One is good but two is better
Patrick and Sophie don’t do things by halves. Quite the opposite, in fact: they do them twice! These two passionate restaurateurs are the co-owners of Café du Bistrot and Bistro Montebello, two successful restaurants that have become real Petite Nation institutions.
How it all started
In 1996, Patrick took over Café Valencay in Saint-André-Avellin and renamed it Café du Bistrot. It was a big challenge for the young chef from Montebello, but on meeting him, you soon realize that Patrick thrives on challenges.
A few years later, the owners of another Petite Nation restaurant, the Bistro Montebello, tapped him as the ideal person to take over their business. So Patrick set off on another adventure, armed with his knowledge, determination and, above all, his passion for the restaurant business.
2010 was the year that Sophie, then a server at Café du Bistrot, joined Patrick as co-owner of the two restaurants. Their partnership worked instantly. Their secret: divide up the tasks according to each person’s strengths. Sophie takes care of the dining room, and Patrick oversees the kitchen. It’s great to see them working together, and it’s with a philosophy of communication, laughter and mutual understanding that they now manage more than 100 employees.
The quality of their products, their outstanding service and their attention to detail are evident in everything they do, from corporate events and weddings to themed menus, spontaneous collaborations and the distribution of gourmet products. It’s important to them to offer a service that lives up to their reputation and to do things right: “At a certain point we decided to limit our offering to ensure that we always deliver service and food we can be proud of,” Sophie tells me.
A feeling of pride
Located in the heart of the village of the same name, Bistro Montebello daily welcomes many tourists visiting Petite Nation. Its proximity to Parc Omega, Fairmont Le Château Montebello, the Montebello marina and numerous shops makes it the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat.
Although she meets a lot of tourists, Sophie still marvels at the local clientele who have quickly become repeat customers. “It’s really fun to see familiar faces and develop this great relationship with customers. We’re lucky.” Outaouais customers also come from more distant parts of the region! “We’re really proud to know that people from Gatineau regularly make the trip just to eat our pizza,” adds Sophie.
Café du Bistrot, in Saint-André-Avellin, attracts a slightly more seasonal but equally loyal clientele. Patrick considers himself lucky to run this restaurant in such a beautiful part of Petite Nation: “Thanks to the area’s proximity to Lac Simon, Ripon’s Parc des Montagnes Noires and the many cottages, every year we welcome tourists who become like locals and can’t wait to come back to enjoy a meal in their adopted village!”
Patrick and Sophie may come from different backgrounds, have different personalities and run two different restaurants, but they’re driven by the same passion to offer a warm and authentic dining experience to everyone who lives in or visits Petite Nation.
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