EVERY GREAT CITY HAS ITS OWN STRING OF FAMOUS PROLIFIC RESTAURATEURS. We’re more interested in the new breed of city life makers and shifters. Have you ever sat in a restaurant, enjoyed your experience, time passed went to another and also had a good time and never knew the same owner(s) ran the place? Well, it happens more often than you may think, dear reader. That’s how we came to encounter Mr. Schmidt and his band of merry men (and women, obvi).

Given our need to write about 4+1 hot spots and bearing in mind the ADD-ness of most readership nowadays, we’ll keep everything brief and strictly to the (our) point.

We first heard of Maïs while watching a game (Hockey, hello, Montreal) down the block at a sports bar with Disney tendencies. A friend of ours who can’t stand sports (he has other qualities, we double checked; shout out to Chris!) chose to grab a real bite to eat instead of stale popcorn, so he moseyed on up to said resto. We checked it out not long after, as apparently it has a great take on Mexican food and beautiful people, in a very chilled bon enfant vibe. It did, both. Plus, the staff, especially behind the bar, were charming, efficient and knowledgeable. Even when we reserved the back room for a large group, the staff opened its garage-like door and played our own music. Couldn’t get cooler. Just like the pricing.

That’s where we met Dave. One word with the kid (is he even 30?!) and you’ll understand. We became fans. So, of course, we had to check out Café Sardine / Iwashi Izakaya. Like the schizo name says it, it’s a café by day serving serving no fuss day fare along with kick ass pastries to compliment the barista style coffees roasted by Phil & Sebastian. And it turns into a (very trendy du moment) Izakaya Japanese bistro/pub. Where Chef chef Hachiro Fujise & his better half, Aiko, prepare excellent traditional rising sun dishes. Again, the staff was swift and obliging. They’re especially caring to friends of the place. In other words, go there more than once (you will after you’ve tried it) and voilà, they’ll remember you and always greet you “hello” and “goodbye” in Japanese. And by “they” we mean the whole resto including the kitchen staff. You’ll feel like Norm in Cheers. It’s really awesome and like nothing else in Montreal. Again, the pricing is more than impressively low considering the ambiance and quality of dishes.

So, you know how the “world is small”? Well, we started talking on one occasion to prince David and he invited us, ever so suavely with his humble demeanour and perma-smile to a new place he opened in the Russian countryside, or as it happened to be, the Mile-End, called Datcha. A rectangular club with a blueprint built around a bar and the DJ, packed with misfits and beauties of all sorts. This place, we think, is already claiming a spot as a serious contender to some of the illest musical sets pumping out of Montreal. Just like that. Boom. Oups, he did it again. So how is the world small you ask? His partner, our neighbour, Thomas Von Party  and all the latter’s crew from now legendary Turbo Recordings insure the beats come at you relentlessly. But having said that is saying only half the story. When you walk into a David Schmidt joint, you’re royalty. Granted, there’s always the burgeoning crowd and “don’t fuck” doorman – who remains always very calm, cool & collected, even when it gets jam packed with people wanting to get (mostly) in and out. Quite something – but once you’re in, if our beloved energizer bunny sees you, even if working his ass off at the bar, he’ll stop, go around and great you. With a drink. Like Rick in Casablanca, rien de moins!

Datcha is a great way to burn off those extra tequila shots, whole fish, home made beignets or that Jaja somen, we say.

Then again serious dancing does create un petit creu, doesn’t it? And what better way to tend to that urge than by indulging in a little necessary 2:30am evil, in chinatown… In comes the newborn from this exceptional entrepreneur; Le Mal Nécessaire. Bouya. The prince is now king. If only, for the name you have to try this place.  Or the dumplings…

This is one impressive guy behind a string of just as impressive joints.

To try again and again. And again.



Mais3 Yves Provencher

source: Yves Provencher




Café Sardine / Iwashi Izakaya
source: Rodolfo Mogara

Rodolfo Mogara

Café Sardine / Iwashi Izakaya
source: Rodolfo Mogara


Café Sardine / Iwashi Izakaya


Le Mal Nécessaire


Le Mal Nécessaire menu





DSCH Julia Milz

The Man: David Schmidt
source: Julia Milz

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