“My goal is simple. I want to create the best brunch experience ever”.
I met Pierre-Luc Chevalier in the middle of renovations at his new, ridiculously anticipated, and probably the most talked about brunch restaurant in Montreal: Janine Café.
“We will have warm tea and blankets for people waiting in the line outside. We will make our own pastries twice a day, and our philosophy centers around fresh, house-made dishes made from seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.”
Janine is Pierre-Luc’s 2nd venture in the brunch space after the fabulously popular Cafe Regine.
Brunch sceptics have their place on earth, but here in Montreal, weekend’s breakfast-lunch, talk-compelling extravaganza is no laughing matter. Indulging in an creative meal full of fats, carbs and gossip is more or less of a local sport designed to sweep away the worries of the week and to reconnect with yourself and your fellow beings.
Perhaps you are not aware that Montreal’s high-end brunch scene has been experiencing quite a boom over the last few years. Since Cora Tsouflidou opened her first restaurant in Ville St-Laurent in 1987, the brunch landscape has been going through an elaborate gastronomic modernisation. A series of restaurants have been outperforming each other with a list of extravagant menu items that would make anyone drool, until the community has reached a fixture at the high end of the culinary map.
Lov started a vegan brunch in the middle of downtown and Gypsy Café Bar is serving a Balinese breakfast specialities on Rachel. The obscenely popular Plateau’s original, L’Avenue, expanded to the Notre-Dame strip in St-Henri and ex-Bouillon Bilk’s chef Mélodie Perez-Mousseau brought fusion small plates to Ontario street with Hélicoptère.
Le Passé Composé became famous for drawing some of the longest line-ups in the city even on weekdays and Montreal Gazette city columnist Basem Boshra started a video series, Let’s Do Brunch, in which famous Montrealers chat and eat at their favourite spots.
However one place has been standing out for being just hands-down dope: Cafe Regine.
And it is no coincidence. Pierre-Luc Chevalier knows how to create a plate of dreams and a must-hit destination. He has been opening and running masterfully crafted restaurants for over 20 years and for the last six, with Charles Deschamps, and Maxim Lepage, has been operating the fabulously popular Rosemont based destination.
Regine and Janine are inspired by an imaginary aunt who likes to spoil her guests with eclectic and feasting plates and a delightful slathering of her famously delicious jams. Since the cyclical economic downturns/contraction/recession that recurs roughly every 10 years, doesn’t seem to be happening, Montreal’s food scene is thriving. Chefs and managers are catering to a perpetually more sophisticated crowds and keep on taking brunch as seriously as a couple comparing Netflix series on a Sunday night.
I am no astrologer, but it seems pretty clear, that even before the doors open to the public (next Monday, November 26th), this new Verdun spot is set to become the most instagrammable weekend hashtag of 2019 and without a shadow of a doubt the most divine way to start your day.
3900 rue Wellington – Opening Monday November 26th