10 Restaurants to try in Montreal if you’re a designer lover!

Each year, several designers and architects from all over Quebec submit their projects to the GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN awards, a competition that showcases the talent of local and international designers, architects and landscape architects. Over the years, many restaurants in Montreal have won prizes for their æsthetics, their innovation or their immersive experience. Here are 10 design restaurants located in the great city that you must visit!

Rosélys, Hotel Fairmount

A mix of Parisian elegance and English style, the Rosélys restaurant embodies pragmatic sophistication. The different colours, very well proportioned, are blended to a very well-controlled art deco architecture. A beautiful evolution, which bridges the institution of the place and a creative, inspired, contemporary and daring modernity. For its part, the lighting fixture at the hotel’s front desk consisted of assembling 6,720 glass triangles on 120 backlit square plates to create a 40’ wide chandelier. This grand, vintage-style project conveys the classicism and authenticity of Quebec in the 1970s.

The Standard

This Westmount café has the elegance of a good looking jewelry shop which makes the customer feel privileged. The attention to detail and restraint discloses the intense plans demonstrating a controlled, sophisticated and minimalist design. A space that masters with perfect symmetry the balance of proportions and the alignment of architectural elements.

The made-to-measure furniture, the white quartz work surface and the aerial showcase of pastries speak to hickory flooring’s chevron motif and the imitation pony haired fabric on the armchairs, in punctuated harmonious contrast with luminous incursions of brass. We can easily imagine Audrey Hepburn’s silhouette, reinventing the mythical scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s in this refined oasis, cradled by a creamy light.

Boutiques au Pain Doré

The inspiration for the makeover of the Au Pain Doré bakery and coffee shop on Côte-des-Neiges was the lattice of wooden bread baskets. As customers enter the space, they are greeted by the smell of warm bread, the aroma of fresh coffee, and a unique visual dynamism created by a randomized arrangement of wood slats that run the length of the ceiling and wrap down the wall, reminiscent of the rhythmic weave of a basket.

The irregular pattern of vertical poplar slats leave gaps to allow for lighting and ventilation. The frame of beams is also used to create shelves, seating, and tops and panels for the serving counter, which runs along the full length of one wall in the main space,

In this 1,500 square feet European-inspired concept, customers can enjoy a good coffee or make bakery purchases. The designers have given this traditional bakery a dynamic, contemporary look, harmoniously complemented by contrasting elements of wood, white, black and pale grey.

Mamie Clafoutis

A neighbourhood bakery was revamped to provide a homey, welcoming experience. The owners of the most recent Mamie Clafoutis location wanted to offer their patrons bread, certainly, but also a space where they could enjoy a quiet meal and linger over a cup of coffee. The environment is modern, but a multitude of elements pop out to distinguish this coffee shop from what might have ended up like so many others.

Many of the decor details are nods to the quaint charm of period country cottages. Deftly handled, this subtle allusion to another age is actually a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional elements. It is most notable in the strips of eclectic, patterned wallpaper, which are artfully arranged on one wall and the ceiling, the pristine white piano, and the wall of judiciously mismatched rough wood beams.

There are distinct zones, inviting customers to wander around, work or just hang out. From the attractive counter space to the large dining table and cosy table-for-two corner, the various secondary spaces provide ideal niches for foodies and workers, and both young and not-so-young patrons.

Crew Collectif et Café

It all starts with an exceptional place. This project reinvents a former branch of the Bank of Montreal in keeping with its past greatness. The magnificent ornamentation details, relics of another era, are high­lighted. The new vocation of the building, a perfect blend between a collective workplace and a coffee shop, gives the project a touch of modernity. Cabins and enclosed spaces provide the needed privacy to work in silence, even if only a few steps separate these rooms from the common area, lying under the exquisite vaults and coffered ceilings.

The use of wood, black steel and beautiful brass-coloured metal­lic coatings fits perfectly with the sumptuous decor of the old bank. These materials evoke sobriety, elegance, and a greatness that befits the workers who came to enjoy the view. Architect Henri Cleinge’s de­sign is clean and clear, and the boundaries, necessary to separate the different functions, do not interfere with the overall concept. In short, everything seems to be in the right place in this beautifully integrated planning of a heritage building. The dialogue between old and new is done without any false note, to the delight of users.

