There are few places on this earth that can boast the nonchalance and knowing understatement of style and class that Montreal can. A city that enjoys the impressionistic way of life, the streets sing many different songs.
This is perhaps best seen in the city’s vibrant restaurant culture which not only speaks of the overarching French influence which swells in this part of Canada but also the modernist thinking that has seen the location become a destination for increasing tourism.
If there is one place in Montreal which typifies its ability to seamlessly marry tradition with new thinking then it is at Vallier Bistro. Situated in Old Montreal, when the vibrant design agency Appareil arrived to blow a breath of fresh air into the city stalwart, many were worried.
It would be difficult to marry up these new designs and expressions with Vallier’s illustrious history without overshadowing or removing its heart. The bistro has been a place for Montrealers to relax and unwind for some time and its beauty is in its comfort.
Somehow Appareil has managed to keep this sentiment while still providing a clean and modern space to do it in. The restaurant is proud to boast “a French soul, but also the warmth of a British pub and the vibrancy of Brooklyn,” but the architectural lines and design are refreshing and comforting, inviting and expressive.
This connection of stylistic choices, from the bistro’s history to its future, is not only a great representation of the establishment but of the city it resides in.
Nowhere is more willing to accept the greys of this black and white world than Montreal and in Vallier’s that all comes to a sharp point. A pin point capable of bursting any notions of what a French restaurant “should” look like and leaving behind a refreshing and enticing experience.
Darkened doorways and moody lighting is replace by high ceilings and the joy of light and air. Intimidating wine and unfathomable menus are a thing of the past and instead the restaurant celebrates the connection between friends and family as it’s only focal point.
If you ever find yourself in Montreal then Vallier Bistro has to be on your list.
All images provided to Far Out Magazine via Appareil Architecture. See more of their work, here.