In 2005, David McMillan and Fred Morin opened Joe Beef, a restaurant dedicated to the sort of hearty cuisine that has become a Montreal signature. It’s since become one of the most celebrated restaurants in Canada, and has contributed mightily to the gentrification of the Petite-Bourgogne quarter, in the southwest of the city. That’s where McMillan and Morin opened the acclaimed Liverpool House, and, more recently, Vin Papillon, a wine bar just down the street. This boisterous bar shows off vegetables with the same gusto that Joe Beef showcases meat. Here, celery root comes roasted and thinly sliced, served over a warm pool of olive oil, anchovies, capers and garlic, à la bagna cauda; a half head of cauliflower comes topped with caramelized onions, capers and very crisp chicken skin. Sommelier Vania Filipovic holds down the fort with a wine list that offers some of the most inspired and inspiring wines on the planet, including many “natural” wines and a vast selection of magnums. Come early: Reservations are not taken, so it’s first come, first served, although the good news is that they’ve recently doubled the size of the restaurant and have a little patio in the summer months where you can relax, a glass of Jacques Puffeney poulsard or Quinta das Bágeiras baga in hand.
This review appears in the print edition of the December 2015 issue. Like what you just read? Subscribe now.
This story appears in the print issue of December 2015.
Like what you read? Subscribe today.