With a successful Spirithouse running the show in Toronto, the next logical step for bar owner and cocktail lover, Len Fragomeni, was to tap into one of the liveliest cocktail scenes in Canada. Late in November, Spirithouse opened its doors in Old Montreal. During the opening, we sat with the owner and got a taste of what they will be bringing to Montreal’s nightlife. Equal parts cocktail lounge, restaurant and bar-tending school, Spirithouse aims to shake up what we know about cocktails and maybe even introduce us to flavours we have yet to taste. With over 400 bottles of spirits at their fingertips, the bar is rivaled only by the SAQ when it comes to choice. We stopped by on opening night to see what all the fuss was about. Situated in a beautifully restored space, Spirithouse is decorated with large studded leather chairs, modern furniture and wonderful lighting. A beautiful and vast bar anchors the lounge and a full kitchen downstairs brings up all the freshly prepared food. It will be a great place to hangout and warm up during the cool months ahead. Though I didn’t get a chance to taste any of the food (my sources tell me it was good but I will have to try it first hand) I did get to taste a couple of the cocktails. I started with a richly flavourful Manhattan and then tried a delightfully smoky smoking on crusade (Gin, 16 year old Islay Scotch, Muddled pineapple, fresh lime, honey syrup and egg white). During my visit to Spirithouse I had a quick chat with Len about his undertaking and why he chose Montreal. He told me that Montreal was the most obvious choice to expand his business. Montreal is a city that is world renowned for its nightlife and people here appreciate the fine ingredients and precision that make our favourite drinks so damn good. I’ll be back at Spirithouse and I will try the food but most of all I’m very curious to be seated at the bar and watching the acrobatic bar staff not just mix drinks but also putting on a show. For more information and reservations visit their website!
Photo credit: David Major-Lapierre and Spirithouse