People make the difference and MRG is a diverse group of talent working in unison towards the same goal

Peter Morentzos

Morentzos Restaurant Group Inc.

It is impossible to mention Montreal's vibrant restaurant scene without mentioning Peter Morentzos. Now 47 years old, his humble beginnings started as a pizza delivery boy and selling men's clothing. Widely regarded as a restaurant maverick, his interpretation of thematic concepts have gained him international notoriety and respect. The degree to which Morentzos personally invests himself in all his restaurant concepts makes it tempting to read their historical development as a form of theatrical autobiography. His first venture back in 1989, Moe's Deli & Bar, was inspired by the film, Once Upon a Time in America—an immigrant story, not unlike his Greek family's beginnings. Eggspectations announced his arrival (and nascent expectations). Weinstein & Gavino's Pasta Factory paid homage to the two oldest communities in the city—a nod to his peers, perhaps. Then came La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Bar, epic in proportion and quality, which Peter himself describes as “ a mixture of a wine cellar and stables from a chateau. Herring bone finish is customary in wine cellars and the wood and vaulted ceilings and chandeliers are what you find in Europe in a chateau. The wood is a deep, rich maple. The vaulted windows allow lots of natural light to float through the space during the day. At night diners can gaze out onto the city's shimmering lights.” The Montreal Bread Company stores are renowned gourmet takeaway spots, international in reach, and uncompromised in quality. With the opening of Trinity, Morentzos comes full circle, back to his culture of “filoxenia” , which describes the hospitality that Greeks are famous for, on a scale significant enough to satisfy his own legendary heart. Details are everything to Peter and his interpretation of such sensory elements have inspired him to develop well over 13 unique restaurant concepts and build over 65 restaurants in 20 years. His talent is in the way he creates timeless concepts that tap into a distinct memory from one's past. One of the best examples of this is Le Pois Penche which opened in December 2007, but still manages to look like it has been there for 100 years. Personally responsible in all aspects from conception, interior design, food and wine development, staff selection and service, Peter has created a unique brand of trend-setting, thematic restaurant concepts. Elements of Morentzos' style found in each thriving venue include high ceilings, exhibition kitchens, trendy menus-du-marche and music all used as strategic weapons to excite and seduce guests. Based on the insight that dining offers a “form of entertainment or art,” each one carries with it a sense of event and celebration. In the end, it is his relentless curiosity, drive, and generosity of Morentzos, himself, which are truly key to the personality of his empire.