January 20, 2012 - If you thought that art in Montréal was limited to the gallery walls and museum spaces, then you would be sorely mistaken. Culinary arts have pervaded the visual art spaces, offering a feast for the eyes as well as for the taste buds!
Take the Bistro Le Contemporain (in the Musée d’art contemporain, of course) for example. Open since 2009, it is the newest museum restaurant on the Montréal artsy-foodie scene, welcoming art patrons and opera aficionados alike, with lunch and (performance) evening menus as well as a special $20 menu on Friday Nocturnes evenings. This decidedly modern, white open space offers a simple, yet charismatic setting to enjoy the inventive, market-fresh cuisine of Chef Antonin Mousseau, at the helm since January 2011. The grandson of none other than Jean –Paul Mousseau (celebrated Quebec artist and signatory of the famous Refus global manifesto in 1948), Chef Mousseau draws upon the Automatist palette of Borduas and Riopelle to create beautifully flavourful dishes.
The elegant Café des Beaux Arts in the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts proposes a daringly inventive menu featuring market-fresh produce. Under the direction of Chef Richard Bastien, this bistro proposes bold flavours, plates arranged so beautifully that they arrive as culinary masterpieces and superlative service.
L’Arrivage, the restaurant located on the second floor of the Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, offers a superb panorama of the Old Port as well as exceptional cuisine. Surrounded by glass walls, you will be inundated by natural light as you enjoy a mid-day meal featuring dishes such as roasted artichokes mashed with olive oil, braised leeks and fall vegetables; or Parmentier of snails with glazed garlic and white wine, pickled fish with vegetable caponata.
If a cup of full-bodied coffee or delicate herbal tea would hit the spot, then the Café McCord at the McCord Museum of Canadian History is the perfect place to stop. You can grab a snack between exhibitions or pause longer to partake in a delicious light-hearted lunch or dessert. Reservations are recommended as the café often fills up without notice.
And finally, for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, head over to Foodlab, just beside the SAT (Societé des arts technologiques). Recently opened in 2011, this culinary laboratory isn’t anything like a mad scientist’s lab; on the contrary, it’s a friendly place where great creative culinary minds – designers, chefs, and researchers – come together to throw around ideas and share expertise. The result? Exploratory cuisine that tastes great at a reasonable price.
And there you have it – the table is set for a fabulous cultural and gastronomical adventure!