MONTREAL – The gourmet restaurant Europea, which has re-opened its doors on Monday, provides meals to five services for$ 50 for adults, including a drink, and$ 25 for kids – a fraction of the price before the pandemic.
In normal times, a tasting of 12 services is$ 150 in this establishment, and the invoice exceeds$ 50 for the majority of the main dishes.
Met at his restaurant in the city centre of Montreal, the owner and chef Jérôme Ferrer explains that it took him to rethink the experience and prices to fit. “Financially, everyone has been skinned with the pandemic. So we said: it has to be ultra-accessible.”
To comply with the safety instructions, the interactions must be reduced, and the tables do not have menus or wine lists, or decorations. “We said that it was inconceivable. We will never be able to offer a service of high gastronomy in these conditions,” he said.
“If you’re going to go into a restaurant, you go also for the experience, with a service that goes with it,” says Mr. Ferrer. “What’s the point of going to see a show if there are no speakers?”, does it give as an example.
No question, however, to keep the doors closed.
“We said that we were going to reinvent itself temporarily and created a food, such as an amusement park greedy,” he says. At the entrance, the customers are handing their passport to “Epicure Land”, which will be stamped at each station of the “culinary journey”.
The circuit includes a part arranged to remind you of those sugar shacks that have closed their dining halls this spring. Musical performance and art are also planned. Several paintings of the artist Guilbo are exposed.
Despite the enthusiasm of the owner, there was no certainty as to the survival of the institution, which, like many others, has been financially affected by the pandemic. “We even fear to disappear,” says Mr. Ferrer.
The money will be used primarily to pay the employees, and a small part of the rent, ” he said. “It is not I who have saved jobs, it is them that have saved my business,” said the chief, speaking of his team.
In normal times, three-quarters of its customers come from Quebec, or even in the neighborhood, but the office towers surrounding do not know the back-and-forth as usual.
A neighbouring building site does not help the situation: the owner has complained of a truck parked in front of his restaurant on the same day of the reopening.