Knox Taverne has been open since early 2015 and from all aspects, it is magnificent.
Aware of the importance of local history, the owners (Joe D’Angelo, Julien Gauthier, Jérémie Courtemanche, Adam Mariani) have taken the name of the Knox family, who, at the turn of the 19th century, owned swathes of the area’s then farmland. Successive generations built the Knox farmhouse, a street was named for the family and now we have Knox Taverne.
The design of Knox Taverne is also a reflection of that era’s history through their use of raw materials, showing off what can best be described as a refined “working class” aesthetic. The result is easily one of Montreal’s most beautiful bars. Knox is located in a large, long room, with wood and brick being the dominant features. The rustic floor is of hardwood and laid by the owners themselves in a herringbone pattern. There is a large wooden countertop bar and on the opposite side, a “living wall” of climbing plants that stretches up the brick wall onto the ceiling, interspersed by small hanging lights. Most of the decor at Knox is sparse, however, this “green” wall creates its own special atmosphere, especially in the evenings. During daylight, three large garage doors allow the space to take full advantage of the abundant natural light. The bar area is inviting and friendly and it all adds up to a space we like very much. Knox seats more than 60 people, including 14 at the bar, with 30-40 additional places on their terrace in summer.
Now for the menu – Knox is also on our list of Montreal bars serving the best food. Chef Aldo Loud (formerly of L’Orignal) prepares the cuisine. This is food of a hearty nature, also known as “comfort food” and chef Loud has inserted some Mexican touches that evoke his origins. As an appetizer, there are about five choices including excellent fish tacos with red cabbage, tomatillo pico de gallo and chipotle mayo. There are seasonably available choices such as the chef’s carrot risotto in the fall but the real star here is, and remains, the Knox Burger. “Knox Spiced N Coke”- one of Montreal’s finest burgers – is a fascinating blend of flavours, with a homemade coca-cola mayo and a variety of condiments each one better than the last. Such a treat! The menu is excellent and may change according to the seasons, nevertheless, rest assured that the Knox Burger remains. Menu prices range from $9-$15 for starters and $13-$18 for main courses. Food is served until 10pm Monday to Wednesday and until midnight Thursday to Sunday.
Knox classifies itself as a bar. We usually find the whole team behind the bar counter but it’s mainly Thierry Valiquette who takes care of the drinks side of the business. For its cocktails, the bar prepares many of the ingredients such as homemade cola or ginger ale. They also specialize in whiskies and bitters, with about 50 varieties to choose from. Inspiration for the cocktails comes from the yearly seasons with new choices being introduced according to the time of year and availabilities. We look forward to these.
Come to Knox Taverne for dinner and have a great time, as we do. There is so much to like about Knox from the good cocktail menu, the wine list, the food menu and of course, the decor. “We like to see familiar faces coming back here, returning because they enjoyed themselves.”