How lucky we are as Montrealers to get off-shoots of big NYC restaurants and cafés. Is it just me, because I feel like Mtl has become the sister city to all the amazing trends and shops that want to expand into the Canadian market. I love that we have that draw for businesses and I get so excited to try out my favourite out-of-town hot spots right here in our hometown! When Café Maman opened their doors in the heart of Griffintown, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some of their baked goods and scrumptious brunch options.
The low down on Café Maman goes as follows: Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte opened their first resto-café in SoHo in 2014. They’ve opened I believe about 8 Café Maman’s over the past years, and have recently expanded to Canada (they’ve got one in Toronto as well). Bringing their favourite childhood flavours to life, Café Maman boasts a classic French flare that inspires their ever-evolving menu. Joining forces with Sabrina Taddei to open their Montreal restaurant, the team will play off Taddei’s event planning background and lend Café Maman as a private or semi-private space for all kinds of fun events.
As a restaurant, the recipe is simple: mom inspired foods that are delicious, hearty, and reminiscent of warm flavours – whether it’s a soup or sandwich, quiche or salad, their foods just feel like home (but on a whole other level!). They are known for their desserts and pastries, and famous for their nutty chocolate chip cookie, I mean when Oprah claims that your cookies are one of her favourite things, you know the lines up are about to begin. They’ve got Brooklyn coffee partners, and that kind of peaked my curiosity… we’ve got such good coffee her in Montreal, I needed to see if their brew was up to snuff—it was!
Their food is amazing, their service impeccable, and the design is so warm and inviting – but I think my favourite thing about Café Maman is that so many of their dishes are named after the mom who inspired it. It really fills my heart to think about how sweet it is to tribute the hardworking mothers who spend so much time in the kitchen, cooking meal after meal for their families, and never get the recognition they deserve. Well, Café Maman found a way to pay ode to the home-chefs that raised us.
If you know me, you know I love to cook and host—there’s nothing like setting a beautiful table and inviting friends over to enjoy a morning of food and laughs. I especially love having company for brunch, perhaps it’s my French background, perhaps it’s because I was raised in the pastry world of Au Pain Doré, or maybe it’s just because brunch is the yummiest meal of the day! As much as I love taking my family out to brunch, I learned that Café Maman caters! Yes! This means that along with some of my brunch staples, I could cater my next brunch and sit back, relax, and enjoy with my family.
I personally loved their dish “Croque-Madame” – packed with eggs, waffle-iron hash browns, avocado, smoked salmon, dill, greens, and lemon. Perfectly executed, I loved how all the flavours blended perfectly together to create a well-balanced breakfast bowl. They’ve also got a grilled cheese that is super indulgent – I may have eaten more than I should’ve! It was all so delicious, I wanted to pick and try everything. Especially the Viennoiserie (I had to check if they were doing it right, right?).
You have to enjoy the beautiful European vibe Café Maman has created right here in our hometown. And, before our summer comes to an end, you’ve got to sit on their gorgeous terrace that feels like you are somewhere straight out of Paris. Bon Appetit!
Photography by Patricia Brochu