No. 50: Vin Mon Lapin
150 Rue Saint-Zotique, Montreal
The fourth restaurant from Montreal’s ever-popular Joe Beef group, and the first outside of Little Burgundy, Mon Lapin opened in Little Italy in March 2018. Mon Lapin (“my rabbit”) is a cheeky French term of affection, and the rabbit theme shows up in quirky ways throughout the restaurant, from paintings to figurines.
The eclectic space is welcoming but small at only 30 seats, and, given that the place doesn’t take reservations, it’s best to arrive early to secure a table. Saddling up at the bar or mingling by the entrance while you wait is never a bad idea, though: there’s a good chance that you’ll wind up making friends with other patrons over a glass of wine.
Small plates from chef de cuisine Jessica Noël and executive chef Marc-Olivier Frappier are ever-changing in order to feature the freshest of Quebec ingredients. A menu staple since the beginning, though, has been the sunchoke buns with whipped canola butter, served warm with the intoxicating aroma that fresh bread provides.
Another go-to is pink salad with endive and radicchio, tossed in a praline vinaigrette and generously showered with shavings of foie gras. Meanwhile, on the drinks side, sommelier Vanya Filipovic leads the charge in offering natural wines that are difficult to find anywhere else in the country, here served by the glass. As with any of the Joe Beef restaurants, an evening is best spent in the hands of one’s server, with the sole instruction to keep the food and wine coming.
Photos Wo Food Photographers