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Mon Lapin

FOR SIX YEARS, MON LAPIN HAS occupied that elusive sweet spot between casual and special occasion restaurant. This gives co-owners and chefs Jessica Noël and Marc-Olivier Frappier the flexibility to really let loose on a daily menu that gives nothing away other than ingredients and producers. (Knowledgeable servers will elucidate.) Dishes are always delightfully surprising. These might manifest as buckwheat-and-corn polenta taragna; leeks served in a can “like mussels”; habanada peppers stuffed with fried baccalà; or strudel with confit shallots and a slice of Samuel le Bleu from the Eastern Townships laid lovingly on top. The basement larder is full of shrubs and syrups from summer, and there’s gleeful anticipation for asparagus, snow crab and crevettes de Matane, which will be presented, as always, with countless twists. Wines chosen by co-owners Vanya Filipovic and Alex Landry are most often produced by friends from Jura, Campania, Champagne, Randazzo and Andalusia. Oh, and sometimes there’s lunch on offer, when the light streams through the big windows to showcase Zébulon Perron’s design and the fabulous floor tiles. That won’t distract from what’s on the table, warmly served by co-owner Marc-Antoine Gélinas and his team — whether you’re here for the first time or the 20th. It’s just that kind of vibe.

Regulars let the chefs do the driving for you — that’s good advice.
Marc-Olivier is one step ahead of everybody else. Zach Kolomeir

Photography by Maude Chauvin

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