Place Carmin Is Montreal’s Chic New French Brasserie
Like many of Montreal’s buzziest restaurant openings of the year, Place Carmin — Old Montreal’s new French brasserie — has been a long time coming.
Mélanie Blanchette and chef François Nadon, owners of Quartier des Spectacles stalwarts Bouillon Bilk, and the more casual Cadet, began working on the project in August 2019, before having their plans thwarted by what is technically still an ongoing pandemic. “Now, almost two years later, we can finally open,” Blanchette tells Eater.
Taking over the skylight-equipped digs of former restaurant Le Local on William Street, Place Carmin is made over with soft-toned woods, creamy brown leathers, luminous shades of whites, and rounded fixtures and furniture for a look that, based on photos, can perhaps be best described as smooth, almost serene — that is, as much as any brasserie can be. It comes courtesy of design firm Clairoux, also responsible for Griffintown restaurant Perles et Paddock.
For food, Nadon revisits French brasserie classics including, seafood platters, beef tartare, foie gras terrine, and a luxurious-sounding zucchini vichyssoise laced with mascarpone. Crème caramel, lemon pie, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate mousse are on hand for an unfussy and familiar dessert, courtesy of the restaurant group’s pastry chef Léa Godin Beauchemin.
“We usually sell desserts that are much more ‘fine dining’ with all this super difficult plating, but at this place, it’s like, ‘Here’s a piece of cake or a piece of pie,’ so this is very different us,” Blanchette says, laughing.