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Article: The Bonaparte Restaurant, Discreet but Very Popular in Old Montreal, is Celebrating...
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The Bonaparte Restaurant, Discreet but Very Popular in Old Montreal, is Celebrating Its 40th Anniversary

By Mar 26, 2024
The Bonaparte Restaurant, Discreet but Very Popular in Old Montreal, is Celebrating Its 40th Anniversary

Located in a historic building on Saint-François-Xavier Street, next to the Centaur Theatre, this upscale French cuisine restaurant will celebrate its 40th anniversary on March 24th,.

Ranked among the top 100 romantic restaurants by Open Table, Bonaparte is a true culinary gem for theater enthusiasts, tourists, and even international stars like Halle Berry, Charles Aznavour, Julia Roberts, Madonna, Angelina Jolie, and Lionel Richie, all of whom have fallen for its authentic charm, impeccable service, and unique ambiance.

Bonaparte's History

Opened in 1984 by Louis H Ladouceur at a time when Old Montreal wasn't as lively as it is today, the beginnings were tough. However, Chef Claude Postel's exquisite French cuisine managed to win over palates.

In 1987, during the release of the famous film "Babette's Feast" starring Juliette Binoche, the founder had the idea to offer this feast at Bonaparte, attracting media attention and significantly boosting their popularity. Seizing this success, the visionary owner bought the entire building in the early 1990s and demolished all five floors to build a hotel.

In 2017, experienced hoteliers Silvio Sicoli and Gino Melatti, owners of the Epik Collection hotel group, acquired the inn, turning it into the boutique hotel Bonaparte, while keeping the founder as a shareholder. Today, the Bonaparte restaurant offers 112 seats, including 7 at the bar, and features three dining rooms with different atmospheres, including La Verrière, a small room with 20 seats that can be reserved for special events.

The Key to Success

Word-of-mouth has certainly played a key role in the success of this restaurant since its inception. "We turn away customers almost every evening," says Martin Bédard, general manager. "Our ability to adapt over the decades is also part of our success," he adds. "We modernized the decor in 2017 while maintaining our classic style after being acquired by the Epik group."

"We have loyal customers from all over the world, and when they come to Montreal, they choose to dine with us," explains the general manager. Some iconic recipes have remained the same over the years and are still highly appreciated by customers.

"Our philosophy is to preserve the authenticity of the restaurant while keeping it up-to-date and offering warm and friendly service," explains the general manager. "We introduced a tasting menu with wine pairings and also offer gluten-free options. Our theater menu is also very popular during the Centaur Theatre season. It's a fixed three-course menu available from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm," he adds.


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Featured Cocktails and Artworks for Their 40th Anniversary

"We used to have portraits of 12 women representing the 12 months of the revolutionary calendar on our walls. We decided to bring back this concept for our 40th anniversary by commissioning new paintings," explains Martin Bédard. Each month this year, mixologists have created a cocktail inspired by one of these women. Customers ordering these cocktails will receive a souvenir card with the woman's portrait on one side and a poem composed with the cocktail ingredients on the other. At the end of the year, 12 paintings will be hung on the walls of the grand empress hall.

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