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Olivier Potier - New amazing pastry shop and bakery

  • g

Just tried this new place downtown and wow... I think I found one of my new favorite spot in the city AND a reason to go in this neighbourhood.

The place is beautifully decorated, parisian-style new pâtisserie I'd say. Pastries are high-end, presentation and taste wise. Just had the Paris-Brest, which is one of my favourite pâtisserie, and it was absolutely delicious. I also bought a beautiful éclair au chocolat which I will try later tonight.

Was kinda disappointed at first to see that the bread was not made by them, but it's from Le pain dans les voiles (St-Hilaire), so it's cool to have access to this GREAT bread in Montréal. They have these giant loafs of le pain du peuple which you can cut and buy by weight. Delicious caramelized crust for a unique bread. This bakery could teach cooking lessons to a lot of bakeries in Montréal that likes their bread white and soft. Also, it's probably because it's the opening week, but you can taste most of the bread.

I think they also had sandwich, soup and salad in the back but I didn't needed that (because bread+Paris Brest is already a perfect lunch) so I didn't take a look.

Will go back soon for sure.

Olivier Potier
1490 Sherbrooke Ouest

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  1. Just found some pictures here for those interested http://willtravelforfood.com/2012/03/...

    I love this wall of breads.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Glaff

      Oh my gosh. This will give me extra incentive to go get my coffee at Myriade and stop for something delicious on the way there or back ^_^

    2. Their stuff is made on site ? or just trucked in from an offsite kitchen ?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Maximilien

        The blog Glaff links to says pastries are made on site and that there is a partnership with L'Auberge St Gabriel to provide savoury food (presumably trucked in, I guess?)

        1. re: unlaced

          Yep all pastries are made by Olivier Potier (who was pastry chef at Sofitel before that). I didn't ask about croissants and the other baked goods, but like the other article says, they're testing their cannelés and madeleines right now, so I think most baked goods will be made there too.

      2. Oh my, does that ever look good. Thanks for the heads-up.

        They also have a site: http://olivierpotier.com/

        1. I went a couple of days ago and thought it fit in nicely with neighbourhood, high priced though. There were no prices listed on pastries (individual ones, I dont recall seeing cakes or pies) and the small caré doré enrobed in dark chocolate (golden square) I chose came to $6.78 with taxes. It was rich though with different kinds of chocolate texture then a delicious runny caramel inside. When I went at end of afternoon there were various labels of pastries but little left so if you want to see the full assortment go early. I dont see buying pastries for many as bill would be quite expensive but to have one or two or share it is a real treat, quality excellent. There is some kind of laboratoire at back after

          the little cafe area . Is it my favourite, I dont know in view of prices, I still like the little neighbourhood ones, had a so fresh maple roulé today at mamie clafoutis. I did see the cut bread on table and wondered what that was about so thanks for info. Here is the name on the bill : Olivier Potier Artisan en Gourmandises (438-381-611). I think it is a good recommendation for tourists on board as so central, near Museum of FIne Arts, and I like the Parisian style of the place. I won`t forget the taste of that little square, nor the price!

          1 Reply
          1. re: mangoannie

            They had cakes today, but not a lot. Guess they will adjust in time with the demand.

            Yeah it's true that about the price, forgot to mention (well actually I didn't even look). But for the quality it's ok with me. It's mainly because of the location I think though...

          2. thanks for pics, it looks like I had the gourmet snicker bar in a square, and I do like snickers so that turned out well! Cant wait to try his version of lemon pie.....

            1 Reply
            1. re: mangoannie

              I'll try this one next time, it looks really good.

              By the way the éclair was awesome!

            2. Did my initial drop-in to Olivier's yesterday, had a cafe-au-lait and a chocolatine and soaked in the surroundings. The pastry was delicious, very flaky crust and LOTS of choco! Staff still trying to get everything in order and working properly.

              The wall of breads was pretty impressive and staff paid it a lot of attention, checking bins and reloading when required. The counter display area where I was told the finer pastries will be displayed is yet to be utilized. The "Atelier" at the rear of the store, aka the kitchen, was operational and functional.

              Some glitches yet to be worked out on electronic POS equipment but staff indicated service calls were to be completed in a day or so. All in all, the service was cheery, pleasant, and wanted to share in their relief that it was finally opened after 3 months of hard work.

              Definitely a spot to return to for my morning constitutional and of course a lunch-spot. BTW, lots of tables to enjoy your purchase. Great seating and lighting. Now only if they offered some Wifi..... might not make it to the office!!!!

