The old Nouveau Palais was a sleepy, old-timey diner on Bernard street in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood, a basic bacon, eggs and late-night poutine affair. But the new Nouveau Palais is under different management and the times they are a changin’. The latest incarnation of this storied diner has everyone buzzing because it offers restaurant goers the charm of the classic diner experience with a brand new menu that comes to life at night…
At first blush, locals in the neighbourhood were a little apprehensive about embracing the change at Nouveau Palais. It’s no easy feat to take over an establishment that was basically a Mile End greasy spoon institution. But the naysayers are now eating their words among other tasty treats made by Gita Seaton. The new management wanted to maintain the classic diner decor while revamping the menu with on a focus on “American diner, but with a twist.” The twist they refer to could be anything from delicious pumpkin to some other delectable seasonal fruit and/or veg.
By day, the restaurant is a cozy eatery where you can eat a hearty and healthy meal at a good price. But when the sun sets, the scene shifts to a more raucous mood. With delicious dinner specials ranging from 10-20 dollars, it’s no surprise that this place has become a neighbourhood hot spot. If you’re in the area and feeling thirsty, I recommend Nouveau Palais’ Tuesday night drinks specials- they have an extensive cocktail list at the jolie prix of $6. But really, anytime is a good time for a drink.
Aside from the great food you can look forward to excellent resident DJs. On Thursdays, Cadence Weapon (Rollie Pemberton) is on the decks, the Saturday night special features Mitz and Seez and for brunch on Saturday morning, DJ John Lee provides the breezy soundtrack to your bacon and eggs breakfast.
Nouveau Palais also hosts Cookies Unite on the first Monday of every month. Cookies Unite is an event that aims to highlight Montreal’s hard working line cooks by giving them a chance in the spot light. They’ll be given the opportunity to cook a special menu that is all their own. This event is open to anyone and there will likely be lots of Montreal chefs at the events to size up the new talent.
The new Nouveau Palais has been open since October of 2010 and it has grown dramatically since they opened their doors. The people running the show know the appeal of their vintage diner, but they also know how to make the experience modern, healthy and delicious.
Nouveau Palais, 281 Bernard West, (514) 273-1180
Photos: Chamsi Dib