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Gourmet Italian Giant Eataly Is Contemplating a Montreal Location

Plus, a petition for the city to tackle food waste, and more food news to know.

A table of bread sits beneath an Eataly sign in New York City.
Eataly in New York
Nick Solares/Eater NY

TORONTO — According to the Financial Post, Montreal could be next in line for an outpost of food hall and gourmet Italian grocery store Eataly, with the company’s executive president Andrea Guerra highlighting Montreal and Vancouver as probable sites for the business’ first expansions within Canada (there’s also the possibility of opening multiple Eataly locations in Toronto). The first Canadian Eataly opens in the Toronto neighbourhood of Yorkville this fall. There’s nothing definitive at this stage — an Eataly representative re-confirmed interest in further Canadian expansions to Eater, but would not comment on the prospects of a Montreal location. Either way, they’re still saying the words “expansion” out loud, which is something. Eataly was founded in Italy in 2004 and has locations in 14 countries; in North America, it rose to prominence under the ownership of restaurateurs Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and Joe Bastianich (the now-disgraced Batali has since been bought out of his stake in the business.) Eataly Canada will have no affiliation with those owners, who will stick strictly to the U.S. arm of the business.

Gazpacho with Nordic shrimp.
Gazpacho with Nordic shrimp

ALL OVER CANADA — Air Canada inflight magazine enRoute has announced its long list of candidates for its annual Best New Restaurants rankings (last year, Montreal spots Mon Lapin and Elena nabbed second and third place, respectively). Seven Montreal restaurants make the cut (on a list of 35) — Alma, Beau Mont, Le Petit Mousso, McKiernan Luncheonette, Moccione, Monarque, and Pastel. The top ten will be announced in October.

ONLINE — Do you hate food waste? If so, you may be interested in this citizens’ petition asking for the City of Montreal to hold public consultations on the issue. It’s estimated that around 30 percent of food goes to waste in Canada, and chefs including Antonin Mousseau-Rivard (Le Mousso), Normand Laprise (Toqué), and Patrice Demers (Patrice Patissier) have signed on.

DOWNTOWN — TVA reports that the owner of now-closed Bishop Street grilled cheese shop Craft Grill Cheese is attempting to sue the city of Montreal over construction issues in the area — sort of. Owner Olivier Laflamme says he called the city’s 311 service before opening his business to enquire about possible future construction in the area. He says that he was told that no construction was planned, only for much of the street to be blocked off so that the STM could work on a ventilation system for the metro beneath it. He’s hoping to recoup his $165,000 investment with the lawsuit.

OLD MONTREAL — A new festival focusing on Quebec-made spirits, Tribute, will have its inaugural edition September 6 and 7 (Friday and Saturday) at the Palais des Congrès. It’ll cost $12 per person, which is just for admission, and you’ll have to purchase tasting coupons once inside. The first day (Friday) is for industry types only, with the Saturday open to all.

A wood-fired pizza from Fiorellino. Patricia Brochu/Fiorellino

MILE END — Big Italian restaurant Fiorellino has added lunch and late night specials, and brunch service to its location on Laurier Avenue — a table d’hôte lunch will cost you $21 on weekdays, and if you dine after 9 p.m. any day, you get a choice of antipasto and a main dish for $26 (the late-night deal is also available at the Gauchetière location, downtown). Brunch will run Saturdays and Sunday and include Italian-influenced items like a burrata burger.

LAVAL — Also getting into the late night dining deals game is chic wine bar Oregon. After 930 p.m. Friday and Saturday, you can get two dishes for $25, including eggplant-lamb bacon-goat cheese agnolotti, seal with watercress pesto and sumac, hanger steak, cod accras, and more.