[Photos: Elegancy, My French Life]
La Montée de Lait had a turbulent but impactful run on the Montreal scene. The restaurant was where Martin Juneau, now of Pastaga and Pub Sir Joseph, first made a name for himself and where one Louis-Philippe Riel spent time as a dutiful sous.
Riel eventually left Montreal for Paris and has since won over diners and critics in the city with notable stints at (restaurateur par excellence) Bertrand Auboyneau's Bistrot Paul Bert and, currently, Le 6 Paul Bert.
In short order, Riel has carved a place for himself in the French capital's fraternal order of cooks under the age of 40, as underscored in L'Express yesterday in an article entitled 'Géneration New French Bistrot!'.
(The word 'fraternal' is apropos because, like Time's omission of women in the recent 'Gods of Food' issue, Paris, it seems, suffers from a scarcity of female chefs worthy of mention. Fifteen chefs in the L'Express article, all male.)
But back to the Montreal-boy-makes-good-in-Paris side of the story. Thanks in no small part to Riel's efforts in the kitchen, Le 6 Paul Bert seems to occupy that elusive sweet spot of popularity in Paris. A big hit with influential critics and locals, in other words, but not so buzzy as to render the space obnoxiously trendy or any less convivial.
Of Riel and Le 6 Paul Bert, David Lebovitz writes: "It's rare I find a restaurant where I wouldn't change a thing."
At the end is an open kitchen where Québécois Chef Louis-Philippe and his assistant work side-by-side, concentrating on the food, but not stressing or standing there with tweezers micromanaging the presentations. They're simply cooking.
Le 6 Paul Bert was also one of Condé Nast Traveler's 'Best New Restaurants in the World' for 2013: "After the success of his cult fave bistro Le Bistrot Paul Bert and its seafood sibling, L'Écailler du Bistrot, Bertrand Auboyneau does modern French bistro cooking as executed by edgy young Montrealer chef Louis-Philippe Riel."
· Géneration New French Bistrot! [L'Express]
· Interview: Louis-Philippe Riel [My French Life]
· Le 6 Paul Bert: Review [Gilles Pudlowski]
· Le 6 Paul Bert [Le Fooding]