A New System in the Plaza

There is a new place to dance in the Plaza, to the sound of local and international DJs, and to discover emerging artists and underground. But it would be a shame to reduce System to a club. Because if you jiggle there after dark, the place is also a bar where you can eat very well, ideal for aperitifs or to eat and drink good wines from private imports and signature cocktails, before to let loose on the dance floor.

Posted at 11:00 a.m.

Iris Gagnon Paradise

Iris Gagnon Paradise
The Press

Sebastian Cowan is the founder of the record label Arbutus Records, which rose to prominence notably by releasing Grimes’ first three albums. A few years ago, he acquired this building on Plaza Saint-Hubert, after being evicted from a warehouse converted into condos. Upstairs, music studios and the non-profit radio n10.as, founded by Cowan, have their quarters. “The dream has always been to be able to have a space like this, on the ground floor, to create a cultural space dedicated to music,” he explains.

  • Airy and crispy, the potato pancake is an instant hit, with its tomato jam and whipped mascarpone.

    PHOTO DENIS GERMAIN, THE PRESS

    Airy and crispy, the potato pancake is an instant hit, with its tomato jam and whipped mascarpone.

  • A dish of sishito peppers on chimichurri sauce, with 2-year-old Pollastrini sardines

    PHOTO DENIS GERMAIN, THE PRESS

    A dish of sishito peppers on chimichurri sauce, with 2-year-old Pollastrini sardines

  • For dessert, the very photogenic Black Forest pie

    PHOTO DENIS GERMAIN, THE PRESS

    For dessert, the very photogenic Black Forest pie

  • Among the cocktails on the menu: Le Corbusier, based on Nardini Tagliatella (an amaro), aperol, lemon and soda

    PHOTO DENIS GERMAIN, THE PRESS

    Among the cocktails on the menu: Le Corbusier, based on Nardini Tagliatella (an amaro), aperol, lemon and soda

  • The Berry Sour, with rum, Lillet, crème de cassis and soda

    PHOTO DENIS GERMAIN, THE PRESS

    The Berry Sour, with rum, Lillet, crème de cassis and soda

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This dream was able to materialize when the Café Crème, located on the ground floor, closed its doors. The music lover had the good idea to call on the restaurateur David Schmidt, who does not lack experience in this area with addresses such as Le Mal Nécessaire, Fleurs & Cadeau (and his bar in the basement Sans Soleil), Club Pelicano , Grapefruit Bar, etc.

Together, they imagined this neighborhood place that wants to do things differently. A new system, in short, summarizes Sebastian, who could not use this name, because it is already taken by the dinner New System, a place he particularly likes, by the way. “The values ​​we want to put forward is to allow employees to benefit from the profits we make. Tips are shared equally between the kitchen and the floor, by the hour, not by the day. So there is no “bad shift”. In the end, we brought together high-quality people in a company with social impact,” adds David.

  • Part of the System dining room

    PHOTO SARAH O’DRISCOLL, SUPPLIED BY SYSTEM

    Part of the System dining room

  • Simon Saint-Louis, maitre d', Josh Lauridsen, chef, and Julien de Grosbois, director of operations, are part of the team that carries out Système's mission every day, with Myriam Bélanger, absent from the photo.

    PHOTO DENIS GERMAIN, THE PRESS

    Simon Saint-Louis, maitre d’, Josh Lauridsen, chef, and Julien de Grosbois, director of operations, are part of the team that carries out Système’s mission every day, with Myriam Bélanger, absent from the photo.

  • Chef Josh Lauridsen notably worked in the kitchens of Club Chasse et Pêche, Le Filet and Le Garde-Manger before landing at Le Système.

    PHOTO DENIS GERMAIN, THE PRESS

    Chef Josh Lauridsen notably worked in the kitchens of Club Chasse et Pêche, Le Filet and Le Garde-Manger before landing at Le Système.

  • Système is a restaurant and bar that turns into a club at night.

    PHOTO DENIS GERMAIN, THE PRESS

    Système is a restaurant and bar that turns into a club at night.

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Among them, Simon Saint-Louis, butler (Buvette chez Simone), and Julien de Grosbois, director of operations (Philémon Bar). At the helm in the kitchen, the experienced chef Josh Lauridsen (Club Chasse et Pêche, Le Filet, Garde-Manger) is happy to have the freedom to offer small seasonal dishes, according to his inspirations, by working with suppliers Proximity. Mediterranean flair and “snack bar” inspiration come together here: sishito peppers with anchovies and chimichurri sauce, “steamed” burger smash with homemade milk bun, fried halloumi croquettes, etc.

The best of both worlds, right?

Open Tuesday to Saturday, from 5 p.m.

7119 Saint-Hubert Street, Montreal

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