Event though Montreal hosts over 100 festivals annually, the official “Festival Season” is happening right about now. Now that the Grand Prix is over and Mural Festival is in full swing, we are looking forward to Osheaga, the Montreal Jazz Festival, Just For Laughs, MUTEK and Nuits d’Afrique. While the majority of Montreal festivals are taking place at the now very-happening Place des Festivals, the question remains – Where to eat around “Le Quartier des Spectacles” this summer?
Known as the sister restaurant of Toqué! by Chef Normand Laprise, the concept of Brasserie T! Is to offer accessible food using only seasonally fresh products, homemade charcuteries, tartars, seafood platters and other delicacies found in a typical brasserie. With its bright interior and sleek design along with their large terrace offering enticing views of the dancing fountains, this is by far the quintessential restaurant of Le Quartier des Spectacles.
Where: 1425 Jeanne-Mance
Located literally next door to Brasserie T! is the Ferreira group’s Taverne F, the perfect place to gather in a relaxed atmosphere and discover petiscos, Portuguese tapas prepared with a modern twist. The menu is broken down into starters such as grilled octopus, sardines followed by a section of traditional petiscos including roasted fresh cod and a churrasco, a special recipe of Portuguese-style chicken. Another top feature is that guests can sit on their terrace to watch the water dance in the fountains, or take in a show on the main stage.
Where: 1485 Jeanne-Mance
Blumenthal is the latest restaurant to open in Le Quartier des Spectacles. Located on the ground floor of La Maison du Festival, Blumenthal is a bistro/brasserie by Chef Rémi Brunelle (formerly of Leméac) that offers a modern design created by the Gauley Brothers (Foiegwa, Atwater Cocktail Club & Bird Bar). The establishment also has the largest terrace in the district; it can accommodate over 100 guests. Food-wise, you’ll find such items as a kale-inspired Caesar salad, a smoked meat style duck poutine, pan-seared trout, miso infused steak-frites, a vegetarian or beef burger and many more classic French-fare items. Another interesting reason to give this place a try is that it is a non-profit concept where any surplus will be used to finance free events such as Montreal’s Jazz Festival.
Where: 305 Saint-Catherine St W
Bouillon Bilk, one of the best restaurants not only in Montreal but also in Canada, is located a few steps from Le Quartier des Spectacles. Led by Chef Francois Nadon, this restaurant stands apart from the rest in the neighbourhood by offering novel and refined dishes such as veal and sea urchin or scallops accompanied by cauliflower, shiitake, pears and much more, along with a short but carefully selected wine list.
Where: 1595 St Laurent Blvd
The talented team from Bouillon Bilk opened this wine bar near their original location. In a simple yet sophisticated decor, this concept is based on a seasonal menu focused with the idea of sharing plates. Ideal for a quick bite or drink, the menu features interesting options ranging from Broccoli with späetzle, labneh, pistachio to a delicious lobster with chipotle, celery, cumin, pineapple or a fried ravioli accompanied with smoked pork, cabbage and dill.
Where: 1431 St Laurent Blvd
This casual café style restaurant with outdoor seating has a menu, which mainly features innovative salads and pizzas. It changes on a weekly basis, but here’s a glimpse of some of their creative and modern dishes: fried cauliflower salad with asparagus, radish, romaine lettuce, capers, parmesan and roasted garlic. You can also enjoy a Matane shrimp pizza with alfredo sauce, arugula, mozzarella, parmesan and fried onion breadcrumbs. A cool feature is that this restaurant is connected to hot spot next door: Furco, a buzzy wine and cocktail bar, ideal to start or end the evening.
Where: 433 Mayor
If you’re looking for a quick on-the-go bite, a great option is about to open later this summer with the Phillips Square location of Mandy’s. Yes, you read write, the infamous Mandy’s from the Wolfe sisters will be opening a counter/take-out version of their wildly popular salad bar. Expect to see some of their classic items and hopefully the Endless Summer gourmet salad on the menu.
Where: 1241 Phillips Square
If you’re looking for a modern Japanese menu created by Chefs Antonio Park and Olivier Vigneault, look no further than the posh Jatoba. This modern eatery offers innovative cocktails such as the Dragon Breath Old Fashioned with Hennesy VS, fresh kumquats caramelized with palm sugar and bitters to start the experience while the menu offers a wide range from dumplings, rice, soups, salads, vegetables, fish, seafood and meats, enough to cater to all. Stand-out dishes include their signature black cod with celeriac purée and seasonal vegetables, a Hidu Gyu Wagyu tartare and a Sautéed ginger lobster to name a few. However, the gem of this restaurant is their beautiful interior garden terrace.
Where: 1184 Place Phillips
This trendy and popular Mexican restaurant is quite eclectic. With it’s bar atmosphere, this is a great option to come amongst friends for a delicious good time. The menu offers classic Mexican fare with a modern flare featuring mango salad, chipotle and maple chicken wings tapas, several meat and vegetarian tacos, shrimp and beets ceviches and their signature Papi Chulo’s pork ribs that are divine. To top it off, they also have a small outdoor terrace, which is perfect for those late-night summer evenings.
Where: 1206 Union Ave