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L’Idéal Bar & Contenu: Welcome to all
L'idéal bar & contenus
151 Rue Ontario East Montréal H2X 1H5
Tuesday: 4:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Wednesday: 4:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Thursday: 4:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Friday: 4:00 PM – 3:00 AM
Saturday: 4:00 PM – 3:00 AM
- Owner(s) Émilie Amyot, Fabrizia DiFruscia, Frédérique-Anne Brosseau, Florence Gagnon, Katherine Drolet, Martin Guido D'Argensio
- Chef(s) Julia Giraud
- Sommelier Frédérique-Anne Brosseau
- Opened 2021
- Accepts mastercard, visa, cash, debit
- 250 Seats
- Accepts groups
- Has a private room
- Bar Wine bar Cocktail bar
Opened in November 2021, in the middle of a pandemic, L’idéal bar & contenu, as its name suggests, is an inclusive and hybrid space, part wine bar, part club and part creative studio.
Behind this unconventional concept, but very much in tune with the times, are Émilie Amyot (Ping Pong Club, Salon Officiel) and Fabrizia DiFruscia (of the Random Recipe group), former co-owners of Ms. Lee’s bar, which occupied the space until the pandemic halted its operations.
The two partners took the opportunity to rethink their business model and welcome new partners, starting with Florence Gagnon, co-founder of Lez Spread the Word magazine, who is in charge of the content. Because in addition to being a bar, L’idéal offers a rich cultural program.
On the calendar: parties, DJs and guest artists, wine tastings and launches. But the centerpiece of the program are the two podcast series recorded on site in front of an audience. La carte idéale gives guest personalities carte blanche to discuss the subjects that fire them up, while En résidence, the wine club podcast from L’idéal and Ping Pong Club, takes a frank and uncomplicated approach to the wine world.
A hybrid space
The set was designed by Daniel Finkelstein (of the firm Finkel), also a partner in the adventure. Although he had to work with the means at hand (because of the pandemic), the result is both inviting and functional: the vast room that can accommodate 250 people is divided into several smaller, more intimate enclaves. Bathed in daylight thanks to two large garage doors that open onto the street, the space dims in the evening as the bar fills up and the decibel level increases.
At the back of the bar is a second room, with a capacity of 60 people, soundproofed and equipped with a recording studio built by Moog Audio and operated by co-owner Martin Guido D’Argensio, a passionate and multi-talented entrepreneur. It’s here that you can watch podcasts with a drink in hand while the party is in full swing on the other side of the doors.
Both spaces can be rented for private events.
Sommelier and associate Frédérique-Ann Brosseau (Vin Oui) — who was scooped up from Manitoba after it closed — is putting together the wine list, which mixes styles cheerfully: from classic references to juicier wines, by the glass or by the bottle, and organized into five categories, there is something for everyone!
As for the bar, Florence Gagnon describes the offer as “a classic bar from the 1990s”. You don’t have to be shy about ordering a humble gin and tonic or a round of shooters, but you can also be tempted by one of the house cocktails created by Katherine Drolet (also a partner) and her team, or a local craft beer.
In the kitchen, chef Julia Giraud (ex-Buvette chez Simone and Perles et Paddock) is behind the menu. It features delicious little snacks, (homemade pickles, artichoke and ricotta spread, pan-fried radish) sharing platters, and more gourmet plates. We tried the braised pork flank with caramelized cauliflower and the veal tartare with marinated eggplant; both were delicious.
Note that the kitchen also offers a three-course menu at $35 per person for groups for private events.
Located on the Ontario corner of de Bullion, a few steps from the Quartier des Spectacles and the Quartier Latin, L’idéal bar & contenu is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Written by Mikael Lebleu
Photography by Mikael Lebleu