              4 Replies
              1. re: JohnnyGe

                Thanks for the report. How much was the chocolatine? The nearly $7 price tag for the pastry mentioned above freaked me out a little. ;-)

                  1. re: JohnnyGe

                    Thanks - that's reasonable. :-)

                  2. re: kpzoo

                    Pastries are 5.95$ so not that bad actually. Similar to Rhubarbe and Fous Desserts if I remember correctly.

                1. The pastries look good but how are the breads compared to Le Fromentier or Mamie Clafoutis?

                  The pistachio and raspberry cake and lemon tart look amazing!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: OliverB

                    Haven't tasted enough to compare, but the Pain du peuple alone is worth the visit. There's nothing like this one at Mamie or Le Fromentier.

                  2. Stopped by yesterday. Was told that some of their breads were from Le Pain Dans Les Voiles and some are not (the bags they use are in fact labeled pain dans les voiles). If there's a gold round sticker on the basket, then the bread is from Le pain dan les voiles. I don't know if the rest are baked on-site or off-site, but it seems that those breads were their own. Maybe I didn't understand his accent.

                    We picked up a baguette levain (just ok), an almond/chocolate croissant (very tasty, crispy) and a cheese loaf (so good we finished it all in 1 sitting). I believe the cheese loaf was not from Voiles, but the rest was.

                    Also picked up a couple of their "cakes". The pistachio and raspberry cake as well as the chocolate/peanut/salted caramel one. We liked them both, but were not necessarily wowed. I much prefer Le Paltoquet's pistachio/raspberry version.

                    That neighborhood doesn't offer much in terms of good bread. Not many options other than the Premierre Moisson breads carried at PA or Provigo (blah).

                    As a big fan of Guillaume and Mamie, I am happy to see a new addition to my neighborhood.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: foodie_mtl

                      That's what I was wondering too about the breads. The pain du peuple I bought was in a "Mie Âme" bag... even though this bread is a Pain dans les voiles speciality.

                      I tasted the pistachio and raspberry pastry too and found it good, but not amazing like the Paris-Brest and the éclair.

                      1. re: Glaff

                        I went yesterday and while they're still ironing things out, the pastries were very good and what was left of the sandwiches and salads were good, even if they don't make them on the premises.

                        I'll go back for the pastries. It's too far out of my way to make it worthwhile for lunch. If I still worked nearby things would be different.

                    2. About how big were these Paris-Brest pastries? big enough for 2?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Fritzy

                        The size of a big chou (it's not a classic Paris-Brest in the shape of a wheel). You COULD share it but I don't think you will want to when you taste it!

                        1. re: Glaff

                          The Paris-Brest was awesome (actually deserving of that poor abused word). The eclairs apparently disappear VERY fast -- I will try again to sample one. The croissants are above average and heavier too. Friendly service.

                      2. Bought 2 baguettes, 4 pastries and 2 croissants. Total came to 36$ with tax. Baguettes and croissants were fine but nothing spectacular.

                        Pastries were delicious and skillfully made. I got the chocolate eclair, the Paris-Breast, The lemon ball thing(meringue, lemon curd, marzipan on a buttery crust) and the St-Honore(which has lemon curd and a vanilla bean chantilly). My 2 favorites were the Paris-Brest and the eclair(eclair was really amazing).

                        1. Croissant ok, heavier and spongier than I'd like.
                          Apple turnover pastry good, inside like store-bought applesauce. Prefer their pastries so far: eclair was good though could do without the coconut; the lemon tartlet thingy was delish, not too sweet and just enough lemon for me; a chocolate tartlet thingy was the best with a bit of caramel hiding in there-yum.
                          Very nice folks. Can't say same for a snooty client who appeared to believe service revolved around her and then brushed right in front of me whilst I was in line behind her as if I weren't there just so she could get to the other counter, but I digress.

                          1. Take cash for tips. You can pay by card, but the machine does not give you a tip option. (Thankfully, I had cash!)

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: hala

                              Just tried it today as well, one of the best eclair's I've had, they have a special with a sandwich salad, pastry and drink; really makes a nice lunch. The staff were very courteous and friendly.

                              I was disapointed when Premiere M closed after the fire as it was a really convenient location for me, but this place more than makes up for it, I hope they do well

                              1. re: tdiddy23

                                How much did the special cost?

