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Bar St-Denis: Superb bar & great food in the Petite-Patrie
Emily Homsy and David Gauthier, previously of Au Pied de Cochon, have opened the Bar Saint-Denis together! Don’t be fooled by the minimalist name, the address is much more than a simple bar on Saint-Denis Street. For Emily and David, this project is a kind of refuge for people in the neighbourhood to come and have a good meal, a drink, and party.
While the duo was looking for a space for their project, they fell in love with this location in the Petite Patrie neighbourhood. The corner of Saint-Denis Street and Bélanger may be far from the hustle and bustle, but it is still close to everything, including the Jean-Talon Market. Throughout the preparations, many passersby stopped to ask about the opening date or to express their excitement about the arrival of a new bar in the neighbourhood. In a way, it was the neighbourhood that chose Emily and David.
Beautiful space, relaxed atmosphere
One thing is for sure, Bar Saint-Denis is beautiful and holds a special place in our list of the most beautiful bars in Montreal. The decor was designed by Kim Parizeau of APPAREIL Architecture. The team chose to use materials that will age well, like brass, and give the bar character. In addition, the lighting is perfect at any time of the day. During the day, the sun illuminates the space through the large front windows. At night, the ceiling, which acts as a huge light fixture, provides just the right ambience. At the back of the room sits a particularly open kitchen, allowing guests to watch the waltz of the cooks in action. The rest of the decor intends to create a relaxed atmosphere, where everyone feels at home, and they have definitely made it happen.
Since the project is a team effort and both partners are chefs, the menu was created together. The goal was to create a menu that could be adapted to the desires of the customers: dishes to share, to sit and eat to your heart’s content, or to snack on when the first drinks are empty. Emily’s Egyptian half is reflected on the plates as one can come to Bar Saint-Denis to savour falafel, lamb tartare, and other North African and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes. In addition, the menu features some gourmet bar classics. The magic of Bar Saint-Denis’ cuisine is rooted in the quality of the products and their execution. “Straightforward and distinct flavours, with no fuss,” says David. The address is now part of our list of the best bars where you can also eat very well.
Wine and cocktails
As for drinks, Catherine Sarrazin-Brennan is in charge of the wine list. The house works only with private imports, while offering good bottles at affordable prices; wines that allow for exploration without breaking the bank.
On the cocktail front, Bar Saint-Denis embraces simplicity. “It’s only cocktails that Emily and I drink!” laughs David. A special place is reserved for the drink that has been the duo’s summer staple, the 50/50: half white vermouth and half red vermouth, complemented by a touch of soda. The rest of the menu is inspired by the great classics to ensure that the evenings kick off right. Since their opening, the atmosphere here has been very lively!
Whether it’s to savour a delicious meal, have a quiet drink on a weekday evening, go on a date, or to party until the wee hours, Bar Saint-Denis has become a landmark for the residents of the Petite Patrie.
Note that for groups, the address also offers to take reservations on busy nights.
Written by Samuel Gauvreau Des Aulniers
Photography by Alison Slattery