re calling it an Italian experience.”
On the beverage side, that means aperitivos: expect classic versions of the dryer pre-dinner drinks. Demers and general manager Simon Lespérance (with cocktail experience at hotspot Le Cloakroom) highlighting Negronis, white Negronis, and Americanos, while noting that the offerings will generally highlight vermouths, amaros, and grappas that have been underappreciated.
Demers has big plans for the cocktail program: an upstairs bar will run an “Italian bartending summer camp”, where notable bartenders from the city will drop by for one or two shifts to collaborate on new cocktail creations, with an eye to apéro-friendly concoctions (so don’t expect, say, tiki drinks).
Beyond cocktails, an all Italian wine list features, and beer takes a similar approach with just Peroni on offer.
The food side of the operation is headed up by chefs Terry Wilson and Giovanni Vella, and leans into lighter 5 à 7 friendly options: antipasti such as bruschetta and fried calamari, as well as cheese and charcuterie options. Roman-style pizza al taglio, salads, and a few panini and pasta dishes round out the menu, including “a mean cacio e pepe”, in Demers’ words.
The space itself is big, and divided up: there’s a large terrasse out front, and the ground floor is styled after Milanese cafés, with a bocce court in there, too. Upstairs is an opened-up garden space, evoking an Italian courtyard with stone walls and citrus trees.
Restaurants and bars centred around apéro-hour have had a moment of late — another aperitivo spot, Alfie’s, which opened up a few months back, as did the latest from Olive & Gourmando’s owners, Un Po’ di Più, open just a few blocks away as of recent days.
STATUS — La Terrazza is open at 436 Place Jacques-Cartier from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.