He was destined for a career in martial arts, yet fate drew him towards another of his passions — the restaurant business. Since then, Paolo Oliveira has amassed 30 years of experience in this sector, using the values he learned in martial arts. He believes that this business requires passion, courage, humility, determination and just a pinch of madness.
First, he cut his teeth at Café Méliès before deciding to open his own brasserie. When he bought his new business, he renovated it before calling in a decorator. Inspired by New York breweries, Paolo infused the space with his energy, adding the artwork of his friends, some antiques and travel souvenirs. With a silent blessing, he christened the place Le Central due to its strategic location in the heart of Westmount.
As soon as you walk through the doors, Paolo comes to welcome you. His "one customer at a time" technique is designed to make everyone feel at home. The manager works alongside a dedicated, experienced team made up of a chef (also an old hand from Café Méliès), cooks, a patisserie chef, a sommelier and serving staff.
They all share the same vision; the greatest reward is the client's satisfaction. Despite the fact that they use social networks, for them, the best publicity is through word of mouth.
Looking at the menu, patrons discover a cuisine with varied influences, but above all Portuguese dishes from a long-running family tradition, which the chef then adapts to French techniques. In this predominantly English-speaking neighbourhood, the restaurant serves up international cuisine with a twist, tailor-made to unlock new tastes for the locals.
Specialties include Serrano ham from Spain — sliced with the obligatory slicer at the entrance of course — steak tartare, along with caldeirada (Portuguese fish ragout) and a menu which changes with the seasons. There is also an oyster bar in the evenings and brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
One trip to Le Central and it is easy to see what keeps customers coming back: its quality products and service.