Montreal’s Maison Publique

The talk of Montreal, Maison Publique is a joint venture by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and one of the city’s top chefs, Derek Dammann. Playing off the English “public house,” this gastropub looks to challenge the city’s culinary vets with something new: UK-inspired cuisine, without the fish and chips. Here you’ll find a laid back restaurant with an attentive staff, a mix of modern and rustic décor, and a menu that’s a conversation piece on its own.

Opened earlier this month, the pub is still trying to establish itself as the neighbourhood drop-in it would like to be. Slightly off the beaten path, and with only forty seats and no reservations, getting a table can be a bit of a chore. Luckily, despite the hype, the restaurant seems to expertly manage the ebb and flow of patrons.

We checked out their weekend brunch to see what Maison Publique has to offer. All of the dishes feature Canadian ingredients and are brought to the table as they are ready. This encourages sharing, and makes the dining experience less about “order, wait, eat” and more about enjoying conversation.

The menu ranges from a delicious homemade English muffin, sausage and egg “sandwich” to a meat lovers’ brunch for two: pork, homemade sausage, bone marrow with a side of fried eggs and toast ($14, $40). We tried something in the middle—neither too basic nor heavy—smoked salmon with fried egg and foam ($15, pictured). With Biggie bumping in the background, food plated with skill, heart and soul, and an ambiance that really inspires sociability—we couldn’t ask for a better venue to start the day in.

Maison Publique promises a sprawling patio for next summer. We may’ve just found our new daytime watering hole too.

4720 Marquette St., 514-507-0555.

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