Open for a little more than a year, Monarque quickly charmed Montrealers with its French-inspired gourmet cuisine. Run by father-and-son team Richard and Jérémie Bastien, the immense space in the heart of Old Montréal seats 180, divided into two sections: the relaxed brasserie and the elegant dining room with a succulent four-course menu. Co-owner and executive chef Jérémie Bastien prepares delicacies that include irresistible calf sweetbreads, tuna tartar and charcoal-grilled duck for the restaurant side and fabulous bone marrow and grilled octopus for the brasserie side. The dessert cart (pavlova, Paris Brest, tarte Tatin) is also worth a try. You won’t be able to resist!
Restaurant Jérôme Ferrer – Europea
For several weeks, the famous Europea restaurant has been revived in a brand-new downtown complex. The new establishment’s philosophy is even more focused on discovery, creativity and emotion. Working with talented stage director René Richard Cyr, Jérôme Ferrer developed a menu that looks like the program for a stage production where gastronomy is the star. The two partners have even gone so far as to use virtual reality to enhance the multisensory experience. The new restaurant includes a luxury brasserie that offers dishes to share for lunch or dinner, taking inspiration from all over the world. This relaxed space features a daily afternoon tea as well as a cocktail bar at the end of the evening. On René-Lévesque Street, a door leads to the kitchen counter, where you can buy delicious lunch and meal boxes at any time of the day.
Henri Brasserie Française
This superb French brasserie opened at the same time as the five-star boutique hotel and luxurious spa of the same name on Sainte-Catherine Street, next to The Bay’s flagship store. The owner, Jean Salette, hired designer Zébulon Perron to create a relaxed chic ambiance in the purest tradition of the best French brasseries. Renowned restaurateur Imad Nabwani is the restaurant’s general manager, while the refined cuisine is the creation of executive chef Romain Abrivard (previously of M. Mme, Les 400 Coups and L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel). He prepares tempting dishes that highlight Canada’s best seasonal products from land and sea. In the dining room, at the bar or in the lounge, enjoy oysters paired with a glass of champagne, or savour a great wine or an exclusive cocktail. Henri seats 175, plus 40 more on the terrace once spring arrives.
Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: © Alison Slattery – © Laurence Labat – © Henri Brasserie Française