                            2. I went by to grab a takeout lemon pastry but got diverted by a pretty pink st honore with rasperry and lichi but that was a mistake, beautiful to look at but no lichi flavour detectable , not memorable. for me As for pastries being same price, not so-- there was one with chocolate shell costing $7+ but one would not know unless ask since prices not visible. The back cafe area was busy a good sign. Will return though to try the lemon one. They have new boxes for pastries which are like a giftbox.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: mangoannie

                                Interesting - I picked up a lot of the litchi flavor when I tried it and found the choux to be quite impressive on both it and the Paris Brest.

                                My biggest problem with OP is that they don't offer the "dessert" pastries before 11:00 and by 11:00 they're more or less sold out of their morning croissants and the like. Compared to most of the better patisseries in Paris who bake most items more than once during the day this seems sort of lazy to me - if I want a Brest and an Almond Croissant at 8am I should be able to get it. :-)

                                Additionally, while the flavors are spot on, I'm pretty sure they bake a bunch of macarons in advance and chill them - the cookie was quite gummy on the salted caramel, though the Pear was admittedly quite well made.


                                1. re: uhockey

                                  you are probably right, I never order these kinds of pastries as not my favourite, I like more substance and crunch, but your photo shows exactly why I was tempted this time! Have you done your review yet of montreal experience

                                  1. re: mangoannie

                                    I'm impossibly behind on reviews right now with New York, Chicago, Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal/Kingston all in the wings. That noted, I had an amazing time in Montreal and am already trying to plan a return trip for next year.


                                  2. re: uhockey

                                    Yeah but the problem is that we're not in Paris. The best pâtisseries in Paris HAVE to do more than one cooking a day cause they serve so much clients (locals and tons of tourists).

                                    You're right about the macarons though. They are from Christophe Morel so they are not made on site. I hope that it's only because the place is still new and that one day we'll be able to taste his macarons.

                                    I tried the madelaines 2 weeks ago... they make them on fridays I think. They were absolutely perfect!

                                    1. re: Glaff

                                      I picked up a birthday cake on Tuesday ( lemon). It was the only full size cake available and was quite good. it had a lemon fondant over a lemon cream on top of a shortbread crust. I also picked up the snickers bar interpretations for my kids. Very sweet, chocolatey and given two thumbs up. I returned for lunch today and ordered the grilled vegetable panini and a cappuccino. The service was a bit disorganized as you can tell they are trying to get organized and get their groove on. Wait staff very friendly and polite. AT 2:00 pm there was quite a good crowd. I think the place will be a huge success and prices are reflective of the ingreidients and location. I took home 2more snickers bar pastries for my son. 6.78 each. That's love!!!

                                      1. re: Glaff

                                        While I realize comparing cities is often futile, you can also get a croissant or a pastry like a Brest or St. Honore in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Toronto, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and even Columbus Ohio at ~8-9am in my experience.

                                        Like the Macarons, it just seems lazy. Hopefully something they can improve upon because you're right - there is a lot of potential there.


                                        1. re: uhockey

                                          And there are plenty of boulangeries in Montreal that have freshly made croissants, St. Honores and Paris Brests at all hours of the day. Comparing entire cities to one bakery is downright ridiculous.

                                          1. re: EaterBob

                                            That is fine. I'll call them lazy in their own city, then.


                                            1. re: uhockey

                                              Lazy or newly opened ;)

                                              They're already doing some amazing thing for a place that's been opened for only 1 month so give them some chance.

                                              But anyway, I was more talking about the multiple baking in a day.

                                          2. re: uhockey

                                            You can also get a fresh croissant at a 24 hour Tim Hortens any time of day. Comparing the Montreal bakery/pastry scene to many of those cities is ridiculous (although I must admit I have never been to Ohio, or Phoeenix). Yes there are a few places that have expensive and very good bakeries, but the overall quality of French baked goods/pastries in Montreal is far superior, at least in my experience.

                                            Olivier Potier is easily amongst the best in Montreal. I'd rather have carefully made pastries that are only availalbe at certain times than fresh but poor imitations. Calling a place that just opened lazy is a little callous. They have to get a feel for the demand of the products.

                                            1. re: tdiddy23

                                              I think there is a point to be heard and some problem exists with supply. I have gone for pastries and really little left and then turned to look at some of the breads and they were sold out as well, so customer could end up disappointed and timing a problem for people who work although i went during the day. Not sure what the problem is around supply.....I do think if they are bringing in macarons it should be clearly labelled where they are from, Also, I do not see why prices are not listed especially since they have added an even more expensive pastry hiding amongst all the others. If I was walking in to such a pastry shop I would assume all was made on premises so does not seem fair to consumer if breads, macarons, easter chocolates are brought in from elsewhere and not noted, also there could be problem with freshness. Perhaps there are signs somewhere and I am in error on this?

