The stretch of Notre-Dame Street between Atwater Avenue and Charlevoix Street has slowly built its restaurant arsenal over the last decade. Although not as applauded as its neighboring block to the east due to the Joe Beef empire and the Burgundy Lion pub, the north sidewalk of this lane does carry its own with the likes of Quoi de n'Oeuf, Drinkerie and Barley.
The recent pandemic would cause some turnover here, with Toi, Moi & Café giving way for Otto Bar and Le Fricot pivoting to Le Gril. The most recent resurrection involves the owners of the defunct Bon Vivant turning their gastronomic project into the more accessible Sunny's Dinette. My wife and I would find ourselves here just shy of noon on this Friday, after being turned off by lineup after lineup in front of several of our first choices in Arthur's and Foiegwa.
The diminutive space puts the diner in close proximity to the bar and open kitchen, creating one of the most intimate restaurants I can recall. That said, I did not feel confined one bit, thanks to a bright color palette and an abundance of sunlight flooding in – Sunny's is truly sunny! The thirty-seater slowly filled up during our stay, with bar-height tables and banquettes hosting a laid-back yuppie crowd.
With its all-week brunch fare in addition to lunch menu, Sunny's is bound to have something for everyone. The brunch side keeps it safe with staples such as eggs Benedict, bagel with salmon gravlax and pancakes. Lunch options, however, go international, pitting a grilled cheese and Reuben sandwich next to a Cubano or banh mi, or a cobb salad against a falafel bowl.
Those seeking to spike up their morning or afternoon can peruse the fun, specialty cocktail list. Wanting to sample both menus, we opted for one item from each of the brunch and lunch sections, plus a small soup just for kicks.
Basic and homey, this soup was in fact excellent. Large chunks of cooked chicken and diced veggies swam in a tasty lemony broth. I'll make sure to order the larger bowl next time, so my wife and I don't have to fight for every slurp!
A refined rendition of this classic saw poached eggs, Emmental, braised ham and spinach on toast drenched in Hollandaise. While the eggs were not fully runny, the rest worked perfectly, especially the bright, herby salad on the side.
A jumbo beef sausage starred in this elevated version of a Montreal hot dog, featuring sesame seed buns, sauerkraut and yellow mustard. You can't go wrong with this beauty next to uber-seasoned sweet potato sticks.
With diner and staff placed so close to each other, nothing can go unnoticed, be it from behind the bar or in the exposed kitchen. One waiter and one cook effectively managed the lunch shift from its slow start to its peak. My only (minor) quibble concerns the answering of a simple question around the menu, which had to be relayed from our waiter to an owner then all the way to someone else in the back alley!
tagged: LET ME ASK
Although I liked what I saw and tasted today at Sunny's, I feel it is way too early to award it a final score considering its mere two months in operation and how little I tried off the menu. Although I never tried its Bon Vivant predecessor, it is safe to assume the recherché all-day breakfast/diner fare is a safer crowd-pleasing bet.
Boozy brunch anyone?
tagged: DESERVES A RETRY
Price per person: $20
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.