St-Henri has a new day-and-night restaurant for brunch, lunch, dinner, and natural wine, with all-vegan food from a Montreal chef with some solid experience.
H123 just opened its doors on Notre-Dame, in the former site of Rose-de-Lima Cafe. It’s a spin-off of casual NDG vegan restaurant Hello 123, which opened in June (the same people also own Kupfert & Kim, a fast casual spot in Old Montreal). The space has been made over into a bright, woody dining room with soft tones and some lashings of plantlife.
While Hello 123 is a sort-of import from Toronto (it originated from that city, but only had one location there by the time it arrived in Montreal), H123 is a new creation, and hasn’t been tested out in the shadow of the CN Tower.
The aim is to get a little fancier than the very neighbourhoody Hello 123, co-owner Mark Kupfert tells Eater.
“We decided to pivot into more of a natural wine bar, an elevated love letter to vegetables...it’s essentially a natural wine bar with sharing plates.”
Kupfert’s team has brought in chef Gabriel Aubé as head of operations and to run the kitchen — Aubé comes with experience at Hochelaga’s Hélicoptère, as well as Bouillon Bilk and Au Pied de Cochon. While the whole menu will be vegan, don’t expect mountains of fake meat, says Kupfert.
“We’re not trying to take vegetables and turn them into meat.”
The evening menu draws just a couple of dishes from Hello 123, and otherwise consists of new creations from Aubé — grilled artichokes, roasted kohlrabi, and carrots with passionfruit and pesto are all on the menu. Among larger dishes, expect a wild mushroom risotto and ratatouille.
It’ll be open during daylight hours too, and lunch and brunch service will follow a similar menu to Hello 123, with options like a vegan eggs Benedict, smoothie bowls, and a loaded sweet potato.
H123 is as much wine bar as it is restaurant, and former Rouge Gorge sommelier Vincent Vaillancourt-Seguin, together with Aubé, picked out a list of around 60 natural or low-intervention wines, with a good number of by the glass options; Kupfert notes that the list was also compiled with an eye to having affordable options.
Beyond wine, expect St-Ambroise beers on tap, as well as a few other Quebec craft brews (and an on-tap kombucha), a selection of fresh and botanical cocktails is on the menu, too.
STATUS — H123 is open at 3580 Notre-Dame W from 11 a.m. to late Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to late Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Monday and Tuesday openings are coming soon.