The Portuguese fine food épicerie, situated on rue St. Paul in trendy Old Montreal officially opened its doors on April 29. Cantinho De Lisboa‘s chef and part owner Helena Loureiro, who is also part owner of restaurants Portus Calle and Helena, welcomed a full house of guests with a very touching speech about Quebec’s heartwarming welcome some twenty years ago and how it has nurtured the realization of her dreams. She also mentioned in her speech how proud she is of her roots and, of course, all of the dear people that have collaborated towards the opening of the new épicerie. At the official opening, guests got to try out the delicious Portuguese inspired menu of the talented chef.
Some of the multiple amuse-bouches that were being served consisted of Portuguese hot-dogs, savory goat cheese sandwiches with grilled veggies, a cod and chickpea salad, little appetizer plates of octopus salad, and, best of all, the famous mouthwatering Portuguese sweet tarts that go oh-so-well with their punchy espresso. There was also a variety of warm bite sized hors d’oeuvres made of fish, potatoes and meat. A fountain of refreshing juice could be seen at the counter next to the cash registers where guests could cleanse their palate.
The tastefully designed place, by Montreal’s very own and exclusive Italian designer Agostino De Riggi, exhibits traditional Portuguese-inspired art on its walls such as an art-deco sardines painted by De Riggi himself, framed old Portuguese recipes and the traditional Portuguese rooster that brings good luck painted on a brick wall painted by a local artist. Every corner has been thought of with care given to the utmost detail from the colors of the decor, to the positioning of each and every piece of furniture, to the vintage looking coffee machine at the beautiful bar. The dashing design of the place and the tasty menu go hand in hand as a promising future traces itself out for both the designer and his project.
A sizeable number of Portuguese products can be bought at the épicerie, such as homemade macaroons, deliciously soft madeleine pastries, different types of fresh breads and an array of other delectable products. And if your mouth is not watering yet, wait until you taste the scrumptious little bite sized Portuguese tarts filled with a soft and yummy white cream. The trendy and artsy Cantinho De Lisboa is the perfect place to grab a quick and healthy meal to go or to stay and enjoy with a great coffee to accompany it. The big selection of fine Kusmi tea also makes it the perfect stop for tea lovers.
Cantinho de Lisboa is located at 356 St. Paul W. Open M-F 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.