The iX restaurant for Bistro closes for good, without noise

The iX pour Bistro will never heat its stoves again, exhausted by the “constant stress” of performance and shaken up by the COVID-19. The renowned and popular restaurant of Limoilou announced this morning the end of its reign – which began in 2013 – at the top of the charts of tourist websites and in the hearts of many Quebec gourmets.
We would hope to read “This is not a closure” on the facade of the restaurant, as we wrote “This is not a menu” on the slate, a turn of phrase inspired by the painter Magritte which served as motto for the ‘place. It seems that lovers of great food in the capital will not have this chance.

It was through his Facebook page that the founding chef and co-owner Benoit Lemieux announced the news. Many will have felt it coming since the sale in the fall of the business installed in the premises (which did not look like much) of an old pizzeria, at 1104, 18 e rue in Quebec.

“Some people already know it, some suspect it, but the adventure of the iX for Bistro has ended. It ended for me on December 30 [2019], a beautiful little evening with beautiful people, as always. I had the hope of having successors to continue the project, but these hopes were in vain. And at this time of COVID-19, I consider that the moment is not particularly favorable for the sale of a restaurant. So the iX disappears silently, the same way it came into the world. It was a very good year, I didn’t expect that when I started this project, ”he explains.

Stress and anxiety

Le Soleil had obviously contacted the owners when the well-known address appeared on a property sales site. No worries, we had assured. The restaurant should not cease its activities, but simply change hands by promising a smooth transition to a new administration. This scenario will never have materialized. The quest for succession was unsuccessful. Ultimately, the pressure ended up being too strong.

“It was for me only a temporary trip , to start playing again in the restaurant, but with my own rules. It looks like the game was still popular. Many of you came to play with me and with Vincent [Ozilleau] and Laurence [Verreault] [who were in turn co-owners]. It was huge waves of love. But also constant stress. It’s like being on tour, you have to be at your best every night and give your best performance. This stress and anxiety to perform ends up taking over all the positive. It is for these reasons that I stop the iX project, ”says Mr. Lemieux.

After opening in 2013, iX pour Bistro quickly stood out for its slate of three or four entrees, four or five main plates, a breathtaking signature dessert, but also for the chef’s friendly and relaxed style. -server-diver Benoit Lemieux. “A super cool evening where I had the impression of being received by a friend”, “a tongue-in-cheek who shares the playful look of Damien Robitaille”, wrote our restaurant critic at the time, Stéphanie Bois-Houde.

Quickly, the address, which could only accommodate twenty people a night, climbed to the top of the list of restaurants in the capital on the TripAdvisor site. A royal position, preserved for many years, which has ensured a constant renewal of the tourist clientele. We often heard the language of Shakespeare often spoken at the neighboring tables. The “locals” were sometimes even in the minority there.

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