By Marie-Ève Venne

“You need to keep an eye on the next project of the ex-Chef at Mousso. It’s definitely going to be something” told me one of them.

Which means that like any good writer, I did the next logical thing, which was to creep social media in order to find any information I could. This is also how I spent next two months looking at perfectly curated photos of wine, pasta, and burrata. I was hungry, I was curious and I definitely needed to learn more.

This why I decided to book a phone call with Massimo Piedimonte.

If Chef Massimo Piedimonte humbly began his career in some of Montreal’s best kitchens, it is only after his internship at the renowned NOMA in Copenhagen that he truly discovered flavours. But after a few years of shining in the kitchen of the Mousso, it was time for him to fly on his own wings.

“I don’t want to create a trendy restaurant; I want Cabaret l’enfer to be a timeless restaurant where people come to have a good time and enjoy a nice meal with a glass of wine” declares Massimo.

The restaurant will be on two floors. While the first floor will feature a wine bar with a few snacks on the menu, the basement will offer a unique and intimate dining experience. We’re talking about 10 to 12 people, where the emphasis will be on customer service and local products. He is already working on picking several herbs and seasonal vegetables that will be used to make vinegars, miso pasta, corn soybeans and other products resulting from a fermentation process. Massimo is also learning how to make his own cheese, since he wants to make sure that every product in his restaurant will be home. The restaurant will be all about quality, from the food served to the atmosphere.

“I want a place that reminds me of the joie de vivre of the belle époque in France, but also reminds me of what downtown Montreal was like when I was growing up. We used to spend our time on St-Denis and it was lively and animated. This is also one of the reasons why I chose this location. I also think we’ve forgotten what the word hospitalized means in our industry.” explains Massimo.

“Perhaps it is a little bit unconscious or even arrogant to start such a project in the current crisis we are going through. But I often say that the sky is not too high, it is too low. I need challenges and projects and we all need to keep moving forward to stay sane” adds Massimo.

This is exactly the kind of boldness we need right now, when everything seems uncertain. Perhaps it is precisely when many of us no longer have anything to lose that we should choose to dare.

-Cabaret l’Enfer, opening May 2021.


Photos Susan Moss.

Written on: November 3, 2020