Montréal: Hip addresses
If you’re planning a quick jaunt to Montréal, take note of some of the city’s hippest addresses in the Griffintown neighbourhood. Restaurants, cafés, bistros, art galleries, shopping -- our musts during a business trip to the metropolis.
by : Myriam Gagnon- Oct 24th, 2011
WHERE TO EAT: ARTY
Adjacent to the Darling Foundry, this concept cafeteria combines an industrial esthetic with simple cuisine. At the dining tables, local office workers enjoy the meal of the day, a dinner salad or a sandwich. In the afternoon, local artists take over. Change of scene guaranteed, fresh produce a bonus. Try it! (257 Prince Street, 514 866-1213, cluny.info)
WHERE TO EAT: RELAXING
Two friends and grill masters got together to open this hybrid smokehouse, one that brings to mind both a Texas ranch and a fifties diner: that’s how Etienne Lacaille and Jonathan Nguyen’s success story began. This is the place for ribs, half-chicken, guedille of pulled pork (succulent), and the five napkin burger overflowing with meat and grilled vegetables. The Cajun-Quebec sauce explodes with flavor; even the coleslaw has pep. Nice terrace in back. (1886 rue Notre-Dame West, 514 439-4555, leboucan.com)
There’s a comforting feeling as soon as you step into this neo-hippie bistro, with its brick walls, worn wooden floor, high lancet windows and mismatched furniture, not to mention friendly staff. As for the cuisine, the chalkboard menu includes a dozen Tex-Mex/Louisiana fusion dishes. Special mention goes to the juicy beef, lamb and duck hamburgers with absolutely delicious fries. (1378 rue Notre-Dame West, 514 931-5299, griffintowncafe.com)
Brasseur de Montréal
The owners had the good idea to add a restaurant-bar to their microbrewery. Shepherd’s pie, pork knuckles and other hearty dishes harmonize well with the brewers’ beers. Of these, experts recommend the Griffintown Montréalaise, a pure blonde brewed with Bohemian hops, or the Ô Fruit, a white beer flavored with raspberry or cherry. The layout is rough and ready — you can see the brewing vats through a picture window. (1485 Ottawa Street, 514 788-4505, brasseursdemontreal.ca)
More places you must check out in Montréal, on the next page…
Le Locale Restaurant
WHERE TO EAT: TRENDY
The restaurant that propelled chef and owner Louis-François Marcotte to superstar status is always full. The impressive wine cellar by the entrance is the domain of Elyse Lambert, who won Best Sommelier of the Americas 2009. Under the high ceilings with exposed girders, the décor, designed by architectural firm Lemay Michaud, cleverly combines old and new: a heritage building with contemporary stylings. For a cozier atmosphere, head to the new dining room in the "house section." (740 William Street, 514 397-7737 resto-lelocal.com)
L.F. Marcotte’s latest endeavor is situated on the ground floor of an old warehouse in the grunge section of Griffintown. Even with all the brick, wood and polished concrete, the space is warm. Good music, soft lighting, Mediterranean-inspired dishes (including an excellent seafood bouillabaisse), a dreamy wine list and attentive service equals a winning formula. Before leaving, be sure to visit the Simpléchic grocery store to stock up on meals to go. (1011 Wellington Street, 514 878-2112, resto-lehangar.com)
WHERE TO SEE: AN EXHIBIT
Situated in a 19th-century foundry, this unusual gallery presents the best visual arts of an "exploratory nature." The exhibitions are always well worth a visit. Wandering inside the building itself, renovated by the architects of Atelier in situ, is also quite the experience. Note: during exhibition previews, artists in residence at the foundry open their studio doors. (745 Ottawa Street, fonderiedarling.org)
New City Gas
Once upon a time, workers here turned coal into natural gas to supply electricity to Montreal. Now, the complex houses a dozen artists’ studios. Ceramists, photographers, painters and videographers organize indie events from time to time. (141 Ann Street, corridorculturel.co)
Nestled between New City Gas and the CN viaduct, Dalhousie is an outdoor space that welcomes all forms of artistic expression, from sculptures to concerts to interactive theatrical works to spoken word performances. (Corridorculturel.co)
WHERE TO SHOP: DECOR
This is the address interior designers head to when they can’t find what they’re looking for anywhere else. The store, laid out like an apartment, offers furniture, fixtures and objects with a "sixties vibe, a bit kitsch but always chic" for which the owner, Benoit Lacas, has a weakness. The star feature: the works of New York ceramist and decorator Jonathan Adler. (248 rue de la Montagne, 514 678-6617, ludovik.ca)
We go for the sublime Farrow & Ball paints, bed linens, rugs or Calvin Klein Home accessories. We leave with a beautiful lacquered box, a Chinese-style clay horse or even a Celadon Basics sofa in ultrasuede for $2,300! (186 Peel Street, 514 932-3306, celadoncollection.com)
We’re indebted to interior designer Christian Bélanger for this merry bazaar, where Philippe Starck baccarat glasses, Saint-Gregoire Adirondack-style garden chairs, high-tech Italian lighting and Isle-aux-Coudres braided rugs all coexist. Not to mention local creations, notably those of Marie Saint Pierre (bed linen, cushions) and eco brand A Hauteur D’Homme. Despite the somewhat discreet entryway, don’t hesitate to go on in. You’ll receive a friendly welcome. (696 William Street, Room 101, lesarchives.ca)
WHERE TO SHOP: CLOTHING
E.R.A. Vintage Wear
In the category of girly chic, you can’t do any better than this vintage clothing shop run by Elaine Léveillée. Its niche: evening dresses with impeccable finishing touches, mirroring the runway trends. No wonder the place is frequented by people from Marc Jacobs and Lanvin Paris, Toronto stylists and celebrities visiting Montreal, including Charlotte Gainsbourg. (1800 rue Notre-Dame West, 514 543-8750)
The main Salvation Army store is located in Griffintown. So it’s here that we find the largest selection and the best collection of clothing, sorted by color. Open until 9 pm on weekdays. (1620 rue Notre-Dame West, 514 935-7427)
WHERE TO HEAR: MUSIC
One the last Friday of every month, the place turns into a modern jazz club, with a real intimate feel. Bands of all styles hit the stage: gypsy, swing, fusion, standard, Cuban, etc. Seeing travelling oldtimers or talented newcomers up close is a unique experience. Owner Madeleine Murphy’s smiling presence is also a pleasure. She guides the uninitiated, offers them some juice, explains the evening’s lineup and presents the musicians. A must! (64 Prince Street, lespace64.com)
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