The “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra is a bit of an overused one nowadays, but Nouveau Palais takes that notion and puts a fabulous spin on it that you won’t soon forget. This longstanding institution on Bernard St. West used to be the only spot for Mile Enders to enjoy late night greasy fare, but the new version of Nouveau Palais, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, ensures that hunger pangs from midday to the wee hours are satisfied with comfort food that you won’t regret the next morning.
This new edition of Nouveau Palais tips its’ hat to the previous incarnation by holding on to most of the former look and design of the restaurant, keeping the same name, sign, original booths, vinyl seats, wood dividers, and slightly grease-stained walls. Yes, that’s all super-fashionable nowadays, and it’s a bit of a hipster haunt, but thankfully not one that takes itself too seriously. To get an idea, check out Cœur de Pirate’s latest video “Adieu” which was filmed, in part at the Palais.
Where Nouveau Palais really shines though, is in the food. Co-owned by rising star chef Gita Seaton (formerly of Club Chasse et Pêche), along with Jaques Séguin and Marie Martha Campbell, the Nouveau Palais menu sticks to classic diner offerings, prepared lovingly with high-end ingredients and slightly refined recipes. During a recent lunch visit, friends and I wanted to try a bit of everything, starting with Greek salad and fabulous leek soup of the day, but what impressed us most were the juicy burgers served with fries, creamy coleslaw and a pickle on a perfect poppy seed bun. Their version of a chicken burger, served with the same sides, was a close second. Even though we didn’t really have room for their side of mac’n’cheese, we couldn’t resist and didn’t regret it. Simple, yet satisfying desserts of homemade sweet potato pie with whipped cream and chocolate chip cookies sealed the deal.
Gita and Nouveau have also created a foodie buzz by hosting lesser-known chefs (sous-chefs & line chefs) from some of Montreal’s finest restos on the first Monday of each month for their “Cookies Unite” event. A three-four course set menu for only 30 bucks served up under a specific theme. Carrie attended last Monday’s and was impressed by chef Cynthia Sitaras’(Club Chasse & Pêche) crispy pork belly and her lover’s (Brian Verstraten, pastry chef at Bar et Bœuf) über-delicious desserts.
I think Carrie and I will be returning to the Palais très soon for their Tuesday night happy hour, which at the Palais means $6 (taxes in) on all cocktails and mixed drinks, all night! One important thing to remember though, in keeping with the old school theme, it’s cash only, no credit cards. But if it’s 2:30 a.m. and you’ve been out having fun all night and run out of money, no worries, they’ve got an ATM on site.
281 Bernard St. W. (near Park Ave.)
Wednesday – Friday: 11 a.m.– 3 p.m.
Tuesday – Wednesday: 5:30 p.m.–midnight
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30- p.m. – 3 a.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m. –3 p.m.