“We didn’t expect it to work this well. It’s full every evening,” says Thomas Vernis, both surprised and enthusiastic, after eight weeks of opening.
This shows how much Pointe-Saint-Charles needed a neighborhood restaurant like June Buvette. “I have opened restaurants, and I have never experienced an opening like this,” adds the man whose Tomahawk group has several restaurants in Old Montreal (Santos, Buvette Pastek, Unibar) and steakhouses. Cute.
The decor by Guillaume Ménard is warm, with numerous counter areas and tables lined up on either side of two candlelit benches. At the entrance, bathed in light through a garage door, an island invites us to see the bottles of wine to taste by the glass.
Thomas Vernis has as partners Thomas Engasser and Kevyn Houpert (both from La Traversée, the restaurant at Bota Bota), without forgetting Patrick Marion, executive chef of the Tomahawk group, who lives in the neighborhood.
A native of Ottawa, Patrick Marion says he compensated in hard work for not having studied cooking. He worked at Millerand in the Magdalen Islands, at Pilgrimme in British Columbia and in a certain old renowned restaurant in Copenhagen called Noma. June Buvette is for him the culmination of all his experiences: fine execution “without pretension”.
“I think we have found a nice balance between tasty and seasonal cuisine,” rejoices Thomas Vernis.
Welcome is the menu of dishes between $14 and $28 that can be shared or eaten alone. Although the menu changes regularly, there are two signature dishes that we order for the first time knowing that it will not be the last. : scallop pogos and beef tartare topped with cheddar cheese on a rosti. As for privately imported wines, they are carefully chosen – between established values and small producers – by sommelier Olivier Deschamps.
In its renaissance, Center Street has everything it needs to become a destination with Sabayon, the Milky Way cocktail bar, Knox Taverne, and several cafés (Cosé, Bloom, Clarke, Florence). At June Buvette, the clientele is so great that we will add a “cocktail and lounge” section to the neighboring premises. We hope to be able to accommodate or make people wait there who do not have a reservation.
Thomas Vernis also hopes to sign a lease in a neighboring vacant space for another project… No doubt, things are happening in Pointe-Saint-Charles!