The Joe Beef group has a tiny new dining room committed to seafood, with Vinette now open in Little Burgundy.
Billed as “a space within a space”, the 25-seater is tucked behind existing restaurant Liverpool House, and while the two are connected, it’s serving its own menu of oceanic fare under chef Gabriel Drapeau.
Among the options on offer for Vinette’s opening are east and west coast oysters and crab meat toast; co-owner Dave McMillan also said he’s hoping to revive some classics that aren’t so common anymore, like clam blanquette (a classic French white stew), and plenty of smoked fish.
It’s mostly in small plate format, with most options sitting under the $20 mark; some (like lobster or a sizable smoked fish “buffet”) come in at higher prices.
As with its neighbouring sibling restaurants, Vinette will also have a solid selection of natural wines and craft beers.
The space itself fits with the slightly rustic style that unites the Joe Beef group — white tiles with painted wooden chairs and stools, and there’s a partially blue colour scheme to add a clear splash of maritime energy.
Given its small size, Vinette may also lend itself to private group bookings or special events; McMillan has also raised the possibility of opening it on Sunday and Monday nights for special, possibly vegan table d’hôte menus (although for now it’ll just be open Tuesday to Saturday).
Vinette is the fifth restaurant for McMillan, Fred Morin, and Allison Cunningham, who head up the Joe Beef group — it joins Joe Beef, Liverpool House, and Vin Papillon on the same block of Notre-Dame Street, as well as the more casual McKiernan, in the Sud-Ouest. (Little Italy restaurant Vin Mon Lapin used to be part of the group, but was taken over by former Joe Beef sommelier Vanya Filipovic and chef Marc-Olivier Frappier.)
STATUS — Vinette is open at 2501 Notre-Dame West (behind Liverpool House).