REV: The Olivier Potier pastry shop is now closed unfortunately. I am anxiously awaiting the pastry chef’s next project.
When I heard there was a new sweetspot opening in Montreal, I of course had to go check it out right away! Especially when I knew that the main man behind this new pastry shop, Olivier Potier, used to be chef Eric Gonzalez’s pastry chef as well as chocolate maker Christophe Morel’s second hand man. I had met Potier briefly at the La Vittoria charity evening when he was the pastry chef for the Softel Hotel in downtown Montreal. In fact, having worked on “beautiful” Sherbrooke Street for a while was one of the deciding factors in selecting these new digs.
The new Olivier Potier pastry shop is located in the old Premiere Moisson space on Sherbrooke Street West, near the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in that part of town that almost makes you feel as if you’re in New York. It’s a beautiful stretch of street, filled with galleries, museums, posh boutiques and intricately decorated buildings. I lived around the corner for years, walking up and down that beautiful street on a daily basis…
The Olivier Potier shop is an airy space with a whole wall covered in delicious looking breads from Le pain dans les voiles. The “laboratoire des gourmandises” in the back is separated from the main space by a glass wall covered in decals of a whisk, the store’s logo. Behind those glass partitions is where I found the chef mixing a huge bowl of madeleine dough and running back and forth to the oven testing baking times for all the different pastries that will soon be coming out of this kitchen. Madeleines and cannelés were still in their testing periods while other goodies were already displayed in the front counter, where co-owner Jean-Daniel Fatras was welcoming new customers. Classics like chocolate éclairs and St Honoré share the space with reinvented ones like Potier’s take on the tarte au citron or the Snickers bar. His desserts are inspired by his latest cravings as well as his favourite childhood sweets. His desire to offer his clients the best possible end product pushes him to use only the best ingredients, like imported Normandy butter, Sicilian pistachio paste and Michel Cluizel chocolate, which is my favourite chocolate and one we don’t see used in pastries very often in Montreal. That same desire lead to his cooperation with chef Eric Gonzalez and l’Auberge Saint Gabriel, who are the providers of all the savoury items like the sandwiches and salads available for lunch.
I walked away with a delicious box of four cakes to taste, a most agonizing choice to make since all of the pastries looked delicious. Potier’s take on the lemon tart and on the snickers bar were some of my favourites. The pastries were fresh and the flavours well balanced. The pistachio and raspberry “sandwich” with panna cotta is especially delicious, with a burst of incredible flavour coming from each distinctive element, but without any of them overwhelming the others.
There were so many other incredible pastries in that display case which I will have to go back to taste soon. The cannelés and madeleines being tested in the kitchen the day I visited (the second day after opening) are also worth a trip soon, I’m sure. I left the store wishing I still lived around the corner…
Olivier Potier, artisan en gourmandises
1490 Sherbrooke West
438 381 6111