Out with the old, and in with the new; news last week revealed that the neighbourhood bistro Les Cons Servant was closed, leaving the address up for grabs. This week, however, reveals that owners of the Saint-Henri restaurant Chez Lavigne—Catherine Tremblay and Eric Bernard—will be taking over the space with an concept that plucks from their first venture. The name? Pineau.
Montrealers may remember Chez Lavigne from when it first opened in March 2016, a wine bar which placed heavy focus on its selection of “living wines” (the name of the establishment alone being a punny take on ‘the vine’), as well as having a French-Asian fusion menu from chef Sarak Tiann (Chez Lavigne, Shinji, Moishes, Mount Stephen Club). When it comes to Pineau’s offerings, it won’t be too far removed when compared to Lavigne, as the restaurant will also share a strong association with wine. After all, “Pineau is a grape variety,” Bernard tells Eater. “The name is (also) a nod to its location on Papineau Street.”
The menu at Lavigne will be left in the hands of Naoki Ukita, who has been cooking there for nearly two years and is in place to develop new options. Meanwhile, Tiann will be helming the new kitchen at Pineau. “Pineau will offer a more classic restaurant formula,” Bernard explains, with a structured selection of entrées, mains, and desserts. From the initial sound of it, it’ll be a few shades different from the smaller, à la carte selections of the first restaurant in favour of longer, sit-down experiences. Precise details are scant at this juncture, but what can be said is that it will based around “a cuisine with French techniques, inspired by the multi-ethnic side of Montreal.” It’s all currently under development.
Joining Tiann at Pineau will be sommelier William Saulnier (Parasol, Hoogan & Beaufort, 400 Coups) who will take charge of the wine lists and service in the dining room. Joining Saulnier will be Julie Bélanger-Cateysson (Ludger, Magdalena, East Side Company Bar NYC), who will be found at the helm of the cocktail menu’s creation.
As of now, diners in the Plateau don’t have too long to wait until the restaurant opens: Plans to open Pineau’s doors are set for September this year.