The recently renovated Plaza St-Hubert has welcomed a new store on its territory: Chez Ernest, a restaurant-bar with a decor inspired by Renaissance cabinets of curiosities, small collections of ârareâ natural history objects in vogue among European aristocrats in search of status of the time.
The modern-themed version of Chez Ernest features framed artwork and handcrafted jewelry not from remote locations, but from local artisans who use the space to showcase and, hopefully, sell their work. The element of natural history is preserved, however, with some odd decorative touches, including dead insects, live fish, and a starfish, scattered throughout the space.
When asked if the last of them was available for purchase, Justine Chevalier Martineau, co-owner of Chez Ernest, told Eater: âWe haven’t decided on a price, but if anyone does. really wants, he can buy it. “
His business partner Renaud Marchal is from France, where, according to Martineau, the âcuriosity counterâ model has gained popularity. First-time business owners, the couple previously worked together at Plaza Ninkasi Simple Malt Montreal bar, which closed during the pandemic. Located one block north, Chez Ernest takes over from another pandemic closure, bistro and Coton event space.
âWe really love the Plaza and believe that now that the renovations are complete, even more people will be coming here,â says Martineau.
After undergoing a major aesthetic overhaul that lasted more than two years and which saw the withdrawal of its iconic green awning, Plaza St-Hubert continues to attract new tenants, including the owners of Beaufort Bistro who are also preparing to open a new project on the street.
With big-screen televisions showing Euro 2020 matches and coffee provided by the Rosemont micro-roaster and CafÃ© ImpÃ©rial, Chez Ernest’s hours are currently more shifted during the day as he is still waiting for a liquor license. However, once he has the appropriate license in hand, Chez Ernest – he shares his name with the skeleton seen, in turn flanking the entrance to the bar or sitting in an antique armchair – will become more of a nighttime affair. Customers looking to soak up alcoholic beverages will then be able to choose from up to 16 Quebec microbreweries on tap, as well as absinthe, served alongside ornate glass water fountains, “just like in the old days,” says Martineau.
In the kitchen, Chez Ernest has teamed up with its neighbors from the Conserva delicatessen, offering a neat menu of small plates including cod croquettes with gribiche sauce, smoked mackerel mousse served with crackers, a porchetta with tonnato sauce and a salmon gravlax with beets. and dill yogurt. Otherwise, it offers a build-your-own tray, with a collection of dips, cheeses, pÃ¢tÃ©s and cold cuts to choose from.
Chez Ernest is currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 6596 rue St Hubert. Times are subject to change.