IT’S ELUSIVE, that sweet spot between being a special-occasion restaurant and a no-occasion let’s-grab-a-bite kind of place, but for five years Mon Lapin has occupied just that ethereal zone. Co-owners and co-chefs Marc- Olivier Frappier and Jessica Noël’s Québécois daily menu cites ingredients and producers, leaving the delightful alchemy to the imagination, or to your knowledgeable server to elucidate. Dishes are always delightfully surprising. For instance, croque pétoncle, a scallop mousseline enclosed in a buttery, garlicky toast; chou au chou/caviar de truite/schmaltz, an unctuous orb of braised cabbage topped with a dollop of golden trout caviar; and, in spring, countless twists on white asparagus, including preserved slices atop razor clams and elderflower. There’s an elegant buckwheat cake, redolent with honey and fromage frais served on a pedestal, just where it belongs. An expansion in 2020 means the 55-seater now accepts walk-ins. Reservations or not, co-owner Marc-Antoine Gélinas welcomes you like a good friend. The wine list, curated by co-owners and sommeliers Vanya Filipovic and Alex Landry, is a joyful melting pot of low-intervention curiosities. “Do we treat the menu like we treat the wine list or do we treat the wine list like we treat the menu?” asks Frappier. But we know they go hand in hand here.

The three-top Table 10, chef’s favourite, near the order station.

–Scott Usheroff

Marc-Olivier Frappier, Vanya Filipovic, Jessica Noël, Alex Landry, Marc-Antoine Gélinas

White asparagus, razor clams, new onions

Photos: Dominique Lafond


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