1023 ONTARIO ST E, MONTREAL, QC
OPENED IN THE early fall of 2015, Le Mousso has slowly conquered the hearts of Montrealers, who now regularly take a detour to the edge of the east-end neighbourhood The Village to appreciate the restaurant’s Québécois take on neo-Nordic.
Why? First, because the space is striking. Jean-Paul Mousseau, the grandfather of Le Mousso founder and chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard, was a prominent Quebec artist in the ’60s and ’70s and also artistic director of the Montreal subway. Two of his spectacular, back-lit murals adorn the walls of the dining room and give it an artsy contemporary feeling, while an open staircase slightly behind the bar leads the way to the open, ceiling-less basement kitchen. The other draw is Mousseau-Rivard’s spectacular food. He prepares affordable, flavourful dishes—slightly austere in their presentation but always beautifully crafted—that honour Canadian products, like British Columbia sturgeon caviar, sweet onion, fermented cream and roasted bone marrow consommé or fir-smoked scallops with wild plum butter.
Or a dessert made with Greek-style yogurt from Quebec with cherries and marinated flowers, accompanied by mini kefir pancakes with rose-flavoured crème fraîche. The plating is obviously inspired by the food presentation of Scandinavian chefs such as René Redzepi and Magnus Nilsson, but the tastes are absolutely Canadian, whether it’s maple-infused bourbon or potato bread made with fermented and hay-smoked dough. Le Mousso is a new Montreal classic.