Housed in the sprawling two-story space of Rue Saint-Jacques that previously housed the Joverse Supper Club, Sauvage broadly defines its offering as Mediterranean, encompassing everything from Greek specialties to tzatziki and taramosalata (fish roe dip) with French Bordeaux and Mornay sauces, and Levantine staples such as tahini, za’atar and sumac. These flavors dress its offering of raw dishes – think tartare, ceviche and carpaccio – and grilled options: swordfish, octopus, scallops, filet mignon, tomahawk steak and rack of lamb, among others. The kitchen is run by executive chefs Christopher Shawn Pierre (Modavie, Jacopo) and Sary Hussein (Vallier Bistro, Restaurant di Menna).
Montreal entrepreneur Matt Guerguerian, owner of the Caribbean restaurant Côte-Saint-Paul Hardened dreams and a number of other Montreal-based companies in the 2K Consulting group, bought Joverse in early 2020 and have worked on his metamorphosis, first into a revamped Joverse, and then into Sauvage, ever since.
When the time came to develop the 3,200 square foot space, Guerguerian called on the Gauley Brothers, the Montreal design firm behind the looks of a number of other newcomers to Montreal, including gourmet Italian restaurant 212, bustling Saint-Henri BarBara restaurant and Ryu’s new Griffintown branch.
Guerguerian says the restaurant’s name was chosen for its association with nature and rawness, and the brown and beige-toned space has been redone to telegraph these themes. On the top floor are textured cement walls and an oversized fixture made up of mirrors, vinyl, and LED lights programmed to the beat of music played throughout the space. In a press release shared with Eater, designer Toby Gauley is quoted as saying (in French, but translated here), “The immense light that steals the show represents the fire around which humans have gathered since time immemorial. “
On the lower level is a space of 114 places which they nickname the “cave” thanks to its dark and cavernous feel. A front terrace adds 102 seats.
Sauvage is the latest in a wave of restaurant openings in Old Montreal to materialize following the province’s second lockdown and subsequent easing of restrictions, and joins Babacool on Notre-Dame, the French brasserie Place Carmin, technically in the Cité du Multimedia stretch, and the next joint of vegan burger Bvrger.
Sauvage is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at 52 rue Saint-Jacques.