Conceria, the new wine bar in the city is about to be your go-to for happy hour.
While Saint-Henri is known for being a local foodie’s paradise, it has sorely been lacking new eateries for the past two years. Thankfully, the neighbourhood seems to be on the verge of regaining its title of foodie mecca with the opening of new restaurants offering innovative formulas, such as Conceria.
Located on Notre-Dame, this Italian restaurant brought to you by the team behind Hello 123 offers an entirely vegan menu composed of dishes that are perfect for sharing with friends. The menu was created by Executive Chef Felix Gagnon, and the Ritz Carlton/Maison Boulud-trained sous-chef Shawn Lalonde.
Their specialties are the house-baked focaccia with shallots gastrique, truffle mushroom arancini balls, crispy Brussels sprouts, house ravioli in pomodoro sauce, wild mushroom & cavatelli ragu and charred leek risotto. They also strongly suggest to save some space for their delicious Bombolone (chocolate house donuts).
During our visit, we went a little bit off the grid and started our experience with the Polenta Fritta (polenta fries served with salsa verde) and Cavoletti di Bruxelles (crispy Brussels sprouts), simple and well-executed dishes that let the ingredients shine without too many overpowering mix of flavours. The Gnocchi alla Zucca (squash gnocchi) reminded us more of a good comforting soup than a hearty pasta dish, without preventing it from being delicious. As for Carote Glassate, it was the perfect final accompaniment to fill us up with its hearty ricotta made of cashews.
The drink menu features a rotating selection of tasty cocktails, as well as a continually changing selection of wines from across the globe that you can purchase by the bottle or by the glass. At the suggestion of the manager of the place, we tasted a glass of Menade Verdejo, an ecological white wine from Spain. This light well-balance white wine was a good pairing for our vegetable dishes.
As for the decor, the room is light and bright, and the red and blue velvet banquettes add touches of bright color. The vast space (90 covers) is cleverly divided by the bar, wine counter and banquettes, giving a sense of privacy and separate areas. During summertime, a 40-seat terrace runs along Rose-de-Lima Street for a dining experience under charming string lights.
The place was full at the time of our visit, making the service a little slow, but this did not disrupt our experience as the food was so good. Let’s give them some time to find their rhythm and we will be happy to go back and explore their wine list again.
Haven’t had your fill of Italian? Tiramisu is a chic Italian/Japanese fusion in chinatown.
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Lifestyle columnist specializing in spirits, food, music and travel. For more than 8 years, she has been sharing her love for a luxurious lifestyle through articles published in Whisky Magazine, VICE, Nuvo and Dress To Kill.