After being “exiled” to Hudson to become the general manager of the superb Willow Inn, Danny Smiles is making his comeback to Montreal, La Presse has learned, and not just anywhere. He takes over the premises of Maison publique, the closure of which was announced at the end of August.

Certainly, the one we knew on screen in Chuck

But the new project is more upscale and will allow Montrealers to reconnect with the popular chef’s cuisine. A rare thing these days, white tablecloths will cover the tables.

“People ask me what kind of cooking I’m going to do. I don’t really know what to answer other than to say that it will be “my” cuisine, developed over time, that is to say a mix of French and Italian influences, with a Montreal twist,” Danny explained to us. Smiles last week over coffee in Mile End.

You will have understood that the one who said goodbye to the deceased Bremner in December 2019, after eight years of loyal service, does not intend to revive Maison Publique. He simply bought the business from the previous owner, Derek Dammann. The latter has remained very silent since the announcement of the closure of his restaurant on social networks, where he said he wanted to listen to himself and end this great chapter on a positive note. The customers and the team were very disappointed to lose their “Home”.

In addition to the cozy dining room that regulars at the restaurant at the corner of Marquette and Gilford streets have known, Danny Smiles is taking over the adjacent space, where he will likely make a coffee bar, open day and evening. His partners in the adventure are Mitchell Laughren (executive chef of the Willow Inn), Andrew Park (Bremner, Liverpool House) and artist Dan Climan, whose works can be found in several restaurants in the metropolis.

It is the Atelier Zébulon Perron which is responsible for designing the space, to give it new life. The birth of what promises to be a future great Montreal restaurant is planned for the winter.