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No. 13: Maison Publique

No. 13: Maison Publique

4720 MARQUETTE STREET, MONTREAL, QUEBEC
MAISONPUBLIQUE.COM
514-507-0555

IF YOU HAD ducked into Maison Publique off-hours one afternoon late in August, you might have stumbled upon an unusual scene. All the cooks were gathered around the front bar, with a boning knife and a pig’s trotter in front of each of them.

At the pass, a slight, bespectacled, bearded Frenchman, retired and pushing 70, challenged the young crew to a race to the finish. This was not really fair: the elderly Frenchman was Pierre Koffmann, a chef who back in the ’80s did the unthinkable, and put this same off cut on a fine dining menu in London, promptly earning three Michelin stars. Retired three-star Michelin chefs don’t usually cook in pubs, but when Maison Publique chef and owner Derek Dammann met and cooked with Koffmann at a food festival in Australia, the legendary French chef liked Dammann’s craft and work ethic. As does Jamie Oliver (Dammann’s former employer and current business partner here). So should you.
His gastropub is unpretentious fun through and through. The decor (long dark wood bar, dark wood panelling) is old-school pub with many Québécois flourishes (hunting mounts, and—yes—that really is a photo of René and Nathalie Simard). An ornately framed chalkboard lists the constantly evolving menu. There are a handful of staples, like creamy foie gras mousse with grilled bread and gherkins, and Welsh rarebit. But most of it comes and goes with the season. In fall or winter, maybe pan-fried skate wing, or deer tongue cooked sous-vide for 72 hours, then seared and caramelized a la plancha. Or house-made boudin noir with sautéed apples and watercress. In summer, vegetables with bagna cauda. Dessert runs from Eton mess to soft serve sundae covered with sprinkles. This is a pub with a serious, disciplined kitchen (but that said, they lost the trotter-boning race).
HOURS

Dinner
Wednesday to Sunday
6:00 PM To 10:30 PM

Brunch

Saturday, Sunday
10:30 AM To 2:00 PM

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Photos: Courtesy of Maison Publique

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