New place in NDG, Caresse Antillaise

Egbert Gaye

Christobal Dyal admits it’s an unlikely scenario to see a Trinidad-born youth who grew up in the West End of Montreal as the owner of the city’s newest Haitian Restaurant, but so it is. And it’s all  because of his enduring love for Haitian food.
“Attending French school, most of my friends wereDSCF0354 Haitian and they introduced me to their food, and like most people, I fell in love immediately,” he says. “Ever since, my wish has been to open a restaurant serving Haitian food.”
So there it is, at 6470 Sherbrooke W., corner of Cavendish Boulevard in NDG, Caresse Antillaise (Caribbean Caress) a spacious place that can seat about two dozen diners comfortably in an ambiance that’s relaxed and inviting.
The living room section, with two couches, allows young diners to play video games and there are several board games on tables throughout the restaurant. Also, with six flat screen televisions to watch various sporting events and a nice outdoor terrace, the place is an oasis of chill and relaxation.
The menu, which includes a variety of chicken, beef, goat, turkey and fish dishes are mostly prepared Haitian-style, but there are one or two Trinidad-style dishes among them.
Dyal says a wide cross-section of Montrealers love Haitian and Caribbean food and his intention is to make it accessible to those in the west end who don’t want to travel to the other end of the city.
Since the place opened a month ago, he has been seeing a steady flow of clients coming in to enjoy meals that stand out because of their exotic taste and affordability.
The dishes range from $5.50 to $15 and include daily lunchtime specials between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM for $8.50.
Dyal says with an authentic Haitian chef in the kitchen the taste is “for real” and the restaurant’s commitment is towards healthy meals, which means a lot of health- conscious ingredients and very little frying.
Those who go are also drawn by the sparkling cleanliness of every inch of the place.
Dyal, who some Trinidadians might recognize as the grandson of legendary calypsonian Roaring Lion, says it’s all part of the raison d’etre of Caresse Antillaise to reach for excellence in its food, service and ambiance.
Caresse Antillaise, 6470 Sherbrooke, is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 10 PM. Info. 438-383-6373 or www.CaresseAntillaise.ca