Restaurant Maneki

Welcome to Hochelaga’s Maneki, where the greatest Asian cultural stereotypes contrast with each other in a fun way. On a budget: a charming and unpretentious restaurant.

Neon lights and pop songs detonate from the traditional Asian courses and posters of celebrities, creating a trendy atmosphere full of eclectic cultural references. The use of electric blue adds audacity to the contemporary interior design. The furniture was conceived in order to maximize interactions and the zigzag lighting rhythms with the airspace.

Marusan Comptoir Japonais

Mastered by a strong game of angulation and embellished by the freshness of the gesture, the design of this Japanese fast food restau­rant took up the challenge in an ungrateful and difficult space. Intended for an urban clientele, its minimalist conception is synthe­sized into three elements. The first is the neutral and subtle back­drop whose surfaces are purified by discreet tones of cream and gray.

The second is the sculptural carpentry, thanks to its solid wood­en bench, unfolding on the surface like a floating element. It lets us go from a bench intended for two to a group lounge, as if it was a sin­gle dominant piece of furniture all over the place, suspended above the ground, and thus simplifying the cleaning and the maintenance.

The third is the Japanese architectural structures on the ceiling. This wood assemblage, synthesis of Japanese lanterns and frame­works provides a fine interpretation of traditional Japanese art. Depending on the different lights, day or night, it appears as a skel­eton or as a play of shadows. A judicious use of the space, conceived with a little audacity and an effective know-how, creates a mood both usual and innovative. In a word : unique.

Fiorellino

The art of the Italian table is a concept that no longer requires intro­duction. If the authenticity of the dishes is no longer to be defended, it can be more difficult to reinvent the space while avoiding clichés. Designed to be both a café-bar and a restaurant, Fiorellino revisits the concept of the Italian trattoria in an inventive way, without de­naturing it. From the entrance to the bar, high ceilings, bistro chairs and hemlock panels breathe European hospitality.

On the right, magistral windows recovered from the original factory separate the space. On the ground, a graphic print reinforces this division. At the end of the fenestrated wall, a pantry filled with seasonal ingredients is exposed. Nearby, a marble counter welcomes the pizzaïolos in ac­tion for the curiosity of the guests.

IZAKAYA KINOYA

This Japanese restaurant and bar located on one of the quieter stretches of Saint-Denis Street is a hip, urban destination with raw character, street art decor and an underground feel. The flags that obscure the view of the street also evoke the kind of casual, roguish atmosphere found in the izakayas of Japan. The new design for IZAKAYA KINOYA is a confidently bold concept that cannot fail to provoke a strong reaction.

Whether or not the decor appeals on a personal level, the mastery of the artistic direction is undeniable, and all the shapes and volumes were clearly carefully thought out to produce a unified whole. In fact, the designer essentially created a shell within a shell; this angular habitable sculpture offers a unique experience as well as some quirky nooks and corners, and the asymmetry makes the space dynamic.

The almost exclusive use of reclaimed barn wood, mainly white spruce, also earned this project the Valorization of wood in interior design award. For the designer, the wood’s acoustic properties and the cosy atmosphere it produces were important criteria of choice. Using wood also enables precise cuts and relatively fast assembly despite the complexity of the structure.

Patrice Pâtissier

Patrice Pâtissier, located on Notre-Dame West just east of Charlevoix Street in Little Burgundy, isn’t your typical pink and white cupcake and cream puff pastry shop.

On the contrary! Designed by Jean-Pierre Viau, it stands out from the buildings nearby.

The interior has a modern Scandinavian look featuring polished wood details and a striking mandarin-orange wall in the kitchen for a delightfully joyful and refreshing decor.

The aim? To create a space with a subtly masculine vibe, while still remaining warm and welcoming.

There is much to please the eye: glass window offers patrons an opportunity to observe the chefs working in the kitchen, and an even more sophisticated feature is the large sliding doors, which give diners a view into the room where cooking classes are held.

The gourmet urban decor is complemented by a bookcase filled with cookbooks and a display of Patrice’s mouth-watering creations.

It is impossible to not notice the outstanding woodwork, judicious selection of furniture, and especially the unique homey atmosphere.

Indulge your taste buds and enjoy the unique design and architecture of these breathtaking restaurants. You certainly can’t resist their singular charm. For contact details of all these beautiful places, go to www.sidim.com/en/mtl-design/.