Ten years ago, UNESCO deemed Montréal a City of Design. Cheers to that! The anniversary is the perfect opportunity to raise a glass to some of places that give this stylish city its tone, starting with this year’s winners of the Grand Prix du Design Montréalais in the food category. We’re talking cafés, restaurants, shops and bakeries that delight not only the taste buds, but also the eyes. What are you waiting for? Go get a taste now!
Pâtisserie Petit Lapin – 342 Victoria Avenue
Architecture Open Form used paper cupcake wrappers as the inspiration for their design of this sweet Westmount pâtisserie. The space is subdivided into sections with zigzagging flexible partitions made of see-through white polyethylene, which make visual homage to cupcake wrappers while giving the space a chic white-washed look. The play of light on all the surfaces (including the quartz counters) is sheer beauty, and the pastel accents come in to add the touch of fun—like sprinkles on a vanilla birthday cake.
Le Richmond Marché Italien – 333 Richmond Street
With its exposed wood, brick walls, wrought iron dividers and marble tabletops, this luxurious Italian food market designed by Luc Laroche showcases the food against a sophisticated backdrop. The store section puts the display counter centre-stage, while the bistro section fans out around central U bar where patrons can sit and savour. From the traditional black and white mosaic floor to the old school chandeliers and the wood ceiling bathed in light from projectors perched on the beams, everything about this Griffintown space is polished.
Mamie Clafoutis – 1606 Fleury Street East
Conceived by the firm LEMAYMICHAUD Architecture Design, the Fleury street outpost of this beloved bakery chain is subdivided into welcoming zones, including cozy spots to munch on a sandwich or work on your laptop beside the take-out bakery section. The designers created distinct environments by varying colour palette and materials, so that retro wallpaper patchwork envelops you in one section, while beautiful aged wood paneling provides the décor of another.
Mimi la Nuit – 22 St-Paul Street East
“Sleek” and “moody” are two words that perfectly describe the design for this Old Montréal resto-bar conceived by La Firme Design Inc. The ancestral stone walls, dim lighting (studiously created with filters that reproduce the light variants of a flame) and amber woods convey instant ahhhh relaxation, making this an ideal after-work getaway or intimate weekend hangout. By using rich materials like copper, marble, concrete, glass and oak, the designers evoked the timeless atmosphere of speakeasies and gave the space a grand, nearly cinematic feel.
O’Noir – 124 Prince Arthur Street East
The concept of this Plateau restaurant is unique in and of itself: it invites patrons to dine in complete darkness. The idea is that without sight, the remaining senses are heightened for a more fully satisfying taste experience. L’Empreinte Design Artisanat reworked the restaurant’s spaces while keeping them dark and safe. Focusing on the sensory experience, they honed in on comfort, relaxation, interaction and a stimulating sensorial ambiance, with pops of red among the black and textures like rugged wood beams that symbolize the patterns of braille.
Natrel Milk Bar – 2451 Notre-Dame Street West
Milk producer Natrel joined forces with the Java U coffee shop chain to create its first-ever Natrel Milk Bar in Little Burgundy, an homage to all things dairy from menu to décor. The interior design by lg2boutique gives the overall impression of relaxed contemporary chic, but look closely and you’ll notice whimsical hits like booths in the shape of milk cartons (they look like little houses), splashes of white milk painted on the walls and ceiling, and light fixtures that look like milk drops.
Up next: 5 Montréal essentials: Décor
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