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Basque-Inspired Restaurant Pintxo Is About to Reopen Downtown, Bringing Bubbles and Tapas

The 14-year-old Spanish restaurant will be reborn in a new format by the Quartier des Spectacles.

Salmon tartare on a wooden board
Salmon tartare

Longtime Plateau Spanish restaurant Pintxo is about to get reborn — after it closed its doors on Mont-Royal Avenue last winter, it will now become a major fixture in the Le Central food hall, which is soon to open in the Quartier des Spectacles.

Owner Miguel Aguilar tells Eater that Pintxo will mix things up from its previous iteration — some crowd favourites from the restaurant’s 14 years in business will return, but new additions like lunch service will shake things up.

“We’re keeping our top 15 dishes,” says Aguilar. “Salmon tartare, foie gras, revuelto eggs with catfish, we’re bringing them along because we know people love them.”

Also on offer will be a range of ultra-classic Spanish tapas that Pintxo mostly didn’t carry before — think jamon serrano, chorizo, and garlic shrimp.

However, the food hall setting is a different environment to Pintxo’s previous iteration as a mostly sit-down restaurant — Le Central will be open day and night (although vendors have some control over their hours), so Aguilar says he’s hoping to have options that appeal to the numerous office workers in the area, 5 à 7 types, and after-show crowds from the SAT and Club Soda right across the street.

Lunch will feature a $15 to $20 fixed daily menu, as well as fully compostable lunch boxes for the eat-at-their-desk types. The restaurant will also offer a range of pintxos daily — snack-sized items skewered on a stick, a handy option for those looking to sample a range of restaurants in the large hall.

The new Pintxo will also continue to put effort into its alcohol offerings — private-import Spanish wines will be highlighted, with Aguilar having invested in an Enomatic wine preservation system, to allow for a wider range of by the glass options (including higher-end choices). Five cava options will also be on hand, and Pintxo’s brunch will return, with bottomless mimosas for $25. Pintxo will also be one of the first restaurants in Canada to serve Barcelona beer Estrella on tap (the brewery is beginning to export kegs to the country later this fall).

Pintxo will be a relatively large presence in Le Central — it will take up residence in a corner with large windows facing out to St-Laurent Boulevard, and will have its own seating for up to 30 people. (Le Central will seat around 500, with many of those seats open to customers from all 25 restaurants in the space.)

One thing that isn’t changing is the people behind Pintxo — chef Alonso Ortiz will continue to run the kitchen (he’s been with Pintxo since it opened in the 2000s), and Eric Tardif will return as maître d’.


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