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Elena Cookbook
Photograph: Dominique Lafond

From fine dining to fried chicken: Mon Lapin becomes Casgrain BBQ

Marc-Olivier Frappier and Vanya Filipovic's fine dining restaurant in Little Italy has temporarily flipped into a BBQ format

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

Faced with a prolonged closure due to restrictions on restaurants in the last few months, Marc-Olivier Frappier and Vanya Filipovic of Mon Lapin have opted to create a temporary BBQ and soul food-forward restaurant, Casgrain BBQ, out of their original location for takeout orders.

The decision comes from understandable doubt surrounding the viability of keeping Mon Lapin operating at half capacity; even if and when the restaurant were allowed to reopen, Mon Lapin's an exceptionally cozy setting with 35 seats in close proximity. Instead, the new format and flip to comfort food follows on a preferrable trend in dining of social distancing and easy-to-serve options until restrictions are lifted down the road.

The menu at the new operation is made up of savory and sweet offerings, plus wine, beer, cider and more curated by Filipovic: Dishes go from seasonal produce like plates of local asparagus or radishes served in chicken liver mousse to the sourdough fried chicken recipe Mon Lapin included in the second cookbook from Elena (created to raise money for the Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund). Desserts are also on offer, like a maple-strawberry Paris-Brest, a sesame-rhubarb ice cream sandwich and an extra large chocolate cookie of Filipovic's. 

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Many of Montreal's top dining addresses in town have been retooling to be the best delivery and takeout in Montreal, but some of best restaurants in town are temporarily taking on new concepts like this one or altering their menus to be better suited to being stuck in a paper bag. It's no wonder then that Mon Lapin is taking on a style of food beloved by Quebeckers: Chicken.

Casgrain BBQ is now open for takeout orders 24 hours in advance from Tuesday to Saturday, 5pm to 9:30pm. Orders can be placed online here, and pickup takes places at Mon Lapin, located at 150 Saint Zotique Est.

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