"If the Toqué had not existed, if Normand Laprise hadn't taken so much risk, the Quebec restaurant industry would not be where it is today," says Charles-Antoine. "The Toqué will always be a part of me, it's my roots!"
After participating in the television series À table avec l’ennemi on TV5 Monde, Charles-Antoine found that vague plans of a restaurant began to take root in his mind. He got together with his partners to answer three questions: Why open a restaurant? For whom? With whom?
The result is Montreal Plaza, where Charles-Antoine greets customers, sets the tables on the terrace, cooks new dishes and doesn't hesitate to wash the dishes if a dish washer is missing. "A chef who only wants to be in the kitchen just doesn't work," he says, and his whole crew believes in this principle.
"We're more than a restaurant," Charles-Antoine explains. "When I get there in the morning, things start to really move. My buddy Gab from Radio Radio is in my office mixing albums, my mother Juliette makes raspberry puree and my dad tinkers with his clocks. We recreated the family home!"
"I'm sort of a matchmaker," says Charles-Antoine. "My goal in life is not to achieve things. I simply want to explore all possible connections to find an idea in which people will be fulfilled."
And the restaurant has achieved just that, thanks to its wonderful staff and menu. On the wine list, diners can find a Raisin de Loup from the Marcoux region for less than $30, as well as a Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2011 for over $400. The same goes for the menu with, for example, a fish tartare for less than $20.
At Montreal Plaza, diners are meant to feel welcome and to have a good time. Each customer is entitled to the same service and the same attention. "We wanted to do something inclusive, otherwise my mother wouldn't be happy," says Charles-Antoine. "The Montreal Plaza is for people of all ages, from zero to 100. We wanted a restaurant where when you look in the dining room, you don't see any social classes. Here, we welcome everyone with open arms."" >