16. Le Mousso
The decor is spare, verging on austere. The floor is cold stone, and the walls are white. The tables—some high-tops among them—are handsome dark wood, but bare, set with grey porcelain water cups and grey-felt upholstered chairs. For colour, there’s something special, though: a pair of spectacular backlit murals by Jean-Paul Mousseau, a prominent Quebec artist in the ’60s and ’70s, artistic director of the Montreal subway, and, most important, grandfather of Le Mousso founder and Chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard. The founding idea of his small restaurant on the edge of the east-end neighbourhood The Village was to present a Québécois take on neo-Nordic cooking. And under Mousso-Rivard’s guidance, his young Executive Chef, Massimo Piedimonte, prepares original and assertively flavourful dishes that honour Canadian products. More often the presentation is elegantly minimalistic, in the manner of the New Nordic cuisine that inspired it. Still, the results are delicious and beautifully crafted. Think B.C. sturgeon caviar, roasted bone marrow consommé, fir-smoked scallops, marinated flowers and fermented vegetables, of course.
Photos: JEREMY DIONN