The suburban restaurant refinement movement in Greater Montreal probably traces its roots to Brossard's DIX30 complex, the country's first — and region's only — lifestyle centre. One group in particular, Restos Dix30, secured itself a foothold in the quartier's birthplace centered around the Étoile Banque Nationale performing arts venue. Its latest addition, Le Café du Théâtre, opened in that very building; occupying the space that last housed the defunct Kabana.
Our first sampling of this self-titled brasserie française took the form of a media breakfast just prior to launching at the end of 2014. Today we came back to see if things were shaping up two years later while fueling up for brunch ahead of a shopping excursion — we normally avoid the ‘burbs but the convenience of free, abundant underground parking is hard to overlook on rainy days.
The horizontally and vertically expansive space — comprising two seating areas, large wraparound bar, bakery counter, live music corner and mezzanine — has been redone in prototypical Parisian brasserie spirit; complete with circular marble tables, rattan chairs and patterned tiles. The morning crowd featured a mixed bag of old folk, families with kids — ours included — as well as a habitual pack of both stylish and douchey yuppies.
tagged: BRING THE KIDS
Departing significantly from a classic Parisian experience is the brunch menu. Whereas the simplistic homeland version typically revolves around pastries and eggs (if you're lucky), the selection here is considerably more varied and elaborate. A seasonal section showcasing Quebec apples is followed by signature plates — think breakfast pizza, poutine and rösti — and finally staples such as omelettes, waffles and pancakes.
It all reads clichéd at first glance, but subtle hints of foie gras, duck confit and bone-in ham here and there add a touch of refinement to otherwise commonplace brunch fare. The end result is a notch above the competition; although the under-seasoned potatoes missed the mark and plating could use some inspiration to match the restaurant's desired level of sophistication.
"oignons caramélisés, roquette"
"pommes de terre sautées au gras de canard, canard confit, échalotes françaises caramélisées, œuf poché, fromage en grain, sauce hollandaise à la truffe"
The waitstaff's uniforms — tucked white shirt, black pants, money belt — may evoke the brusque, nonchalant demeanor the French capital's garçons are notorious for, but there's nothing of the sort here; our waitress was warm and friendly. Between the various seating areas and arrangements on offer (not to mention the spiffy bathrooms upstairs), there is something to accommodate every possible mood here.
tagged: IMPECCABLE W.C.
Although the owners have set themselves the lofty goal of recreating old world charm in a modern strip mall, producing something teetering on kitsch, the outcome is a visually pleasing eatery dishing out polished food, albeit with room for improvement. And while you may not see us rushing to cross the bridge aiming for this brasserie anytime soon, South Shore residents have every reason to be happy with their brunch options this side of the Saint Lawrence.
Price per person: $21.42
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.