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Patrice

Les Chèvres

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I drove past Les Chevres everytime I went out for dinner, and it usually looked pretty busy to me. Also, Les Chevres was located between TMR and Outremont, two of the most affluent burbs in the city. Of course it was far for tourists shacked up downtown, but you have to question why it wasn't attracting locals.

The biggest complaint I heard concerning Les Chevres was about portion size. I never had that problem, but I wasn't too thrilled with their stingy wine pours.

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I ate there a couple of times and left hungry (as did my companions). I think that, despite the quality of the offerings, the combination of high prices and meagre portions left many people without the desire to return.

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I just read that Chartier story in La Presse and I gotta say, I think when he thanks Mr. Beausoleil and the chefs at the end of the story, he bit off more than he realized he was about to chew. I think there are many people out there who are not thanking this trio, but saying "show me the money." To blame Montrealers for being stingy diners is one thing, but to praise people who left major debts in their wake is quite another.

Also, as to the location question, I would like to point out that Joe Beef is in the middle of no where, and just look at Brunoise. I lived around the corner from that locale for years when it struggled as the Bistro St-Andre and, to a lesser extent, Fandango. Now the place is packed.

Let's not forget the restaurant business is just that, a business. The closing of Les Chevres looks like a case of bad business and the lack of a clear concept. Everytime I dined there they seemed to be trying out something new.

To blame Montrealers for the closing of high end restaurants seems a bit rich to me. Chartier finishes off his article saying we can keep our poutine while our good chefs will be off opening excellent restaurants in other cities. My thought right now is that there are a lot of stiffed suppliers in the city that would prefer to see certain restaurateurs set up their mismanaged shops elsewhere.


Edited by Lesley C (log)

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Mr. Chartier's article had some valid points but his hypothesis is slightly off. I do not believe that montrealers lack gastromique appreciation. The reason restaurants like toque anis and i could add a few have trouble staying profitable is simple economics. Supply and demand..... Our pockets aren't deep enough. And their are not enough restaurant goers for the amount of restaurants. Add to that the fact that people eat out more often and there for have less disposable money per meal hurting high end restaurants.

Let s take a fictional household that makes an above average $100k of after tax income. Husdband wife and 2 kids. Substract car payments, gas insurance (18k) , Private school for the kids (10k), vacations (10k), House or mortgage or rent (15k), parking, internet, telephones, clothing, etc (20k). Monday to friday lunch at work at an average of $20 per meal times two (10k). We are left with 17k. That leaves about 350$ per week, so if y ou don t feel like cooking twice a week and go for a quick bite take off 100$ that leave about 250$ for fine dining, That leaves for one high end meal per week. Now think about how many households make more than 100K and think about how many restaurants are looking to get $250 or more per couple then their is definetly an oversaturation of the market. (SORRY IF THE NUMBER ARE A BIT OFF, BUT I HOPE MY POINT IS MADE)

Furthermore Montreal's restaurant market is artificial. What I mean is their are many unprofitable restaurants (take some st-laurent spots ) street that miraculously stay open for years with hardly any volume. Alot of restaurants have unlimited piggy banks to keep refinancing,(wonder where the moeny comes from ?) These restaurants keep the market saturated putting a downward pressure on price and there for making margins tighter. Today a new restaurant needs to have at least 12 months of cash flow to be safe! That s alot.

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I also heard from an accountant friend that Revenue Quebec has decided 2007 will be the year of the restaurant audit. And when they audit, they audit in incredible detail. I pity the restaurants that have to endure that kind of scrutiny, which makes a restaurant review look like peanuts in comparison.

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It s really tough. Revenue quebec restaurant auditing could be done by a monkey. They just call their colleagues at the saq and find out how much alcohol was purchased and using their first year cegep statistics course can find out the resto s sales within 10% accuracy. It really sucks for restaurateurs, especially small family run businesses.

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I hear they have started weighing the food.

That is harsh. But I can't say I blame them for fighting money laundering as well as preventing them from evading paying taxes. Every dollar stolen by a buisness owner is one more on regular tax payer's burden.

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Just read on Cyberpresse that Patrice Demers and Claude Beausoleil are planning to open a dessert bar inspired by the Room 4 Dessert in Manhattan.

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Just read on Cyberpresse that Patrice Demers and Claude Beausoleil are planning to open a dessert bar inspired by the Room 4 Dessert in Manhattan.

Very Very Interesting

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I wonder if their new place will honor the Les Chevres gift certificates that they sold before Christmas.

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I wonder if their new place will honor the Les Chevres gift certificates that they sold before Christmas.

That would be great. I've been biting my nails for not using mine as soon as I've heard of closing rumours.

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I wonder if their new place will honor the Les Chevres gift certificates that they sold before Christmas.

They did this? That was acutualy not a very nice thing to do.. they must have known that they were closing...

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I wonder if their new place will honor the Les Chevres gift certificates that they sold before Christmas.

They did this? That was acutualy not a very nice thing to do.. they must have known that they were closing...

that's pretty low...


"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

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I wonder if their new place will honor the Les Chevres gift certificates that they sold before Christmas.

They did this? That was acutualy not a very nice thing to do.. they must have known that they were closing...

that's pretty low...

Just to make things clear, I got my certificate a long time before the closing. I was just too slow at using it.

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I heard from two people who got them for Christmas. They asked me for advice but I didn't know what the say. Something like, if you want your money back, get in line. And boy is that line L O N G and full of A N G R Y people...

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I heard from Patrice Demers on Friday and was hoping he would post the news, but....

So here goes, as of this week, he is taking over the Laloux kitchen as executive chef and pastry chef, and Danny St-Pierre, formerly of Les Derriere les Fagots will be chef de cuisine.

I don't quite get the executive chef/chef de cuisine thing there, but good luck to them both.

Update: apparently Demers is just the pastry chef and the restaurant only opens for dinner after Feb. 7


Edited by Lesley C (log)

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