Montreal’s most prominent culinary school has a new project in the works: it’s opening a bar that will also showcase some of Quebec’s best cheeses.
The Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) will throw open the doors on Blanc Bec at the end of the month, inside the ITHQ’s Plateau building.
It’s the first major new initiative from the school in quite some time — the ITHQ restaurant, which serves as a training ground for students, has been in business forseveral decades now; the school has not otherwise opened any permanent projects to the public since then.
Blanc Bec isn’t just focusing on local cheese — as a bar, it’s going to sell strictly local beers, and will feature a wine list that is heavy on Canadian or Québécois options (the exact offerings have not yet been released). Cocktails will also incorporate local flavours.
Compared to the relatively formal ITHQ restaurant, the bar will be a more casual, relaxed space. It will also be partly run by the Institute’s students, particularly those studying service and wine — the aim is (in part) to instill an appreciation for local products and artisans among students.
In a slightly unusual set-up, Blanc Bec is being opened in tandem with the Producteurs de Lait du Québec (the Quebec milk producers association). This would explain the partial focus on cheese at Blanc Bec — while the bar’s food offerings won’t stick just to cheese, various small plates will tend to feature cheese (presumably, there will also be cheese plates).
Expect it to open up on March 31.