The stunning historic building that used to house Old Montreal wine bar Accords will soon become a chic Italian restaurant.
The restaurant, named 212, will open on Notre-Dame West later this winter, from a pair of principals with nightlife and bar experience. Co-owner Brooke Walsh owns club École Privée, and Trevor Coulton brings experience with A5 Hospitality (Kampai Garden, Apt 200) and Griffintown’s Lord William Pub.
But the duo won’t be bringing the bar or club approach to the restaurant — Walsh tells Eater that they want to “step into the food world”.
“This project is something a bit more mature, and we wanted to do our own thing and plant our own flag.”
To that end, they’ve brought in an Ottawa-based chef, Pat Marion, to run the kitchen.
Marion brings quite the pedigree to the project — he worked with chef Jesse McLeary of reputable Galliano Island, B.C. farm-to-table restaurant Pilgrimme, on modern Nordic cuisine. He also helped open prominent Ottawa restaurant Fauna, and worked on its sibling restaurant Bar Laurel; Marion has also staged at famed Danish restaurant Noma.
Despite the fine dining experience, Marion says he wants to make the former Accords location into something accessible.
“I don’t want to alienate people, I don’t want it to be an occasional place where you go to celebrate I want people to come back often.”
Specifically, it’s going to be “Canadian driven but with Italian influence” — the menu is still in progress, but should contain numerous snack-friendly small plates, some pastas, and a few larger options.
But don’t expect Italian classics — Marion says he wants to create some new dishes that firmly centre local products, such as prosciutto from Les Cochons Tout Ronds, or cold-pressed camelina oil from just outside the city. It’ll be seasonal too — so in winter or spring, the only tomatoes that might feature will be canned or preserved, and Marion may otherwise use the pasta as a blank template for new creations.
The space itself will also be a draw — between the “enormous” kitchen and historic building, Walsh says the owners “lucked out”.
They’re working with the Gauley Brothers for design, as well as Montreal photographer Scott Pilgrim and art director Yimmy Yayo (known for his work as Alicia Keys’ creative director) — they’ll work with the slightly cellar-like, partially underground room, adding a giant lighting feature that will mimic natural light, while still keeping the building’s heritage character.
Expect it to open in late winter or early spring — likely in March.
- Accords Wine Bar Closes [EMTL]