The young owners of the newly opened restaurant Lili Co. – chef David Pellizzari and Catherine Draws – have recently given life to two babies at once: their adorable little daughter Lili and their equally adorable restaurant Lili Co.
The tiny, 28-seat restaurant is located on a residential street in the heart of the plateau. Formerly Resto Bienville then Le Bienville, here’s hoping that this latest incarnation is here to stay. The micro-space is probably as big as my dining room at home, with a few tables set up and a bar along one side behind which the cooks are permanently busy-as-bees in the small kitchen. A bar stool is definitely a great seat if you like to watch the action.
Lili Co. specializes in “offal, natural wines and cocktails” all of which are present at every meal, including brunch. Don’t worry though, if you are not the type to be munching on a veal tongue sandwich with your morning latte, there are items on the menu that satisfy every taste.
On a recent quiet Saturday morning visit, I sampled a few of the brunch items offered. We started off with the raisin scone served with cream and the apple and cheddar tart served with caramel, which I highly recommend. The dough is flaky and buttery and the apple and cheddar filling are perfectly complimentary, the former acting as the perfect acidic balance to the richness of the latter.
For my main dish, I ordered the octopus salad with a purslane chimichurri, grilled halloumi, smoked tomatoes, Moroccan olives and grilled bread. This excellent dish combines purslane – a common herb in Lebanese cuisine that I grew up eating often but is hardly seen on menus in Montreal – and grilled halloumi, one of my all-time favourite foods. The octopus is fork-tender and the lemony chimichurri a perfect accompaniment. My only complaint is that this dish might need a bit more bread or some kind of starch (potatoes?) to make it slightly more filling (or perhaps I was just more hungry than usual that morning). I also tasted the pieds bleus mushroom omelette, a dish as beautiful to look at as it was delicious and the banana pancakes with smoked bacon and dulce de leche, an absolute delight if you like pancakes.
Next time I go, I am giving the veal tongue with caramelized pears french toast sandwich a try. I watched the chef preparing one as I was sitting at the bar and it looked absolutely incredible! And yes, there will be a next time because if you are looking for something different to eat at brunch time, then this little gem is worth adding to your repertoire.
4650 Rue de Mentana
514 507 7278