Located in Griffintown, a neighbourhood quickly becoming known as an epicenter for exciting new restaurants in Montreal, Hvor has been hard to miss since opening in May 2016. True, its 70-seat dining room has a sleek, modern design thanks to the team at Atelier Lovasi, but it’s Hvor’s large rooftop garden that is their distinctive focal point, truly capturing the attention of all who visit.
This garden is a verdurous centerpiece that seasonally grows a wide range of vegetables and fruits, the availability of which informs the kitchen’s experimental, locavore menu, which also features the restaurant’s own honey, teas and pan-Canadian sources for protein.
The name “Hvor” comes from the Danish word for “where”; it’s apt, as a sense of place is central to the restaurant’s concept. “It’s about more than being a restaurant; the relationships we have with producers, going from seed to plate, matters more,” says chef Jean-Philippe Tees. “We’re creating our own ecosystem here.”
This garden is a verdurous centerpiece that hosts a wide range of vegetables and fruits cultivated during the growing season, and it informs their experimental, locavore menu.
Changing with the seasons means Hvor’s menu flourishes with the ripe goods of summer and fall—that’s when the menu tends to change day by day, Tees notes—while the winter season reflects what they’ve done to prepare. Techniques like preservation, pickling, and fermentation reign supreme, and the kitchen takes care to use its personal harvests to the fullest extent. This results in dishes like a savoury brioche ice cream with puffed wild rice and sorghum, or gnocchi with winter roots like smoked carrots, pickled celery root, and roasted parsnip.
All told, no matter the time of year, Hvor is a confluence of urban agriculture and adaptation. “We want people to discover food in a different way, and to rediscover flavours that they’ve always known,” Tees explains. “That’s the only limitation we’ve given ourselves.”
After newcomers are given a tour of the facilities—be sure to ask if the chef’s table in the garden is available, as it can never be reserved—they’re given the option of a tasting or à la carte menu, paired with organic wines selected by sommelier Fred Fortin and sweetly rounded off by the creations of pastry chef Éric Champagne. If adventurous, guests are encouraged to simply give the kitchen carte blanche and insight into their preferences. “We want people to know that we’re listening,” the chef explains. “We’ll cater the service to them as much as possible.”
Hvor, 1414 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3C 1K9.
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