Café Myriade – Dominion Square

49th Parallel's Old School blend in a classic black espresso cup at Café Myriade - Dominion Square, MontréalCafé Myriade, as well as being one of Montréal’s first speciality coffee shops, was one of my first coffee experiences in Montréal. When I visited in 2013, there was just one Myriade, which opened in 2008. Now there are three: the original, this one (Dominion Square) and a third in Saint Denis (formerly Le Couteau – The Knife). Dominion Square is by far the smallest of the three, tucked away in the basement of the Club Monaco clothing store.

It’s also fair to say that as a result it’s one of the most elegant speciality coffee shops I’ve been in, with the distinct European café feel: marble-topped tables, tiled floor and gorgeous scrollwork behind the counter. At the same time, there’s the core Myriade offering: espresso and batch-brew from Vancouver’s 49th Parallel, a small selection of pastries and a Kees van der Westen espresso machine (in this case, a gorgeous Spirit).

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • There aren't many external signs of Café Myriade & the A-board was hiding from the rain!
  • However, head inside, go to the back, and there, on the left-hand side, you will find...
  • ... a broad, elegant staircase which leads down, doubling back on itself...
  • ... to deposit you in the basement.
  • A view of the stairs from the bottom.
  • However, this is what we have come for: Café Myriade, which is ahead/to your left.
  • Meanwhile, off to your right, through these double doors, Club Monaco continues.
  • There is something else of interest down here though, at the back beyond the doors.
  • Right in the corner, past the counter, you'll find the takeaway station...
  • ... with one of Café Myriade's elegant, round, two-person tables in front of it.
  • There's not much else down there though, but heading back the way we came...
  • ... and what's this, hiding by the staircase?
  • It's another little table, this time with a pair of comfortable chairs.
  • I think we've found the best seats in the house!
  • There's another two-person table around the corner, guardiing the only power outlet.
  • The rest of the seating is beyond here, at the left hand end of Café Myriade...
  • ... beyond the counter and the Kees van der Westen espresso machine.
  • A wide, padded sofa-bench runs along the left-hand wall, with 'wings' on either side.
  • There are six tables in all, one per wing, and four along the back.
  • The middle two tables along the back have chairs...
  • ... as do the ones on the wings, but the tables in the corners miss out.
  • A well-stocked set of retail shelves is also tucked away under the stairs.
  • It has the usual array of coffee and coffee-making equipment.
  • However, Café Myriade also sells a small range of produce which you can find on this table.
  • The elegant, wood-panelled, mirror-backed shelves along the front & left-hand walls...
  • ... are both decorative and...
  • ... also hold more examples of the produce for sale.
  • Shaded lamps are spaced around the wooden panels...
  • ... while glass-domed bulbs hang from the ceiling.
  • Don't mind me.
  • There's a large, beautiful mirror with some gorgeous scroll-work behind the counter.
  • The floor's none too shabby either.
  • There's a menu beyond the counter in the far left-hand corner...
  • ... although it's more a list of stockists than an actual menu. For that, you need to...
  • ... head for the counter, conveniently to your right...
  • ... although this is the more conventional approach from the foot of the stairs.
  • Normally, this, to the right of the counter, would be full of cakes & pastries.
  • Meanwhile, off to the left, past the till, is the espresso grinder (Old School blend)...
  • ... with the menu propped up against it.
  • The Kees van der Western Spirit espresso machine is worth a second look...
  • ... while behind the counter is the batch-brewer and a pair of EK-43 grinders.
  • The batch-brew changes daily: it was this Kenyan while I was there.
  • If you stand on the far side of the counter (where you collect your coffee), you'll get...
  • ... a good view of the espresso machine in action.
  • I love watching espresso extract.
  • Almost done.
  • My espresso, the Old School blend, in a classic black cup, and looking, I have to say...
  • ... very Old School indeed.
  • I also tried it in milk, in a cortado, served in a glass.
  • If you don't fancy cow's milk, Café Myriade has a range of non-dairy alternatives.
  • I'll leave you with a look at the latte art in my cortado...
  • ... which impressively lasted...
  • ... all the way to the bottom of the glass.
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Club Monaco’s an upmarket clothing store inside the Dominion Square Building in the heart of downtown Montréal.  The Beaux Arts building, built between 1928-1930 and occupying a whole block along rue Saint-Catherine, is worth a look in of itself. These days the upper floors contain offices, while the ground floor and basement are given over to shops.

Long and thin, Club Monaco’s on the corner of Saint-Catherine and Metcalfe, its main door opening onto rue Saint-Catherine. Café Myriade’s towards the back of the store, where a staircase on the left, just before the back door, leads you to a cosy basement. Myriade is ahead/to your left, while Club Monaco continues on your right.

There’s not much to Café Myriade, although it drips elegance. The counter’s at the back, extending into the seating area to the left, which is arranged in a J-shape. Alternatively, if you want a table to yourself, a really cosy two-person table is behind you on your left, tucked away at the bottom of the stairs by the retail shelves. Meanwhile, to the right of the counter, next to the floor-to-ceiling glass partition separating Myriade from Club Monaco, is a small, two-person table.

The counter’s a compact affair, with the till dead ahead. To the right, the display case is usually packed with pastries (unless it’s the end of the day, when they’ve all been eaten), while to the left are the sleek lines of the Kees van der Westen Spirit. A worktop behind the counter holds a batch-brewer and two EK-43 grinders, one (with a doser) for espresso, the other for filter/retail bags.

The remaining seating starts against the front wall opposite the counter, a small, round table two-person table guarding the only power outlet. This is followed by a [-shaped padded sofa-bench, starting on the front wall before continuing across the left-hand wall and along the back wall. There are six of the small, round tables, one on each wing and four along the left-hand wall, plus four chairs.

When it comes to coffee, the main grinder has 49th Parallel’s Old School blend, while if you ask, you can have the Epic (currently a single-origin Guatemalan) or decaf through the EK-43. There’s also a single-origin on batch-brew which changes daily (and sometimes during the day if it goes quickly enough).

I started with a shot of the Old School which, in the cup, looked really old school, but it wasn’t too old school in its tastes, a nice, well-balanced espresso with a hint of acidity, but avoiding the bitterness I was fearing from its appearance. I followed this up with a cortado (on the house) to see how it went in milk. Although I enjoyed it, I preferred it on its own. However, the milk was beautifully-steamed, holding the latte art all the way to the bottom of the glass.

December 2018: Café Myriade – Dominion Square was a runner-up for the 2018 Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.

Monday 08:00 – 19:00 Roaster 49th Parallel (espresso + batch-brew)
Tuesday 08:00 – 19:00 Seating Tables
Wednesday 08:00 – 19:00 Food Cake
Thursday 08:00 – 21:00 Service Counter
Friday 08:00 – 21:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 10:00 – 19:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 11:00 – 18:00 Power No
Chain Local Visits 8th October 2018

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  1. Pingback: 2018 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Basement | Brian's Coffee Spot

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