                                              1. re: mangoannie

                                                Well the price for the pastries were there the last 2-3 times I went...

                                                I don't see a problem with the bread. The logos from Le pain dans les voiles or from Mie-Âme are on the bags. Same with the easter chocolate, there's the CM logo on it.

                                                I would not worry about freshness at a place like this.

                                        2. re: uhockey

                                          "Additionally, while the flavors are spot on, I'm pretty sure they bake a bunch of macarons in advance and chill them"

                                          Well, that's pretty much how everybody does it. If you ate a macaroon right after it was made, the cookie part would be hard and dry. That "macaron" texture only happens after you chill them for 24 hours.

                                      2. Finally got the chance to try this place. Pastries look amazing. I ordered a chou façon Paris-Brest and tasted the "club sandwich". The Paris-Brest was delicious and the club sandwich was really good. We also had two macaroons. The flavours were good, but the texture was disappointing. The cookie part was flat and too mushy.

                                        Service was completely disorganized and bordering on disastrous. They don't seem to have a system worked out and everyone runs around like chickens with their heads cut off. The manager (owner?) took our order because servers seemed to have forgotten about us and we were brought our bill not once, but twice. Everyone was very friendly, though.

                                        Although i loved the pastries and intend on trying out a lot more, I'll be having them to go. The so-so dining area combined with the confused service and the hoity toity atmosphere don't make me want to go back.

                                        1. Also does anyone know where their baked goods (viennoiseries) come from?

                                          1. The pastries are works of art. I had a lemon éclair: Normally, I'm a purist when it comes to éclairs in particular, but that lemon éclair will be dancing through my gustatory memories for days to come. The service was wonderful at the counter (I took my order to go) and it was mentioned that the chef is considering doing a broad selection of éclairs once a month (I think the first Thursday of every month, specifically). The price wasn't low, but I like the chef's philosophy/rationale: Eat less, but make what you eat really worth it. That pastry was worth it.

                                            1. An INCONTOURNABLE: their WAFFLES!!! Homemade and cooked as you order them. Just amazing (the best I've tried so far!) and served with real whipped cream and homemade nutella or fruits.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: gourmandises

                                                I don't know about the cooked to order part. When we went, there were a bunch of pre-cooked waffles at the waffle station. Although when one lady asked the manager if she could get a fresh one, he seemed happy to oblige.

                                              2. I just finished a smoked salmon sandwich (i.e. a Beauty's Special, only on a whole wheat/rye bread) from Olivier. I'll honestly say that it was maybe the best balance of ingredients that I've had from this classic dish, but at nearly $13 to go (no sides) it's a bit hard to swallow. That said, I thought the service was great, even though the place was busy. However, I could hear a table of NYC tourists at the back of the cafe loudly ask "what's taking them so long?" as I was walking out the door.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Fintastic

                                                  a smoked salmon bagel is about $17 at eggspectations

                                                  1. re: catroast

                                                    I think it's $12.99, though with taxes and tip it gets up there. But I agree that $13 is not outrageous. Even the Beauty's version is $11 or so now as I recall.
                                                    My post was intended to highlight the delicious sandwich more than the price. I was just a bit surprised when she rang it up.

                                                2. Had my first try at one of Olivier Potier creation,although not at his bakery, but they are served at Chez Delmo in Old Montreal, a wonderful Paris Brest! Will definitely try them again, but next time I will go directly to the shop to have a wider selection!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: westaust

                                                    Last month I was visiting Montreal and I my hotel was near Oliver Potier's. I stopped in and ordered a cup of coffee and pastry. The coffee was the best I have ever had! It was smooth and rich. Does anyone know the name of the coffee roster that Oliver buys his beans from? He mentioned it was a local roaster. I should have asked him for the name but did not think of it at the time. Any help would be appreciated.

                                                  2. I bought a 1/4 lb of le pain du peuple today and don't get the fuss. other than the simple pleasure of buying exactly the amount you want, the bread isn't exceptional. However their other breads are divine, especially the baguette and kamut bread (which is expensive at $6)

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: catroast

                                                      It is exceptional, and it has nothing to do with buying the amount you want. But it's ok, maybe that's not your kind of bread...

                                                      1. re: Glaff

                                                        exceptionally dry on the cut side. it had a nice texture but only a very subtle flavour. I know you described it as having a caramelized crust but I didn't get any notes of caramel. I ended up dunking it in soup.

