Bernard Ave.

Bernard is the best kind of urban avenue: a mix of commercial and residential, restaurants and small shops, lively but not unruly. Between the upscale Outremont-north stretch, to the west of Parc, and the down-to-earth (but gentrifying) blocks east, it was not easy to whittle down this list of our favourite spots.

L’Assommoir

This wine-bar-cum-casual-eatery is a 5 – 7 hotspot, often packed with young, slightly sodden professionals after the workday. It offers a great selection of vinos and cocktails, plus a menu with an emphasis on piquant ceviches. 112 Bernard St. W., (514) 272-0777.

Nonya
Sit on the airy terrace at this Indonesian restaurant, and try the ayam panggang bumbu rujak, or Cornish hen cooked in red curry and served with a sweet dipping sauce, or the pepes ikan, yellow tilapia curry cooked in a banana leaf. Or, choose the risjtaffel – a kind of tasting menu featuring about a dozen dishes. 151 Bernard St. W., (514) 875-9998.

Helm
This newish kid on the block – a gastropub featuring a strong beer selection and munchies – has definite hangout potential. It’s beside Nouveau Palais – home to fine grilled cheese and poutine – so your post-bar stumble will be short. 273 Bernard St. W., (514) 276-0473.

Café Souvenir / Le Petit Italien
These next-door neighbours are united by a comfortable patio – and the same proprietors. Souvenir’s menu bounces from merguez sausage to burritos to an excellent burger. Le Petit Italien is more specific, offering stellar pastas and affordable wines. 1261 / 1265 Bernard St. W., (514) 948-5259 / (514) 278-0888.

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