In a city like Montreal every night of the week has the potential to be an exciting one and a restaurant opening is almost a guarantee that an amazing time awaits. People get dressed up, champagne flows throughout the night and a general joyful mood sits over the evening like a happy mist. Le Richmond had it’s official opening in late November of this year and we were there to take in the sights and sounds of a night of high expectations.
It was a relatively cool night when our car pulled up in front of Le Richmond and we hopped out, directly onto the red carpet. Thanks to guest list we didn’t spend a second more than we had to in the cool night air and we waltzed in, smiling as we sauntered passed the bouncers.
After shaking off the cold and leaving our coats at the foyer coat check we moved into the restaurant. The massive space was wow inducing and filled with Montreal’s most fabulous people. We quickly spotted the bar and plowed our way through the crowd to get ourselves started with a drink. From the bar I did a quick 360 to see the dazzling lights and hear the chatter and laughter coming from every nook and cranny in the restaurant it felt like a Baz Lurhman production at it’s best.
Le Richmond is located in a wonderfully restored building in Griffintown. With a wide and beautifully decorated, multi-tiered main floor and a secluded mezzanine tucked away upstairs, there’s plenty of room for everyone to chat and enjoy dinner for hours. As spacious as the restaurant is, once we were seated it felt cozy and intimate. The central focus of the restaurant is the bar. It sprawls out across the main floor with enough seating and space to crowd around for a proper 5a7.
Because it was opening night, the place was a total gong show. There were people everywhere and the wait staff seemed to try their best to keep the crowd happy. Our table wasn’t quite ready so we sat with a few friends who had arrived for the earlier service (two services, one at 6:00 and one at 9:00 is becoming very trendy in the city; I’m not quite a fan). Again because of the crowd it was tough to get served but we managed to have a couple of glasses of wine.
The night was fun (we introduced a friend to tequila with hilarious results!) but we decided not to try and get food because it wouldn’t be fair to judge the service and the food on a night like this (from what I hear of that night, I made the right decision). My friends and I will go back soon to give it a shot. I’ve heard mixed thoughts on the food and service from friends who have since gone and I’m more curious than ever to see where they will end up on Day Jobs and the Nightlife.
As for high expectations, not all of mine were met but I wasn’t disappointed by what I’ve seen so far. Le Richmond will draw crowds and its already become quiet the hotspot in the city. Being the place du jour in Montreal is fleeting and it is style and substance that will dictate Le Richmond’s longevity.