DOWNTOWN — All-you-can-eat Korean barbecue is soon to be a reality in downtown Montreal, with NDG Korean food mavens Mon Ami planning a new restaurant on Sainte-Catherine right by Concordia University. It will take over the location of former “gourmet bar” Kemestre near Guy Street. Mon Ami is the biggest player in Montreal’s Korean food world — having started out in NDG, it has quickly expanded out to ten locations (mostly in the last two years), including off-island options in Longueuil and Brossard. Most have been regular Mon Ami restaurants or the more casual “Mon Ami Express” version, serving fried chicken and a variety of Korean dishes from bibimbap to bulgogi and jigae stew, rather than dedicated barbecue spots.
OLD MONTREAL — Creative taco spot Escondite has expanded again, this time with a new location on St-Paul right near St-Laurent. It’ll offer the same menu of classic tacos (al pastor, tinga) and some new creations (like a Korean steak and cactus taco), plus plenty of tequila cocktails. This is the fourth Escondite, after the two downtown locations and one in Laval.
MILE END — Popular Plateau ice-creamery Ripples has opened its second location — classic French vanilla, soft-serve, sorbet, and more are now being served up on Jeanne-Mance Street, just a few steps north of St-Viateur.
LAVAL — After a decade in business, NDG seafood restaurant Lucille’s is stepping off-island for the first time, with a new location at Carrefour Laval. It opened last weekend, with a fairly casual menu featuring guédilles, fish and chips, surf and turf, and various non-maritime options such as a cheeseburger or ribs. Meanwhile, Lucille’s is still planning to open a bar named Lucy’s Dive Bar in St-Henri at some point this year.
DOWNTOWN — Cute ‘n’ green café Leaves has opened a second location on McGill College. It’s a bit bigger than the somewhat poky original on de la Montagne, but still features a similar bright white space with plenty of greenery. Both Leaves cafés have also slightly rebranded, naming themselves Leaves House.
MILE END — BYOB Greek resto Petros has made a move northward: it’s now open on Laurier Avenue in the former location of Fisun Ercan’s Turkish restaurant Barbounya. It’s doing a bunch of Greek classics, but given the neighbourhood — which already features longstanding Greek establishments like Milos and Mythos) — it may face stiff competition.
NDG — Cheap eats chain L’Gros Luxe continues to spread, with a location now open in NDG. It’s on Sherbrooke at Belgrave, in what used to be vegan restaurant Ashley’s.