Happiness is at dinner

There’s a smell of bacon in the air. Some neo-dinners offering all-day breakfast – Millmans and NDG Luncheonette, to name a few – opened their doors recently. Bistro La Franquette even offered pancakes and scrambled eggs for a “style brunch.” dinner American”, a few weeks ago.



When he had time to look away from his station in the kitchen, Scott Usheroff would look up and observe the Franquette room, normally open in the evening only. That Sunday morning, it was particularly joyful and smiling, full of “brunchers” satisfied to rediscover the taste of a classic lunch, but executed with the greatest care. There was even the option of adding freshly grated truffle to their eggs and foie gras to their crepes.

The one we now find behind the camera rather than behind the stove does not work at Franquette, whose chef is Louie Deligianis. Although he knows the business from the inside out, having cooked in several gastronomic establishments that are now closed (Rosalie and Garçon!, among others), Scott today earns his living by creating desires with his salivating images signed Craving Curator. But, during a meal, he wanted to rediscover the adrenaline of cooking.

  • Scott drops off an order of thick pancakes, ready to be devoured!

    PHOTO TWO FOOD PHOTOGRAPHERS, PROVIDED BY SCOTT USHEROFF

    Scott drops off an order of thick pancakes, ready to be devoured!

  • You could add truffle to your scrambled eggs.

    PHOTO TWO FOOD PHOTOGRAPHERS, PROVIDED BY SCOTT USHEROFF

    You could add truffle to your scrambled eggs.

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“I love dishes that are a little nostalgic and comforting. In life, our best meals aren’t necessarily the fanciest. They are often the simplest, but executed to perfection,” says Scott. We chatted together two weeks after his epic brunch, which filled the bellies of 130 people with scrambled eggs, beef bacon, thick pancakes and hash browns like you can’t find anywhere else in Montreal. “There’s no such thing as a good hash brown here,” Scott laments.

Open to everyone

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Beautys has been open since 1942 and has had a makeover in 2021.

It’s not for nothing that Montreal institutions like Beautys (1942), Greenspot (1947), Cosmo’s (1967), Chez Nick (1920) and many others have existed for 50, 70, even 100 years! What these establishments have in common is that they have remained (relatively) affordable over the decades and that they appeal to almost everyone, all generations combined.

PHOTO TAKEN FROM THE SITE CHEZNICK.CA

Chez Nick, avenue Greene, has been open since 1920.

Like all restaurants in 2024, dinners are businesses that survive with very thin profit margins and which have also suffered from the radical increase in the price of ingredients. You should therefore no longer expect to be offered free unlimited coffee, even less so in “neo-dinners » who take the trouble to offer quality filter coffee costing double, or even triple, standard beans. That said, I could advocate “coffee from dinner », a genre in itself, which is best drunk with cream and sugar, but that will be for another time!

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

Sophia Khalil-Griffin opened NDG Luncheonette in December 2022.

When she opened NDG Luncheonette, in the far northwest corner of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Sophia Khalil-Griffin wanted to create a place where everyone would feel welcome.

“I come from the neighborhood and I wanted to offer this particularly deserted area an affordable family restaurant,” confides the woman who had previously worked in popular establishments, such as Cabaret l’Enfer, Arthurs Nosh Bar, Loïc and Flyjin. “I want customers to feel at home, to build relationships with employees and, above all, not to hesitate to personalize their order. »

  • JJ's is the generous breakfast plate par excellence.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    JJ’s is the generous breakfast plate par excellence.

  • The decor is faithful to the idea we have of a dinner.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    The decor is faithful to the idea we have of a dinner.

  • Breakfast is served all day, as advertised in the window.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Breakfast is served all day, as advertised in the window.

  • The chrome wall is typical of the diner.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    The chrome wall is typical of the dinner.

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Having been there last summer, I confirm that the benches were occupied by Concordia students, by a family and by two friends who were sipping their coffee. My counter neighbor – on a swivel stool, of course! – was a man in his sixties who had seen his fair share of dinnersdelis, geasy spoons and snacks. He already seemed to have his habits at the luncheonette opening in December 2022.

All-day lunch in Verdun

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

Nicholas Gaudette serves quality filter coffee in mismatched cups at Millmans.

There are regulars from all walks of life at Millmans, rue Wellington, in Verdun. “I want people to leave with a full stomach… and a full wallet!” », says the sole owner and chef, Nicholas Gaudette. Well, he won’t pay you to eat at his house, naturally, but he won’t deplete your bank account too much either. The most expensive plate, the very generous Millman breakfast including two eggs, a mountain of addictive little fried potato cubes with their “all dressed bagel” seasoning, two thick slices of bacon from local purveyor Porc-Épic , good toast and slices of citrus, costs $18.

Nicholas is probably the sole owner of dinner who weighs his coffee like a barista. He also roasts his beans at the Canadian Roasting Society, which respects the style dinner medium roast, while sourcing more ethically.

  • Millmans stands out on Wellington Street with its pink facade.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Millmans stands out on Wellington Street with its pink facade.

  • Chrome stools and other details respect the dining codes.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Chrome stools and other details respect the codes of the dinner.

  • Nicholas Gaudette buys his bacon at Porc-Épic.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Nicholas Gaudette buys his bacon at Porc-Épic.

  • The Millman plate is THE neo-diner classic.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    The Millman plate is THE neo-classicdinner.

  • Millmans pancakes are particularly thick and fluffy.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Millmans pancakes are particularly thick and fluffy.

  • Nicholas Gaudette is the sole owner and chef of Millmans.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Nicholas Gaudette is the sole owner and chef of Millmans.

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Millmans was born in 2022 from a desire to have a certain quality of life and to create a business that could easily stand the test of time. Nicholas was working at Dandy, a restaurant open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. six days a week, when the pandemic began and the dining rooms were closed. He then found himself at Maman, another daytime address, in Griffintown. This was after experiencing the 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. (am!) shift at a few high-end restaurants.

“I wanted to – in theory!” – being able to go home at 6 p.m. and have a certain balance. I also wanted to be able to manage my restaurant alone, in the event of a shortage of labor, and prove that you don’t have to spend a million dollars on beautiful decor to be successful. »

That said, Millmans is a very cute dinner with a peachy-pink facade that you can’t miss. The interior respects the codes of the genre, with colorful imitation leather benches, chrome stools, small napkin dispensers, paper placemats, old photos on the walls, etc. Just like NDG Luncheonette, it’s a time machine… very much of its time!

Millmans: 3779, rue Wellington, Verdun

NDG Luncheonette: 6800, avenue Fielding, Montréal


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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