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Restaurant 212
Photograph: Restaurant 212 / @212Montreal / Facebook

Old Montreal's new restaurant 212 promises swanky dining on a Noma-trained chef's food

212 is one of Montreal's few fine dining restaurants to open this year with gorgeous food, a gorgeous design, and gorgeous vibes.

By JP Karwacki
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Old Montreal is about to receive a new fine dining destination, courtesy of Restaurant 212: Coming from l’École Privée owner Brooke Walsh and Trevor Coulton of A5 Hospitality (Kampai, Apt 200), the project took the old Accords wine bar and flipped it into a dreamy spot for dinners, cocktails, wine lists and more.

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Joining Walsh and Coulton is chef Patrick Marion, whose experience ranges from training at the world-class Danish restaurant Noma in addition to the farm-forward menus of Fauna in Ottawa and Pilgrimme on Galiano Island in British Columbia. Initial reports by Eater Montreal say these experience will translate into a menu built from local and seasonal ingredients—think small plates with an Italian focus—that will highlight Canadian terroir, in addition to fermentation techniques learned at Noma.

The finer things is life won't only be found in the food, but in the drink as well: The restaurant has brought in a sommelier from Le Mousso, Alexis Demers, to curate the wine list in addition to the Coldroom's Kevin Demers for cocktail creation. All told, when considering this list of experienced names under one roof, the restaurant promises to set itself apart from the delivery-based ghost kitchens and comfort food-heavy restaurants and pop-ups that this past summer has yielded.

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While some diners may be apprehensive about spending long bouts of time indoors, the interior design of Restaurant 212 aims to encourage otherwise. The Gauley Brothers—known for their work at locations such as Bird Bar, Foiegwa, Atwater Cocktail Club and Milky Way—have teamed up with art director Yimmy Yayogone and creative director Scott Pilgrim to create a space with a Modernist lounge, contrasting the basement's stone surfaces with plush curtains and seating.

Lighting, according to the aforementioned reporting by Eater Montreal, gets some heavy emphasis here thanks to Pilgrim. From the sound of it, there's no nightclub vibes to be experienced here that involve trying to find food with your fork in dim lighting.

As time goes on, the restaurant owners also plan to turn their terrasse into an all-season spot with the erection of a dome—something that will likely only be completed next year.

Announced back in January of this year, plans for the restaurant's opening had been originally slated for April 2020, but the pandemic forced a pause on construction and contractors.

Restaurant 212 is located at 212 Notre-Dame West in Old Montreal; its grand opening days will run from September 17 to 20, and reservations are currently being accepted on their website.

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