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Jan 16, 2007 08:07 PM

what do you think of Cluny ArtBar?

I couldn't find any reviews of this place specifically when I searched. And their website is minimal ( What's the food and atmosphere like? What's the price like?

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  1. I work right by there, so I'm at Cluny relatively often.
    They get fairly busy at lunch time, especially closer to the end of the week so I try to go either early or late to avoid the crowds. Although in January, as with most restos, things are certainly quieter.

    Cluny serves an array of sandwiches and paninis in the 5$-9$ price range. For that price, you get a sandwich; all sides, drinks,desserts, coffee etc. is extra. The more expensive sandwiches may include grilled chicken breast or smoked salmon while the lower range includes a tuna melt and a bocconcini and tomato panini. Most of the concotions are usually well prepared and tasty, with nice touches of grilled vegetables, fresh herbs or pesto to add some pizazz - although sometimes, they go a little hard on the butter or olive oil.

    Apart from sandwiches, the restaurant also serves a "hot meal" special. The special changes daily and in winter months might be anything from various types of stews, boeuf bourgignon, broiled chicken to varying types of pasta. They're served in a large plate with market vegetables, potatoes or perhaps polenta depending on the dish. The special usually runs in the 12-15$ price range.

    Cluny is licensed, so wine & beer are available although I find the selection limited, and the price a little too high (7$/glass for Medorom which sells for 11.35 at the SAQ - disclaimer: I haven't looked at their wine list in a while so it may have been updated.)

    They also have a several desserts available - the cholcolate mouse is quite nice - as well as a decent espresso. Service is at the counter "cafeteria-style", so it's low key, friendly and casual despite the "ArtBar" epitath.

    The restaurant is located within the Darling Brothers Foundry, which a few years back was converted into an art gallery and now houses the Éspace Éphemère. Although you're not supposed to, you can frequently check out art shows while you're there. The decor is industrial, befitted of the buildings roots and location, yet pleasant for patrons. I believe it was nominated for a Design Montreal award.

    Overall, I go there regularly, so I must like it. It's a refreshing change from most of the diner type establishments that dot the nearby vicinity. If you're careful and know what to avoid, you don't have to spend a lot to get a decent meal. The food is good, ingredients are fresh, the atmosphere is cool - it's a great place for lunch.

    Oh, and I have been there for several 5-7 type events, and their tapas type bouchées are excellent.