Alma: high end Mexican cuisine

bouteilles de vin alma jambon iberique chef salle à manger alma table hauteur alma

Opened on May 11, 2018, Alma is the project of Lindsay Brennan and Juan Lopez Luna. Together, they’ve created a place to enjoy excellent Catalan natural wines and superb dishes with Mexican flavors, inspired by the Mediterranean coast and Quebec products, in a corner of Outremont that needed it!

A Name with Soul

Alma is a word that means “soul” in Spanish and Italian. After spending considerable time in Catalonia, Lindsay (formerly of Farine and Salle à Manger) was deeply inspired by her experiences and memories from the region to develop a project that combines fine wine and good food: “In Catalonia, we talked a lot about vino con alma; wines with soul. It inspired me a lot. I thought a lot about this concept that recalls the idea of hospitality and that gave birth to Alma,” says the co-owner and sommelier.

From Dream to Reality

After the success of their now-closed restaurant Farine, the two owners dreamed of creating a new intimate space where wine and food would be expertly paired. “Juan and I wanted to share Mediterranean cuisine and the wines from producers we hold dear. It’s a concept we wanted to explore here, in a small neighborhood setting in Montreal.”

Back to Roots

Since the pandemic, Alma has undergone significant changes. The couple also opened Tinc Set, a wine and tapas bar next door. Alma now offers a tasting menu, and since 2023, Juan has drawn from his Mexican roots to refine dishes inspired by his youth. At the heart of Alma’s cuisine lies ancestral corn, celebrated through the traditional process of nixtamalization. This ancient method, inherited from pre-Columbian civilizations, honors both the quality of human craftsmanship and Mexican terroir, offering a tortilla with incomparable taste and texture.

A Cozy Corner in Outremont

Today, Alma is nestled on a small residential street in Outremont. The tranquility of the neighborhood perfectly complements the intimate and hospitable character of the establishment. The decor, designed by the owners, their family, and friends, is simple, comfortable, and warm. The restaurant seats about twenty indoors, while their lovely summer terrace adds a few more tables. It’s now part of our list of the most beautiful terraces in Montreal! The ambiance here is soft and convivial, reflecting the owners’ discreet charm. The space is perfect for enjoying good food and wine.

Exceptional Catalan Wine

The wine list, carefully curated by Lindsay, is truly impressive! Inspired by her travels and stays in Catalonia, Lindsay’s selection at Alma showcases wonderful small producers, offering delightful discoveries of natural wines. Imported by Vin i Vida Imports, most of their products are exclusively available at Alma and Tinc Set. This exclusivity is why Alma is among our top recommendations for places to enjoy good organic wine in Montreal. “Since we want to have a neighborhood clientele, the wine list evolves to make room for new discoveries.”

Carte Blanche Menu and Taco Omakase

Alma also offers a “carte blanche” menu concept, allowing guests to sample a wider selection from their growing cellar, sharing emotional wines from beloved winemakers and older vintages. This nine-course menu, always focused on sharing and the flavors of the sea and mountains, highlights local products and fresh seafood, always accompanied by ancestral corn. Additionally, the restaurant offers a seven-course tasting menu centered around tortilla and nixtamalized corn with a guest chef, known as taco omakase, one Sunday each month. These are unique evenings not to be missed!

Heartfelt Cuisine

Juan (formerly of Farine and Salle à Manger) created all the recipes, showcasing Mexican, Italian, Catalan, and French influences that have always inspired him. We highly recommend trying their famous hand-made corn tortilla by Juan, a pioneer of Mexican gourmet cuisine in Quebec. Everything is absolutely delicious! The dishes perfectly complement the wines offered. Everything is simple yet very flavorful. The chef’s passion is evident in every bite. You’ll savor exquisite dishes that take you on a journey.

A Dream Come True

“We are very excited to share our discoveries with the neighborhood and beyond, offering them experiences that combine our friends’ wines and Juan’s cuisine. It’s really a dream come true!” emphasizes Lindsay.

Given the remarkable and well-deserved success of the establishment and the limited seating, reservations are essential! Group reservations are limited to six people due to the venue’s size. (Note that with the “carte blanche” menu, the cost is charged at the time of reservation, a concept that has become more common, especially since the pandemic, with the “carte blanche” menu considered an event equivalent to a show). The five-course menu option, a preview of the “carte blanche” menu, does not require advance payment.

We have a real fondness for this charming address. Not only are the owners lovely and passionate, but the product offered is exceptional. Superb wines and exquisite small dishes… a wonderful place to discover!

Bon appétit!

Photography by Alison Slattery

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