Mike CohenMtlRestoRap

I have certainly enjoyed some fine dining experiences this summer. This past month has been particularly busy as I will share with you in this month’s column.

Terrasse Nelligan

Hotel Nelligan (106 rue Saint-Paul West) is one of the more elegant properties in Old Montreal. While I have been there on a number of occasions over the years for business meetings, I was completely unaware that there was a rooftop terrasse. Under the auspices of Corner Collection, a family-owned and operated business of internationally-renown, award-winning hotels, restaurants, and spas, the team at Hotel Nelligan collaborated with the acclaimed Atelier Zébulon Perron to add some new touches to the picturesque patio which  can now seat 175 people. The bar was moved to the middle of the area while an awning has been replaced by a retractable covering which protects diners from the sun and inclement weather, yet magically disappears when appropriate; be it day or night.

Terrasse Nelligan (www.terrassenelligan.com) was packed the night we went. Cocktails, wine, raw bar, grills, burgers and other delicious dishes to share await guests. We started off with some drinks, a strawberry mojito and soirée d’été, the latter having a delightful fruity flavor. For appetizers, the six oysters and the ever so tasty sea bass ceviche were perfect to share. As for the main course, my wife ordered the filet mignon which was perfectly grilled medium rare and cut like butter. She saved a piece for me and it was out of this world. I opted for the Burger Nelligan, a Japanese Waygu beef patty with brie and sour cherry marmalade in a bun and I gave a big thumbs-up to this one. We both had some very tasty grilled asparagus as sides.

Burgundy Lion

Pub Burgundy Lion (www.burgundylion.com) is a traditional British pub with a modern lounge bar that offers a unique twist on British pub cuisine in Little Burgundy at 2496 Notre Dame Ouest. Owner Toby Lyle is especially proud about the creation of his own bourbon – Maker’s Mark Private Select, Adrianna BL Bourbon. Besides the Burgundy Lion, his group of restaurants also includes Pub Wolf & Workman, Brit & Chips in Old Montreal, Bishop and Bagg on St. Viateur, Cartier Arms at the Hyatt Centric Hotel on Notre Dame Street East as well as RBHC Catering.

When I spoke to Lyle, I told him how I looked forward to experiencing his fine cuisine. So, I started off at the Burgundy Lion on Notre Dame Ouest, which opened in the summer of 2008. We were welcomed by manager Gabe Barraza and our charming server Ilona. The concept behind the design and feel of Pub Burgundy Lion is to blend a traditional British pub with a modern lounge bar and to offer a unique twist on British pub cuisine. The list of whisky offered here has grown to more than 750.

Nicholas Gaudette

Nicholas Gaudette at Millmans

For starters, we began with the cod fish cakes, salted cod fish cakes, winter greens and bacon, with curry mayo. Crispy and delicious! In the Peckish category, you can find something in between appetizers and a main course. The London Tea Party was calling my name, tuna and cucumber tea sandwiches with crisps (potato chips) and salad. For the main course, I had my eye on two of the marquee items: the Little Burgundy Fish & Chips (cod with Burgundy Lion Ale batter, chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce) and the Shepherd’s Pie, (Lamb ragout, roots vegetables and creamy Yukon gold purée). They also have some menu items such as schnitzel, Indian chicken, beef and veggie burgers, lamb shank, classic tartare, house sausage and more. Desserts are called English sweets. Check out the Ticky Toffee, cheesecake and the brandy chocolate mousse.


Millmans Casse-Croûte, an all-day breakfast spot open Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm, is located at 3779 Wellington Street in Verdun.  Nicholas Gaudette is a 33 year old  graduate  from the Quebec Centre of Expertise for the Culinary Cooking Arts at Pearson Adult Career Centre in 2010.

Café Alphabet

The ribbon cutting at Café Alphabet

Since then he served as the chef at several notable restaurants. In May of 2022 he made the jump to open his own spot, lovingly naming it after stepfather Ken Millman. It is cozy spot, with seating for 32 inside and 24 on the outdoor terrasse. The menu is posted on the wall and headlines with Le Millman, a breakfast plate with fresh eggs, thick-cut bacon, brioche bread toast, fruit, and specially seasoned potatoes. Indeed, that is what I ordered and it was a nice and filling choice.

Café Alphabet Montréal and Bernie Beigne

The corner of Clark and Bernard in Montreal’s Mile End District is indeed a happening place. I recently passed by, first to see the trendy new Café Alphabet Montréal (5765 Rue Clark). Eyeing Bernie Beigne (23 Bernard St. Ouest) across the street, a spot that I was told had the best donuts in the city, I ventured over afterwards.

Dean Giannarakis

Dean Giannarakis and his delicious donuts

Café Alphabet Montréal (https://ambroscoffee.com/pages/caf-alphabet) is run by brothers Tony and Tommy Argiropoulos. It opened last month, an extension of the Ambros Coffee brand Tony and his team have worked tirelessly to establish over the last three years; a place to serve and showcase the coffee they source from all over the world, and roast themselves, right here in Montreal. There is a nice selection of croissants and pastries, curated from local bakeries.

Just over two years ago, at the peak of the COVID 19 pandemic, Dean Giannarakis was having coffee with friend George Giannopoulos and the idea to establish a donut operation was hatched. Settling on Bernard led to the name “Bernie” and then of course “Beigne” being the French word for donut. He and Giannopoulos became partners and business has been booming from day one. Five days a week he and his team start work at 4:30 am, making dozens of donuts in an incredible 24 different flavors. I took home a few and words cannot describe how delicious they tasted. You can follow them on Instagram at @berniebeigne.

For more on these restaurants and more go to www.MtlRestoRap.com. Mike Cohen can be contacted at [email protected]

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