Mile-Ex Restaurant: Forerunner of the Mile-Ex “hood”
Mile-Ex Restaurant opened in 2012, even before the name of the neighbourhood where it is located got its name! “It wasn’t such a bad idea, was it!.” There are barely 20 seats, nevertheless, it has made a lot of people happy. It might be small in size but it’s big in enjoyment.
Upon entering, owner Gregory Paul welcomes you to his restaurant with his melodic accent from the south of France, just as he would welcome you at his home. Greg is unpretentious, original, passionate and generous, and his restaurant reflects this.
“In France, I owned a restaurant. Ever since I left, I’ve wanted to open my own little place.” After arriving in Montreal, Greg first helped open the restaurant Le Hachoir before being asked to open the restaurant St Cyr. “It went pretty badly, I was really disappointed in the experience. Saying that, it may have given me the kick in the ass I needed to find a small place to open my own restaurant!” A fervent customer of the Jean-Talon Market, Greg was riding his bike everywhere and became acquainted with La Petite Bouffe, which eventually became his restaurant. With few resources, but proof that a place like the Dépanneur Pick-Up does well, the young Frenchman embarked on his restaurant venture. His ideas about what to do with the space and budget were run by his friend-artist-painter-architect Patrice Charbonneau, who helped him put things in perspective. It was Patrice’s idea to create the wall using repurposed wood. “It was a small stroke of genius on his part to succeed in creating something special and original with so little means, and at the end of the day, this is all part of the new trend to repurpose things, costing less money.” The decor of Mile-Ex Restaurant is original, inventive and at the same time, quite simple. Is this what is known as doing a lot with just a little? And with a touch of humour, like the box of condoms in the washroom – you can never be too careful.
Mile-Ex Restaurant opens only at lunchtime. The atmosphere is friendly, the chef is one of the most pleasant around, and his cooking is fantastic. A lot of seafood is eaten at Mile-Ex. “It may come from my Mediterranean origins!”, and the menu is somewhat inspired by the chef’s three-year stay in Los Angeles and the street food. The ‘squid roll merguez’ – grilled calamari and merguez with lemon confit relish – earned him an article in the New York Times (!), and it’s one of our favorite items. Right now we like the fried calamari and broccoli with chickpea and hazelnut hummus, lemon confit coulis and crumbled squid ink. Please note that some menu items change according to the seasons and the chef’s own wishes. The “Motherf***er Burger single, double or triple Canadian beef, bacon, cheddar, spicy mayo, served with French fries and a knife” is also one of Montreal’s best burgers in our opinion.
During the summer, look for the SPOUM ice cream counter in the window next door, serving excellent ice cream. In fact, some vegan options will be available this summer.
Mile-Ex Restaurant is best appreciated for its simplicity to present good food in an enjoyable atmosphere. The diversity of the restaurant also adds to its appeal; Everyone mixes and eats at the same tables and are treated like family. There is a sense of belonging just by being here and it is lively as well as unique. Maybe because it is somewhat hidden and not so close to other places, thus allowing Mile-Ex to be a bit of an unconformist. Mile-Ex also caters for birthdays, groups or other events through Mile-Ex catering, a business owned by Greg and his partner Antoine Larivière.
Written by Élise Tastet