Montreal lawyers’ favorite restaurant turns 35

Leonardo Iacono and his daughter Josie

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Leonardo Iacono and his daughter Josie

When the lawyers, judges and magistrates attending the Montreal courthouse are asked which restaurant they prefer to go to, their answer is almost invariably “Le Muscadin”. And this, for 35 years!

Such unfailing loyalty to an Old Montreal venue filled with restaurants seems surprising at first glance. However, since 1987, 75% of Muscadin’s clientele is actually legal. Whether it’s a meeting between colleagues from the same firm, an informal meeting between a prosecutor and a judge, or even a business lunch with clients, this classic and elegant Italian restaurant always tops the list.

Listening only to our curiosity – and our greed – we went to meet the co-founder of this institution Leonardo Iacono and his daughter Josie to know the secrets of this masterful success.

Several special benefits

When you visit Muscadin, you quickly understand why this restaurant, open Tuesday through Friday for dinner and dinner and Saturdays only for dinner, is so appealing to the legal community, aside from the fact that it is located near the Montreal courthouse. Indeed, we are very welcome there. An incredible welcome that we experience as soon as we cross the threshold and that will not falter one iota until his departure.

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“It is one of our great strengths”, admits Leonardo Iacono, who is the master of the scene warmly greeting each table, knowing most of the time the guests, their preferences and their habits.

Le Muscadin also brings together elements sought after by lawyers: a timeless, elegant and collected environment, well-spaced tables for greater privacy, comfortable chairs to fully enjoy the moment.

We also appreciate the quality of a menu whose three-course table d’hôte is renewed every day – the chefs go to the market every morning to decide what they will prepare – while remaining faithful to classic Italian gastronomy. .

“We are known for our fresh pasta, but also for the quality of our meat and fish,” says Leonardo. What we can attest to, as we literally succumbed to the delicious and stringy Muscadin tortellini sauteed in a compelling pink sauce with peas and ham, as well as the delicate ricotta gnocchi topped with Al Pomodoro sauce (tomatoes and basil). Everything, from the appetizer to the dessert, is of impeccable freshness and taste.

Finally, it should be noted, wine lovers are delighted to find at Muscadin one of the greatest selections of Italian wines in Quebec! Its cellar, in fact, has already exceeded 30,000 bottles, and there are the most beautiful houses.

Taking all these factors into account, we better understand why this restaurant has won the loyalty of such a large legal clientele. But there is more.

A family passion

In an industry where most establishments close before their fifth anniversary, an institution like Le Muscadin has so far offered much more than a beautiful setting, a good meal and good service to remain the lawyers’ preferred choice. . In fact, one feels welcomed like a second home, with that part of magic that only restaurateurs dedicated to their profession can breathe.

Muscadin's succulent tortellini

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Muscadin’s succulent tortellini

It must be said that Leonardo and Josie are exemplary hosts, present and discreet together, constantly listening to their customers. According to Leonardo, who was a banker 35 years ago (yes!) Before embarking on this adventure with his brother and cousin, it’s all a matter of passion.

“For 35 years, every day, I wanted to come here. It is a work of passion. Challenging, yes, but rewarding. I can’t thank our lawyer clients enough for letting me experience it and letting Josie live it for five years too, “says the owner, who over the years has made great friendships with some of his visitors, who have become golf friends, about fishing and travel. As for Josie, she literally grew up in the restaurant. “I’ve known clients since I was five, that’s crazy!” she exclaims.

Now that Josie holds the reins of Muscadin, the restaurant is more visible on social networks, offers take-away and delivery, or even offers the possibility of privatizing its dining room for groups. But the family spirit and the values ​​that have guided the company since its inception have not aged at all. And it is they who, in the end, constitute the greatest success of this special place.

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