Henri Brasseries Française is pulling pedestrians off the streets and into their luxurious space for some excellent French classics. They opened at the beginning of November in Montreal’s downtown centre, and are already thriving.
The family run company, Hôtels St-Martin inc., are the owners of this new upscale culinary project. The restaurant is located in the historical Birks building in Phillips Square, perfectly reflecting the beauty and elegance you’ll find when you dine at Henri Brasseries Française. The idea that sparked the venture was the desire to create a French-style brewery only with an extra special sparkle. Restaurant director, Jack Cheam explains the vision behind Henri, “We wanted to open a Montreal restaurant, both luxurious and relaxed, where people could come and enjoy classic French cuisine, morning, noon and evening,” The restaurant is managed by Imad Nabwani.
The space was created in collaboration with Zébulon Perron and Hôtels Saint-Martin inc, and is absolutely magnificent. With a 120-seat dining hall, and 30-seat bar, a lounge and two private rooms, the dauntingly large space is beautifully arranged. Large windows, textures and rich materials give the restaurant a sophisticated, luxurious and very comfortable atmosphere. You’ll no even be able to find this address on our list of the most beautiful restaurants in Montreal! If you can hold off until the sun returns, the restaurant will also have a beautiful terrace space.
The food at Henri is exceptional- classic French cuisine inspired by the finest ingredients of Quebec. The food at Henri is created by Chef Romain Abrivard (M. Mme, 400 coups, Auberge Saint-Gabriel). The seafood soup is a house speciality and was conceptualized in honour of the legendary chef Paul Bocuse. Other specialties include the “Hambourgeois” and the amazing Arctic char. The menu will continue evolve as the restaurant develops, but the table d’hôte menu will change every single week, making it absolutely perfect for a weekly lunch out of the office!
“Romain has developed a menu that features traditional French cuisine while incorporating excellent Quebec products. Each ingredient is carefully selected and highlighted in the dish to make the most of it,” Jack explains. Among the chef’s favourite dishes, the delicious lobster-fleshed orzo, the excellent Hamburg Henri, the Hochelaga Carrot, the various poultry dishes, are all at the top of our recommendations. Henri’s excellent French cuisine earns them a spot on the list of best French restaurants in Montreal!
As for the wine list, it was developed by sommelier Colin Beaudoin-Lambert. Mostly consisting of privately imported wines, the list also features some proudly Quebec and Canadian wines. There are also several excellent champagnes, including labels from the Dhondt-Grellet estate, which have just recently made their debut in Quebec. As for cocktails, mixologist Eddy Germain (Le Lab, 4th wall) is in charge of the bar. The house mostly offers finessed cocktail classics, as well as some creative house cocktails that give the stage to local products.
“The best part of Henri is the unique concept of a French brewery where people can spend mornings, noon and evenings. I find that this type of chic brewery was missing in Montreal; both luxurious and accessible. I like how people can pass for a simple coffee and croissants in the morning as much as for a festive seafood and champagne dinner! ” says Jack.
Henri Brasseries Française is a must-see spot to discover in the city centre, regardless of the time of day. You can enjoy excellent French cuisine by Romain Abrivard, in a beautiful and elegant atmosphere… is there anything more you could ask for? Congratulations to Henri on this impressive opening!