A Montreal-Themed Restaurant Just Opened In Washington, D.C. — Here's How They're Repping Our City

"D.C. was in dire need of some poutine."

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​People eating poutine and oysters. Right: The co-owners of Le Mont Royal in front of the restaurant's neon sign.

People eating poutine and oysters. Right: The co-owners of Le Mont Royal in front of the restaurant's neon sign.

Montrealers who visit Washington, D.C. can get a taste of home at a brand-new French-Canadian restaurant. Le Mont Royal just opened in Adams Morgan, one of the U.S. capital's hippest neighbourhoods, bringing some much-needed northern hospitality south of the border.

The neon-lit bistro-meets-disco serves classic Quebec fare with a twist, such as a sweet foie gras-filled Twinkie, French tartare made with venison and customizable poutine inspired by one of Montreal's top late-night joints.

"We took a lot of inspiration from Patati Patata. It's the best poutine," owners Chas Jefferson and chef Bart Hutchins told MTL Blog.

"Every Montreal expat who lives in D.C. has been here. They all come in real hot letting us know that they are from Montreal and that they know the superior poutine. But then they try ours and say it's very good, so I think we've passed the test," they said.

The 150-seat restaurant has seen line-ups around the block since it opened on January 6 with customers hungry for classic Montreal meals.

"Our most popular dish is hands down the poutine. Guests can customize it and the most popular add-ons have been foie gras and duck confit," said Jefferson and Hutchins, who use fresh cheese curds to top off their creations.

The duo bonded over time spent at award-winning Montreal restaurants — citing Mon Lapin, Beba, Otto Bistro, Joe Beef, Le Vin Papillon as some of their faves — and wanted to bring the vibe home.

"We were looking for an unpretentious yet elevated style of French cuisine, which we felt like was missing in D.C. We wanted to bring a treatment of French food that you could have before you go out or on a Tuesday. Food that doesn't feel like it's reserved only for special occasions," they said.

"Also, DC was in dire need of some poutine."

Le Mont Royal doesn't just serve soul food, however, it also brings the music. A live DJ mixes vinyl records most nights under not one, but five, disco balls that hang above the dancefloor.

"The music was a really important piece of Le Mont Royal that we felt was previously missing in D.C. A culture around disco/funk/boogie/soul exists in other cities like Montreal and Paris, but those genres didn't have a real home in D.C. before we got here," said the owners.

Patrons can cheers the decadent hommage to Montreal culture with specialty cocktails, such as the Super Sexe (beet-infused tequila, xila, lime, and aji sage salt), the Polar Espress (vodka, amarovero, coldbrew coffee, maple syrup, egg white) or the Rickey Royal (gin, lemon, kumquat, Halifax birch syrup, and Topo Chico).

So next time you feel like taking your Montreal night out for granted, just remember there are poor, starving kids — or rather, affluent, sated adults — in D.C. who'd love to be where you are.

Le Mont Royal

Where: 1815 Adams Mill Rd. N.W., Washington, DC

When: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday to Sunday; 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; closed on Tuesday.


Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an award-winning writer, editor and former radio journalist with a passion for finding hidden gems in the city.
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