LAB, Comptoir à cocktails1351 rue Rachel Est, Montréal, Québec H2J 2K2 1 (514) 544 1333 Ouvert du Lundi au Samedi De 17h à tard… http://www.mixoart.com/lab/index.html
I was invited to Le Lab, Comptoir a cocktails for my lovely cousin Josie’s 25th birthday.
I enjoy a drink with a meal at a restaurant, never a bar and this place is definitely a bar. Bars usually don’t hold my interest for very long. When there’s no food and the music is too loud to talk, I start yawning. I heard this place was cool, “fun” and that the drinks were creative but mostly, I was going for Josie.
Got there, the vibe was great. The music was what I like – a good variety including Michael Jackson – always a favorite of mine. The staff are dressed in sophisticated and traditional bartender attire – A white shirt, sleeves rolled up, a black vest and tie. Its like what you’d expect at a swanky hotel bar or more like an old fashioned speakeasy. On their web site they actually describe the place as a “Speakeasy moderne”. Their old school look and “French from France” accent contrasts with the darker edginess of the bar’s decor. This is another place I’ve discovered that is all about contrast and I love it.
Behind the bar, the vast selection of alcohol is a work of art in itself. Sitting tall, all the different bottles of various shapes and sizes with their colored labels are comparable to an immense painting, and takes up most of the wall. I have never in my life seen a bar so impressively well stocked. They have everything and anything in every flavor, including a whole section of their menu dedicated to Absinthe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absinthe
Fabien Maillard, (pictured above) a veritableBar-Chef, Mixologue, flair bartender is the visionary behind this hidden gem. Much like a restaurant chef, he creates his cocktails according to what inspires him, what is in season and uses only premium ingredients – Spices, fresh fruit juices, purees and aromatic herbs.
Saying that they have a creative cocktail selection is a serious understatement. The list is endless and most interesting. They even have a cocktail made with a little BBQ sauce and a sliver of beef jerky. Talk about a burley, manly cocktail!
Here are a few cocktails I picked out to give you an idea of the diversity.
JERKY LAB JACK
Il séduit les foules depuis plus de 160 ans…
Sucre de canne, amer BBQ artisanal, Cointreau,whiskey Jack Daniels
et bœuf Jerky doux et épicé.
Not your bag, Baby? How about ...
Souvenir d’une plage Thaïlandaise.
Crème de noix de coco, purée de mangue, piment Thaï émincé et rhum épicé Sailor Jerry.
Laissez-lui la satisfaction de vous apprendre leschoses de la vie…
Concombre émincé, purée de framboise, sirop artisanal de sucre de canne, jus de lime pressé,vermouth blanc Dolin et gin Bombay Sapphire.
LA GRANDE DAME
Baptisé « La Grande Dame » en souvenir du nom plein d’estime et de respect
donné par les champenois à Madame Clicquot.
Purée de fraise, jus de citron pressé, sirop d’orgeat, vodka Belvédère
et vin effervescent Chandon.
FEU DE CAMP ...the shooter I will be trying next time….You roast marshmallows over your flaming glass!
Sirop de caramel, liqueur de pomme Apfelkorn,Calvados Boulard et brochette de guimauves
They’ve got flair.
I heard they “do a show” , I had also heard of flair bartending but I was not prepared for what I was about to see! It was jaw-dropping! Bottle spinning….FLAMING bottle spinning, pouring a stream of fire from bottle to glass, bar on fire, FIRE BREATHING bartenders!! Sit at the bar if you dare!
Turn your speakers on…
FYI – No cusotmers were torched during the show lol These gentlemen are professionals.
The crowd on this particular Satruday night was on the younger side, mid-twenties and a few thirties, however I think that anyone can and should appreciate a superbly composed cocktail and be wow-ed by the mad skills of these artists, showmen, mixologues extraordinaire!
Loved it! Hope you go!