20 Sep A little taste of Ludger goes a lonnnnng way
Pop by and be wowed by LUDGER, St-Henri’s new “buvette gourmande”.
When i moved to Montreal’s South-West neighborhoodof St.Henri 5 years ago my father pointed out in jest that if my great-grandfather was still around, he would have been shocked…”you’re moving to st.henri?! I worked for years to get out of there!”.
So it goes without saying that the recent influx of St.Henri’s trendy new spots have surprised not just previous generations but also those of us who have watched the area transform. While the ramifications of such a rapid gentrification will no doubt take its toll, the upside is undoubtably for those of us who want to just throw on our sneakers and head out for a sumptuous meal nearby that isn’t cheap pizza or Green Spot (although really, i can’t hide my fondness for their poutine).
So Ludger – a strange name you say?
Well this prime corner spot on Notre-Dame is the work of one Ludger Lemieux, architect of the Atwater Market amongst other St-Henri landmarks. After only a couple months since opening, the vibe at Ludger has become unsurprisingly… hipster chic shall we call it?
It’s a cozy space, maybe 1000 sq.ft with a truly miniature open kitchen in the back where part-owner and chef, Adam Aspelund and his sous-chef nimbly maneuver as they produce one gorgeous plate after another. For a great view, grab one of the 4 seats directly in front of the open kitchen. You may also find one of the other three owners (Julien Aubin, Madeleine Rivet and Ghislain Bealieu) hustling on the floor alongside their superstar staff.
On most nights you’ll find it buzzing with new St-Henri youth and their visitors. It’s a great vibe; upbeat, not too loud that you can’t hear yourself think, unpretentious.
While the plates range anywhere between $2-$20, they are mainly sharing plates. Not tapas exactly but not full meals either. Most have a star ingredient and a flurry of other flavours but without accompaniment. Although choose the right balance and you’ll have a truly satisfying meal without a shocking bill at the end of the night.
Do not miss Ludger’s cocktails ladies!!!
Nearly everything is concocted in-house and mixed on-spot…i actually watched the talented bartender, Julien, squeeze the lemons and crack the egg into my whiskey sour.
Think speak-easy style…Old Fashioneds, Pims Cup…it’s history rearing its beautiful alcoholic head!
The menu changes often (local market cuisine tends to do that). To start try the moist foccacia that is almost corn-bread’esque ($4) or the always present slider options like the duo of lobster sliders topped with mini-onion rings ($20) or the brisket sliders ($12). I can’t say enough about the sea bream and scallops ($18) as well as the lardon, mussle and clam gnudis ($17). The mushroom risotto literally had a dance party in my mouth. With 3 types of wild local mushrooms, bits of pulled braised beef topped with pickled beets, it was delicate but deep in flavour – at $8 it makes the perfect snack or side.
Fret not veggies of Montreal – the smoked tofu is out of this world ($15). Desserts are ever-changing and ever-decadent. Whatever you do, think hard before you order another dinner plate…think donuts or perhaps a deconstructed smores…?! Come prepared to spend maybe $40-$50/head with a glass of wine or cocktail and leave brimming with hope that Montreal entrepreneurs continue to make beautiful food in every nook and cranny of this fabulous city.
4001 rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Montreal, Quebec H4C 1R3
Open Mon- Sat 5:00 pm – 3:00 am
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