Located in the heart of Griffintown, Le Richmond has become an essential gastronomic destination for anyone who loves reinvented refined Italian cuisine. Its two visionary owners, Paul Soucie and Luc Laroche, are in the process of adding a unique deluxe grocery store.
As soon as we cross the threshold, Le Richmond welcomes us into a sumptuous theatrical décor that uses period materials in contemporary ways and hints at the extraordinary experienceto come. On top of its exquisite food, the restaurant provides every visitor with the type of experience only available in chic boutique hotels. Unmatched customer service, urbane ambiance, Louis XV chairs and U-shaped central bar: the owners have designed even the smallest details to transform a simple meal into a magical moment.
Paul Soucie and Luc Laroche have been friends since they were four years old. After being co-owners of the legendary Misto restaurant on Mont-Royal Avenue, they melded their respective talents in 2013 to found Le Richmond. Paul, the executive chef, has over 25 years of experience in the restaurant business. He oversees the menu and management of the kitchens, and Luc, the CFO and marketing manager, looks after designing the space and developing the Groupe Richmond’s brand.
“Le Richmond’s menu is inspired by northern Italian cuisine. We focus on fresh ingredients and local seasonal products. We also privately import specialty products from small producers in Italy,” Paul Soucie explained. “Seafood, filet mignon with foie gras and black truffles, and prime rib aged for forty days are some of our specialties, along with dishes designed for sharing,” he added. The desserts, concocted by our pastry chef, are worth stopping in for: classics reinvented with the addition of unexpected ingredients like fennel and squash. “The Maple Brunches we serve on Sundays in March are also very popular,” the co-owner said in conclusion.
A true SME serving major projects
A former industrial space above the restaurant houses the corporate offices of a veritable business. Le Richmond presently has a team of fifteen employees who organize prestigious events every year, including the most sought-after glamour evening of Grand Prix weekend, sponsored by Luxury Retreats.
Last year the luxury travel agent, which is associated with top-of-the-line champagne brand Dom Pérignon, had an Amazon on a magnificent white horse to bid its select guest list welcome. Inside the restaurant, an immense ice sculpture holding a mountain of seafood reigned over the middle of the room, while waitresses dressed for the occasion by a renowned stylist bustled around serving guests.
“To improve access to the restaurant, we set up a 200-vehicle parking lot just for the occasion,” recalls Luc Laroche, to show the lengths to which his team’s energy will take them. This year’s soirée, given how enthusiastic the organizers are, should have everybody talking.
Italian market opening soon
Their innate sense of innovation and branding has led Le Richmond’s owners to add a high-end grocery store. The 6,000-square foot market beside the restaurant is scheduled to open in late May and will offer fine produce, cheese, deli meats and take-out meals. “Clients will be able to savour antipasti and sip a glass of wine in the bistro, buy groceries or purchase ready-to-serve meals.” A drive-through will allow them to buy take-out meals without getting out of their vehicles.
Businesses will not be forgotten, a phase 3 is on its way: the Le Richmond version of a catering company, complementing the other corporate services already available at the restaurant. For cocktail parties or other events, Le Richmond already hosts groups in its magnificent mezzanine for a select apéritif followed by a three- or four-course meal.
It looks like it’s going to be a good spring for the company, which will have over one hundred employees once the market opens. Considering its owners’ talents, this new project is sure to be a success!
377, rue Richmond
Text: Diane Stehle