The table's set at Commerce Gastrobar — Photo courtesy of Commerce Gastrobar
Commerce serves as a gathering place for foodies, business people and residents of Old Montreal for lunch, dinner and the famous Montreal cinq a sept, or the after-work happy hour. The decor is contemporary yet warm, thanks to gleaming wooden tables and antique lighting.
Popular chef Martin Juneau directs the menu at this trendy spot in conjunction with the team of MTL Kitchen, who are responsible for several other restaurants nearby and in other Montreal hotspots and help serve a variety of cuisine.
Commerce Gastrobar's interior — Photo courtesy of Commerce Gastrobar
Chef Adam Zaitouni, formerly of The Grinder, has created an uncomplicated yet creative gourmet menu using only prime ingredients.
Try the salad of Quebec heirloom tomatoes served with basil ice cream. Many of the appetizers are "of the minute" variety to insure freshness. An ever-evolving menu keeps diners coming back.
Favorite starters include a spicy salmon tartare, a perfectly grilled calamari and the playful popcorn shrimp topped with real popcorn. The charcuterie platter is all prepared in house.
Good choices for a plat principal, or main dinner dish, combine a rack of lamb glazed with honey-lavender cumin with cauliflower couscous and citrus vinaigrette. Alternatively, try the Cape Cod scallops and Alberta AAA sirloin surf and turf combo, served with red and white quinoa, mini vegetables and crispy chimichurri.
These creative combinations continue with the dessert menu that features a deconstructed ice cream sundae, where the prime ingredients are scattered around the plate.
There’s also an ice cream sandwich of the day and a lime cheesecake served with lime jelly, avocado jelly, coconut “sablé” and a graham cookie crumble.
The cinq a sept cocktails include must-try drink combos like the Le Barreau, a nod to Brazillian culture that blends Cachaça, yuzu juice, black tea syrup and avocado. It's best imbibed with the $1 oyster specials.
Other happy hour specials include $5 rail drinks and local brews and a $6 cocktail of the moment that might feature scotch mixed with ginger and lemon.
The attentive and knowledgeable wait staff offer great suggestions for cocktail and wine choices from an extensive list that will pair well with your food choices.