Chef and restaurant owner Antonio Park has instilled his name in the Montreal culinary scene after opening up a sushi restaurant influenced by his Korean roots. His second eatery, Lavanderia, is nothing short of a breath of fresh air in affordable dining. Lavanderia is situated just next to Park, Antonio’s first restaurant. Anyone who is familiar with the staff at Park will notice the faces of sous-chefs Takeshi Horinoue and Paolo Posada working behind the open kitchen at Park’s new eatery.
Park recreates his youth by paying homage to his time growing up on his family’s lavanderia in Argentina where they would gather around the yard and eat together. The space itself is airy and charming with its high ceilings and big windows overlooking the street. The décor is appealing, with white walls where clotheslines hang horizontally displaying several floral inspired artwork on one side, and a hand written menu on the other side of the room. A tall birch tree also sits behind the bar giving the impression that you are seated on a patio.
The menu consists of simple yet classic South American dishes: mostly an array of grilled meats as well as fish on charcoal. This is the perfect spot to go to with people who enjoy sharing plates. Lavanderia isn’t a tapas restaurant but portion sizes are fair. Trust us, you’ll want to dibble dabble in several dishes.
They offer a reasonably large platter of assorted grilled meats (which are perfectly seasoned) as well as classic choices like a mixed chorizo dish served on top of lentils. Lavanderia also offers a shrimp ceviche with the right amount of spicy, and a trio of homemade empanadas – all served up in traditional ceramic casserole plates. A selection of sauces are also brought to each table which complement some of the grilled dishes: chimichurri, chimol (Salvadorian salsa), and chipotle, to name a few.
For dessert, we recommend the shortbread cookie filled with dulce de leche, sprinkled coconut, and a side of crème caramel. The space is inviting, the staff is friendly and attentive, and they have a wine list that complements their food.