La Marelle: superb address on Beaubien West

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La Marelle opens its doors in the shadowy corner of Beaubien Street, in the former location of the Diplomate, bringing a breath of fresh air to the neighborhood and the street corner!

“A restaurant is the result of a collective effort, an expression of friendship,” says co-owner Brendan Lavery Breier. La Marelle tells the story of the friendship between Brendan (from Salle Climatisée), Carlos Melgar (formerly of Maison Publique and Salle Climatisée), and Taylor D’ottavi (also formerly of Maison Publique and Salle Climatisée). “We all worked at Maison Publique and Salle Climatisée. Carlos and Taylor ventured out to start their own project because they agreed on many things and had something to say. That something found expression in La Marelle!”

Why this name? “La Marelle captures that nostalgic playful spirit. Everyone knows the game; it’s playful, familiar, intriguing, and at the same time a bit blurry.”

The design was created by François Séguin and his son Gabriel Scott-Seguin; the space has been greatly refreshed. The layout remains somewhat similar, with a long bar and a large private room (for 25+ people). The equipment has been updated, with essential previous elements wisely retained, and a lot of warmth added to the space. Beautiful artworks by Susan G. Scott have been added, enchanting diners during their meal. “They are a fantastic family of artists and are our friends.”

The atmosphere here is lively – everyone is either at the bar or in groups, creating an electric vibe!

Regarding the menu, Carlos hails from El Salvador. He immigrated to Montreal at the age of 17. “He wants to create food that is flavorful and good for people.” And he has succeeded. His expertise lies in classic European cuisine, but his palate is rooted in Central America. The menu offers simple yet flavorful dishes. Carlos masterfully balances all flavors, and his menu is inspired by his experiences and roots. Whether it’s seafood or vegetables, you’ll find a unique touch to everything, with his expertise shining in steak preparations.

You’ll find rustic-style wines here. The wine selection leans towards stability: traditional yet not industrial. Taylor clarifies: “We seek out wines from small producers, minimal intervention, simply delicious to complement our menu. It’s certainly an older approach focusing on French, Austrian, Spanish, and Italian wines. Our selection from the New World will be limited, though we love serving excellent local Quebec wines by the glass. It feels fitting and in line with our image, just as we serve Labatt 50 and Romeo gin tonics. I also have a particular fondness for Champagne, Jura, and Burgundy classics, which will always be on the list!”

Why choose this location? “We love it! And we love the neighborhood. We’re proud to be part of it. We hope La Marelle will add something special. We want to bring some light to the dark side of Beaubien, contribute something with this fantastic place,” say the owners. “You open a restaurant with an idea of what you think people want. We’re excited to see where La Marelle takes us and what people will make of it!”

Note that La Marelle will accept a few walk-in customers each evening. We highly recommend this charming new spot.

Photography by Jacee Juhasz

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