                                                    2. they have some photos/descriptions of their Christmas logs posted on their website

                                                      1. Would anyone happen to have their contact info (e-mail or phone number)? Their website no longer works, so I cannot find said info.

                                                        This is the third time I go there and the third time I had to deal with HORRIBLE service. I lived in and traveled to cities which are known for their bad service, but Olivier Potier takes the cake.

                                                        Now, because today I felt particularly insulted, I feel like I should get in touch and let them know how their employees (? - I'm assuming it wasn't the owner) have been treating customers.

                                                        Yes, their pastry is absolutely delicious, and the Paris-Brest is amazing, but there's a limit to how much rudeness I can take.

                                                        FYI, before people take the call to arms and blame the poor service on me, let me point out this was not rush hour (in fact, there were only 3 other people in there, all of whom had already ordered), I was always perfectly polite (I have this weird habit of saying "good morning/afternoon" and smiling, you know...), I tried to get service in both English and French (so, this wasn't a language misunderstanding). But every single time they treated me as though they were doing me some great service by simply allowing me to set foot in there.

                                                        And if I'm spending $18 in 4 croissants and 4 chocolatines (!!!), I expect a lot better service than that.

                                                        Anyway, the point is not just to complain about this here, but let the management know there's something really wrong with what's going on in there, so they could perhaps (although at this point I doubt it) re-gain a customer and treat others with due respect.

                                                        13 Replies
                                                        1. re: alinemramos

                                                          sometimes the oldfashioned way, a letter can be effective as can be circulated among employees......

                                                          1. re: alinemramos


                                                            Yep, service is pretty bad. It was bad when it opened and it still is today...

                                                            1. re: Glaff

                                                              Thank you, Glaff. I had looked for their FB page but hadn't managed to find the official one. And thank you also, mangoannie, for the suggestion. Might be a good idea indeed.

                                                              1. re: alinemramos

                                                                i'm surprised, i've had nothing but excellent service from friendly workers.

                                                                what exactly happened that so insulted you?

                                                                1. re: catroast

                                                                  Me too. I buy bread there all the time and have had nothing b but good service.

                                                                  1. re: williej

                                                                    I personally was talking about the service at the table. Never had any problem with take out.

                                                                    1. re: Glaff

                                                                      I find their service earlier in the day to be better than later on (perhaps once the boss is away?). I've never had a bad experience, just very inattentive service with many of the employees talking at the cash and not serving the tables.

                                                                      1. re: Fintastic

                                                                        I go there regularly and have never had bad service. They can be rushed and disorganized but they've never been rude to me. and even if they were I'd probably still go back. Best bakery in Montreal for pastries, as far as I'm concerned.

                                                                        1. re: montrealeater

                                                                          Don't get me wrong - I'll go back too. It certainly wasn't rudeness in my case - on a few occasions it just seemed like a bunch of 18-25 year old staff members who were most interested in chatting. I still love the place.

                                                                          1. re: Fintastic

                                                                            Ha, I did that thing of replying to you specifically when I really meant to reply to the topic in general. No offense intended. And yeah, they're gonna need to work on their organizational skills. Or perhaps they've made the conscious decision not to, knowing we'll all come crawling back begging forgiveness and pastry? Seriously, they make good stuff.

                                                                          2. re: montrealeater

                                                                            Being disorganized after more than 1 year in business is what I would call bad service I think... Especially at a simple place like that where you mostly have to serve pastries and coffee... and still manage to forget at least 1 thing almost every time.

                                                                            Never any rudeness in my case too though.

                                                                            1. re: Glaff

                                                                              I have been there over a dozen time to pick up lunches to go and a few times times the owner was the only one at the counter and he gave me the distinct impression that he thought he was too good to hand me a sandwhich hmself as he ordered his waiter over.. and a few times the waiters have been seriously slow (bordering on complete incompetence) at letting me pay and leave or just the speed at which they hadled orders at the counter...Ive definitely been tempted to walk out before........ So if that is what you mean by rude, then I understand..and yes it is very good but is overpriced considering the poor service. (meant to repond to OP)

                                                                              1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                                Yes, kpaxonite. That is exactly the kind of "rude" I had in mind, it's just that this last time it was way over the top (and I have pretty chill standards).

                                                                                I've messaged them and will see if they respond. If I get no response in the next couple of days, I will go with mangoannie's suggestion and write them a letter.

                                                                                In any case, I'll let you all know what happens.