Jamie Oliver's Maison Publique, a Montreal restaurant pub which opened October 10, 2012, is the celebrity chef's first North American restaurant venture. Serving British tavern inspired fare, Montreal chef Derek Dammann, Oliver's business partner and once-upon-a-time sous chef and chef de cuisine at Fifteen Restaurant in London -vthe same restaurant where a favorite 2012 Montreal High Lights guest chef Nicolas Scheidt started his career- did go on the record regarding one dish. Fish and chips won't be on the menu.
The Name, The Chef
Jamie Oliver might have an international spotlight following him wherever the celebrity British chef goes, but Dammann is in full control of the menu and the cooking, proposing British pub fare to match the restaurant's down-to-earth pubby theme, evident in its name alone.
Maison Publique is French for public house, or simply pub, aka those ubiquitous community centrepieces/homes away from home across the pond in the U.K. and in various Commonwealth nations. Not one to be overshadowed by Oliver, Dammann is also a star in the minds of local foodies, having helmed the kitchen at the once-upon-a-time hot spot that was DNA, an Old Montreal favorite that closed down in June 2012, to the surprise of many a fan.
The menu changes frequently so there's no set list per se. Previous weekend brunch items include veal schnitzel, salmon gravlax, oven-baked oysters and blood sausages with eggs. Dinner items could include Welsh rarebit, crispy pig skin and radishes, foie gras parfait, cold roast middlewhite with dandelion, halibut bathing in dulse butter and hogget with oats and cabbage or whatever crazy juxtaposition Damman decided to concoct.
Brunch can range anywhere from $4 for toast and jam to $16 for salmon gravlax to $40 for a special "brunch for two," which the grapevine confirms is a huge English breakfast composed of pork chops, giant bone marrow, blood pudding, bacon, sausages, fried eggs, potatoes and baked beans. Dinner prices tend to hover around $40 for mains if you include a side of veggies ordered separately. Appetizers are in the $6 to $14 range. Bar menu items are anywhere from $2 to $10.
Expect a lax dress code to match the reportedly down-to-earth experience Oliver and Dammann are promoting.
The restaurant is currently in first-come, first-served mode though reservations are permitted for groups of 6 or more.
Dinner is usually Wednesday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Brunch is weekends from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact chef Derek Dammann for details.
Location: 4720 Marquette, corner of Guilford, Montreal, QC H2V 2K3